Responsive websites are a popular solution to presenting information across multiple devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. A website being accessed by mobile phone has a completely different document format to a computer screen, and a responsive website caters for this by allowing the content to be horizontally compressed into a tall, narrow format, or a format relevant to the device being used. The purpose of responsive websites is to improve the user experience.
Responsive Website History
In the 90’s there was no need for responsive websites – the default was to view the internet by desktop computer, with the luxury of a large, landscape rectangular viewing portal. However, as internet-accessing mobile phones began to proliferate around 2007, a new demand was imposed on the delivery of websites – the old static approach was no longer a viable solution. More devices followed and the responsive option’s capabilities expanded.
Dealing with information in a fluid format has complexities – especially around images, videos, handling denser clusters of information such as forms, CMS, and integrating non-compatible external functionalities into responsive sites. Furthermore, the responsive aspect does not only relate to aesthetics but also performance – how optimally the information can be presented in addition to how good it looks.
How Do Responsive Websites Work?
Responsive websites work by using CSS media queries to identify the media parameters that the website is being viewed on, and adjusting the display of the website accordingly.