What does “Responsive” mean?

Any time you talk to a web developer you are likely to hear some new buzz-word or piece of techno-speak that leaves you wondering what they actually meant, and not knowing if what they talked about really matters to your business. In the first of a short series of articles I will demystify some of the terms web developers use. The first is “Responsive”

responsive

This one is really easy, although you wouldn’t think so from the way some people talk about it. Simply put it means that your website should be designed to work well on all different screen sizes, from a humble old-style mobile phone that can only just connect to the Internet to a state of the art tablet or a wide screen television.

To make your site look good on all these different displays takes knowledge, patience and time. Most web developers will start by working out the design for the smallest of devices, deciding what matters and how they can shoe-horn a graphical masterpiece of big-screen design into a tiny window just 3.5″ across, and make it visible to someone who has forgotten their reading glasses.

Thankfully, there are some very clever ways to make sites work on these humble phones and also look stunning on a 52″ television. So, the next time a web developer talks to you about your website being responsive, you will know just what they mean.

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