What does it mean to have a fluid or responsive website? A fluid layout is basically what it sounds like. Depending on the screen size, the content of the site will flow to fill the screen. Cameron Adams developed the technique of adapting a website’s layout to adjust a device’s display size in 2004. Being fluid alone is not enough, though. What happens when the device is so small that the text becomes unreadable? That’s where responsive design comes in.
The term responsive was coined by Ethan Marcotte in 2010 in his article “A List Apart”. Responsive websites rearrange the content to fit the size of the screen.
When the great World Wide Web was created in 1990 by Tim Berners Lee, desktop computers were the primary source of accessing the internet. Monitors followed a pretty predictable size pattern, so the thought of adjusting a website to fit a screen didn’t really matter. That has all changed in recent years as more and more people are accessing the internet on phones or tablets. This year in the U.K. alone, mobile and tablet usage is approximately 30%, and some are predicting it could surpass 50% by the end of the 2015. According to Pew Research, 50% of American adults have a smartphone, and 42% of American adults own a tablet computer. We have seen these numbers increasing as the products become more affordable, and wireless service has consistently been increasing ; not only in available service areas, but in their speed as well.
So what does all this mean? Quite simply, if your website is not designed to be responsive, it will not function properly for over half the people you’re trying to reach. A properly built and responsive site will load faster on smaller devices. If a customer can’t get your site to open on their phone or tablet quickly, they are more likely to disconnect and try another link. The content on a responsive site will be automatically adjusted so that it is user friendly. Touch screen features can be implemented such as “click to call” or Google Maps at the push of a button.
If you already have a website, but it is not fluid & responsive, it may be time to upgrade. Maybe you are starting a new business and were thinking about getting a website. You need to consider who is looking at your site. What devices are they using? Are they in front of a 27-inch monitor or shopping from a smartphone?
A properly built website will be fluid & responsive to all environments. At Rocketpop Media we will be glad to help you get there.