Before we get into the pros and cons of responsive websites, we thought it was important to first explain what they actually are. Basically, this is the name given to a website that automatically resizes itself based on the screen resolution it is being viewed on. There may be 3 columns on a desktop, which condenses down to 2 on a tablet and then down to 1 on a smartphone.
- You can eliminate clutter on smaller devices (such as smartphones), as you only have room to display the most important information.
- There are higher chances of your website leading to more conversions, as all sorts of customers can access your product or service.
- You can cater to the significantly large (and continuously growing) audience who are browsing on mobile devices more regularly.
- Visitors to your website will receive the same quality browsing experience across different browsers and devices.
- As it is still a single website entity, you can use the same SEO strategy and won’t need separate ones for each screen resolution.
- You won’t have to manage multiple websites, which can greatly reduce your time and maintenance costs.
Link can easily be shared via social media across devices (previously, a link shared via desktop could not be opened on a mobile device).
- As the website automatically resizes itself, you don’t have to worry about designing a whole new site every time a new device is introduced.
- If the design has not been done properly, it may not look great in smaller devices (navigation is especially difficult to set out).
- Loading time for mobile devices is usually higher, as HTML and CSS code that isn’t being used must still be downloaded.
- As it is still a relatively new concept, only limited resources are available and it may take a while to find solutions to problems.
Even though there are certainly advantages and disadvantages associated with responsive websites, it is important to consider the needs of your users when determining whether responsive is the way to go or not. As a side point, it is also worth noting that Google now penalizes websites for not being mobile-friendly, which could have a significant impact on your rankings.
As we move fully into April (and mid autumn) we thought it was time we looked at some of the fantastic resources that web designers and web developers have been tapping into over the first quarter of 2014. These resources are still very valid in this industry, so jump on board today!
- Cerberus – With more people viewing emails on their smartphones, it is important to ensure that your email displays nicely and is readable. This resource is compatible with Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo.
- StackIcons – Whilst we can typically only assign a single colour to a font, this resource is sophisticated enough that every part within the icon is adjustable. And the icons come in multiple shapes!
- StickUp – This is actually a jQuery plugin that makes your elements stick to the top of the browser window. It means that, no matter how much you scroll down, the stuck element is still visible.
- Type Scale – This resource is the perfect tool for font scaling. You can set the base font size, font weight, font family, preview text and the scaling method – then get the results immediately.
- WP Job Manager – If your website has been built using WordPress, then you can build a job board! This resource adds a new menu to your Dashboard, allowing you to add new job listings and information.
Whilst there are plenty more resources out there that web designers and web developers alike can take advantage of, we hope that you take a moment or two to check out some of the ones above for yourself. You might just find that they are exactly what you have been looking for.
What do you get when one of the co-founders of Twitter, Biz Stone, and his former colleague, Ben Finkel, put their heads together to come up with a social search app that aims to answer all your questions? Why, “Jelly” of course! The pair developed the app by building on the concept of if you have questions that there is somebody out there who knows the answer.
Stone and Finkel announced the app on their company blog on January 7, saying that “Jelly is designed to search the group mind of your social networks – and what goes around comes around. You may find yourself answering questions as well as asking”.
The app can be downloaded from either iTunes or Google Play, ensuring that users of all devices can participate. Users can then submit questions that can be answered by anyone within their existing social networks. It is also possible for questions to be forwarded outside of the app, allowing for a much broader audience and a wider range of responses.
Stone and Finkel were also eager to point out that the app also lets users perform searches using images. “Images are in the foreground of the Jelly experience because they add depth and context to any question. You can crop, reframe, zoom and draw on your images to get more specific”.
Amy Gesenhues of Search Engine Land pointed out that this is not the first attempt to answer questions in the social search segment – Ask.com, Quora, Yahoo Answers, Google Answers and Facebook have also tried to crack the market but have been unsuccessful. Only time will tell, however, whether Stone and Finkel have managed to make an impression with Jelly.