Most people have heard of the term ‘responsive website’ in the world of 2023. For those of you who may not be familiar with this term, a responsive site is simply a website developed to adapt to a range of screen sizes and device types. This means that a website termed ‘responsive’ should look and function well on a desktop, laptop, tablet and a mobile phone. In today’s world, where people use a wide range of different device types to access the internet, having a responsive website is vital.

In this guide, we will walk you through the whole process of creating a responsive website. From the planning phase all the way to the design and deployment stages – highlighting the importance of each.

Plan your responsive web design

Before you start designing and developing your website, you need to have a clear plan. This includes defining your website’s goals, target audience, content, and features.
You will also need to consider the different devices and screen sizes your website will be most often viewed on. You should therefore consider what device types you expect most of your traffic to come from.

One study found that 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile, find out more on this here.

Therefore, his may be a clue that owning a website that functions well on a mobile phone should be one of your top priorities.

Choose the right visual builder or a responsive design framework

A responsive design framework is a collection of pre-designed templates, styles, and components that you can use to create a responsive website quickly. Though this will require some coding, where coding experience and research will greatly help.

Some popular responsive design frameworks include Bootstrap and Foundation.

These frameworks are built with responsive design principles in mind, so they will save you a lot of time and effort in creating a responsive website.

If you are less familiar with coding and do not want a bespoke responsive design, using a visual builder is another good alternative. Some visual builders will allow you to build a responsive version of your site with NO code at all. The responsive versions may not look perfect but will be more usable than if you did not use responsive design at all.

Good examples of responsive visual builders include Squarespace, WordPress Block Editor and Elementor.

Top tip :

If like us you are using WordPress, we would recommend a WordPress theme such as Divi Builder which allows you to easily create responsive pages for all devices. It also allows you to test out CSS easily and get the responsive design you want.

Design your website

When designing a responsive website, you should think back to your plan and consider the different devices your website will be viewed on.

One technique is to use a mobile-first approach, which means designing for mobile devices first and then scaling up to larger screens.

Though we think this can be counter intuitive when you go from designing for a mobile screen size to a laptop screen size. To achieve cohesion and clarity we would recommend designing the desktop design first and then using this to guide your mobile design.

Some visual builders will give you a rough outline of what the mobile version should look like and then you can customise it to your liking.

Use responsive images

Images can take up a lot of bandwidth and slow down your website’s loading time, especially on mobile devices with slower internet speeds.
To ensure your website loads quickly on all devices, you should use responsive images.

Responsive images are images that are optimized for different screen sizes and device types. This means that an image on mobile should be of lower resolution than an image used for a desktop. To do this you can use Photoshop and ‘Save for Web’ using high or mid quality. This will ensure the image is of good quality but is not taking up too much space on your server and more importantly is not taking too long to load.

Test your website

Before launching your website, you need to test it on different devices and screen sizes. This will help you check that your website looks and works as expected, on the required devices. You can use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and BrowserStack to test your website.

Optimize for speed

Website speed is an important factor in user experience and search engine rankings. To optimize your website for speed, you should compress images, minify CSS and JavaScript files, use caching, and optimize your server’s configuration.

Launch your website

Once you have completed all the steps above, it’s time to launch your website. You should monitor your website’s performance and user feedback and make any necessary adjustments.

In conclusion, creating a responsive website requires careful planning, design, and development. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a website that looks and works great on all devices and provides a great user experience.

Get in touch now to further discuss your project.