Websites: Responsive vs. Adaptive vs. Switchy vs. Mobile Site vs. Mobile Version vs. Mobile First

This is an article for anyone thinking about having a new Responsive Website made, or having an existing website converted to a Responsive Design. Its a quick rundown to take the mystery out of terms you might hear when talking to a potential designer for your project.

So you want a website that looks right and gives the visitor a good experience on any device. Here are some choices:

Responsive Design: These websites figure out what device the visitor is using by issuing “media queries”. Once the website figures out if it’s a phone, a tablet, a desktop or whatever, the website automatically resizes elements and moves them around to optimize readability, menu function, and general user experience. Technically, responsive websites are built on a “fluid grid”, so you might hear that term. There is no particular reason why you need to know what it means. If you really care, fluid grid design assigns space to elements in terms of a percentage of the viewable area.

Responsive Design is generally the best choice in web design for a small business. Read more

Preserving Search Engine ranking when doing a responsive website redesign

Converting a fixed-layout website to a responsive design website can ruin search engine ranking unless the responsive website redesign is done right. On the other hand, a conversion done the right way will usually raise search engine ranking, simply because most existing websites are not particularly search engine friendly. All the responsive websites I make are search engine friendly.

“Search engine friendly” simply means that the site structure allows the search engine bots to easily access every page and post, menus are such that the search engines can figure out where the really important pages are, and the text on those pages is organized so the search engines can figure out which words and phrases are most relevant to the central theme of the website.

The main reason redesigns ruin ranking is because many designers don’t take care to preserve all of the URLs – not just URLs for pages, but for posts, and media too. The first step in doing this right is to Read more

Why I use WordPress for Responsive Website Design

I use WordPress because it let’s me provide my clients great value. For a small fraction of what it would have cost a few years ago, I can design and build a website that works nearly perfectly at all screen sizes and looks great. For a reasonable fee, my client gets a site that meets their needs today and has the flexibility to adapt to nearly any new requirement in the future.

WordPress began life as a Blogging platform, and has grown on that foundation. Because of that anyone who is technical enough to publish a blog post can easily learn to update many parts of their site (nearly all the text and media for example) on their own. So not only does WordPress save my clients a ton of money initially, those savings continue into the future.

There are several reasons that WordPress works so well for me and my clients.

1. WordPress websites are built on “themes”. Good themes are – in very general terms – beautiful, functional, 80% completed websites. That 80% head start quite literally allows me to create finished websites for 20% of the cost of the same website built from scratch. There are themes and themes, but the premium WordPress themes that I use are created by some of the most talented programmers and designers Read more