What is Responsive web design?
Responsive web design is act of developing a website that morphs to fit the device its being viewed on.
How does it differ from having a mobile website?
A mobile website is designed and developed to be separate from your company's main website and is created specifically for mobile phones. A responsive website reshapes itself based on the size of the device its being viewed on and can be optimized for desktop computers and various sizes of tables and mobile phones.
How does responsive design work?
From a development perspective, rules are set for most sections and objects on a page for various device widths. These objects can be resized, moved to another section of the page or hidden allowing appropriate content to be displayed in the most optimal place on a page.
Mobile phones and tablets display my site, why bother?
Most websites are designed for large computer screens and as such have large graphics that make the content more appealing. Mobile phones and tablets resize all of the content to make it fit, but in doing so decrease the size of fonts making it more difficult to read. Responsive web design allows us to control the size of fonts and image sizes separately for each browser size so graphics do not take up as much space and fonts appear larger and are more readable on smaller devices.
What else can responsive design do?
With the ability to display content differently based on the device size, we have the ability to display content in a format that best suits the device. For example, a large site may contain many pages that are irrelevant to someone on a mobile phone. A mobile user is likely more interesed in finding your phone number, finding your location, or filling out a simple contact form. These options can be made more prominant on a mobile device than on a tablet or desktop computer. Other less important items can be completely hidden/removed if they take up precious space to avoid scrolling.