Responsive Web Design & Development

Building a mobile website that can also be accessed from a desktop browser requires development in a web design that is responsive. This means ditching a mobile-friendly website and updating a single site that will be accessed by various users. The benefit of responsive web design is the ability to have one design that will look the same on any screen.

Advantages
The use of a single design means your website will be adaptive to any size screen on a smartphone, a tablet, and even on a desktop. This will save money on web development as you no longer need to update multiple versions of your website. You will also benefit by having a single site that is indexed by Google. Analytics for website usage will be on a single report and will be easier for you to see results.Design
A responsive web design will not require the use of server-side scripts or components. All the work for your site is done using underlying CSS to change the layout of your site. Earlier methods that were used for the development of responsive design looked at the browser and device being used. Current methods for responsive design do not care about these variables.Getting Started
The use of responsive design for web development requires only CSS and pure HTML. This means the design of a website will require CSS rules to change the layout based on the screen size of a device. Rules can be set to change font size based on screen resolution or to hide elements, such as the scroll bar. The variabkles to include in CSS is unlimited.

Resolution Support
The use of Google Analytics gives a website owner insight into the average screen resolutions used by mobile devices accessing your website. This allows you to limit the resolutions to include in your CSS media queries. Common resolutions to use include 1024px for desktop and horizontal iPad screens, 768px for a vertical iPad screen and Galaxy Tab devices, 600px for an Android tablet, 489px for a vertical iPhone screen, and 320px for a horizontal iPhone screen.

Media Queries Example

Linking to a CSS file:
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen and (max-device-width: 480px)" href="example.css" />
Code example inside the CSS:
@media screen and (min-width: 480px) {
.content {
float: left;
}
.social_icons {
display: none
}
// and so on...
}
Example of Good Design
One example of good responsive web design is the website of the Boston Globe. The navigation is scrollable and looks the same on a re-sized browser or a mobile device. There are section tabs on the top of the page that make navigation easy using a mobile browser or desktop browser.

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