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Responsive Web Design Explained

web developmentResponsive web design has become a very common buzzword in web design circles. It refers to a technique of web design which builds sites that can work with any kind of screen. Whether someone views the site from a computer or a smartphone, they will be able to navigate the pages and read the content without a problem. The following are some of the characteristics of responsive web design.

1. Displays only the necessary content

Having excess content on a small screen will only make it appear messy and unprofessional. Responsive web design allows you to hide some content and only display what is essential. For instance, a computer screen can accommodate up to five or more items in the navigation menu.  However, a smaller screen would look cluttered with all these items. To make the design mobile friendly, it would be advisable to have only the important menu items displayed. Only reveal the rest when the user requires them.

2. Built for touchscreens

Nowadays, most mobile users have touchscreen devices. Responsive web design recognizes this fact and ensures that the site design is intuitive. Your links and buttons need to be large enough to be tapped easily. In addition, make sure you have a sufficient distance between your links.

3. Flexible elements

Mobile devices vary in terms of screen size, operating system and default browser, among other specifications. This makes it very challenging to build a site which will work regardless of the mobile device being used.  Responsive web design allows you to adjust different elements to suit the screen of the mobile device. For instance, images that appear large on a computer screen will be automatically adjusted to fit a smaller screen. This means that you won’t have to scroll to view the full image. Text will also be resized appropriately so that it can be read easily on any kind of screen.  The layout will be adjusted to suit different screens. For instance, large screens might show three columns, while smaller screens show only one.

Here are some of the advantages of responsive web design:

  • It is nothing new, really

For some web developers, responsive web design sounds like rocket science. However, there is really nothing new when it comes to this kind of design. It relies on the same kind of programming language and coding which is used to develop normal sites. If you are familiar with CSS and HTML, you are good to go. Even if you don’t have technical knowledge or programming or coding, you can you can use WordPress for responsive design.

  • Saves costs

The best thing about responsive design is that you don’t have to create different pages for different kinds of screens. You can create one set of pages which will work whether viewed from tablets, laptops, smartphones or desktops. Since you don’t have to create separate pages, this will mean lower web development costs. In addition, you having one set of  pages will make it easier for you to manage  your  website.

  • Makes your site futuristic     

Every day, more and more people are using their iPads, tablets and smartphones to access the internet. In addition, newer and more innovative mobile devices are being created. Responsive web design allows you to build a site which will withstand the innovations of the future. You won’t have to constantly change your design based on the new developments.

Blog Design – Mistakes to Avoid

ecommerce content‘Content is king’ is a very common statement when it comes to blogs. However, it does not make sense to have great content while your design is unprofessional and not user-friendly. Here are some of the mistakes you need to avoid when designing your blog.

1. Having an uninspiring about page

Your about page is a very important part of your blog. This is where visitors usually go to learn more about you or your business. Therefore, you need to make your about page as interesting as possible. Show some personality and clearly articulate what benefits visitors can enjoy. An intriguing about page will capture the attention of your readers and convince them to explore other pages of your blog.

2. Overusing italics and bold

Italics and bold can be very useful when trying to draw attention to a point or thought. However, these formats should be used very sparingly. Overusing them will make your text very difficult to read and might put off your audience.

3. Concealing your contact details

Contact info is a very important element of your blog. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to reach you. It therefore does not make any sense to place your contact details at the bottom of your page in a barely visible font size. Make sure such information is large enough and prominently displayed so that people don’t have to search for it. Preferably, it should appear above the fold in your navigation bar and on your home page.

4. Adding unnecessary social media icons

 Some people add social media widgets on their blog only for aesthetic purposes. However, this is a big mistake. You shouldn’t just add social media buttons on your blog because other people have them on their sites. You need to be actually active on those platforms. For instance, if you choose to add a Twitter widget, make sure you are tweeting on a regular basis.

5. Flooding your navigation bar with excess options

If your visitors are faced with too many options, they are likely to get confused. When it becomes difficult to make a choice, they might just click away and go elsewhere. Therefore, make sure your navigation bar only contains the bare essentials. If you have many categories, you could consider using drop-down menus to display the options.

6. Using dark backgrounds

When it comes to backgrounds and text, the general rule of thumb is to have black text on a white background. However, some blog designers decide to go against the grain and have white text on a black background. This is a big mistake since reading such pages is strenuous on the eyes. As a result, most visitors to such blogs will simply leave and go elsewhere.

7. Not adding share buttons

If visitors find your content interesting or helpful, they might want to share it with other people in their networks. Placing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Google+ share buttons on your blog pages will make it easy for your content to be shared with just one click. The more people share your content, the more exposure you get.

8. Spelling out your email address

There are hordes of unscrupulous individuals out there who target sites and blogs to harvest email addresses. Such addresses may be used to build illicit mailing lists or even commit fraud. To protect yourself from such attacks, it would be advisable not to spell out your email address. For instance, instead of writing suegrant@gmail.com, you could have suegrant [at] gmail [dot] com.