Responsive / Mobile Ready Design

A common mistake people is to assume that responsive web design refers to how “fast” a website is, how quickly images load or how smooth it seems on your device. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In tech speak when we talk about responsive web design you also hear the term “mobile first” used in the same breath. Responsiveness refers to how a website adapts or responds to various viewport widths – that is the actual screen size of a device.

Say for example you are viewing a website in portrait view on your mobile device and on that page is a video that you wish to watch. How does your device react when you change from portrait to landscape mode? If you are in portrait view and the video starts playing and you press the expand icon in the bottom right corner, does the video automatically go into full-view landscape display? If so, then that is what mobile first design or Responsive design is in action.

I personally watch a terrible amount of online video’s and one thing I know for sure that if I watch a tutorial video on some or other new framework or developer tool, then I can rest assured that should I expand the video it will respond to my command effortlessly, but if I watch a news video from a facebook source, this is hardly ever the case.

This just serves to prove one fact beyond any reasonable doubt, although WordPress (which is the CMS powering this site) is an incredibly powerful tool, it can never completely replace developers, after all, it is built by developers, isn’t it?

To ensure that a website is totally and completely responsive, you will need the services of a developer. A developer will code a theme using an IDE and certain languages to ensure fine grain control on how a website behaves and how content is displayed on any given device size. My languages of choice are HTML, CSS, Java and PHP. For each of these languages there are also frameworks or libraries to even further simplify matters

To just use WordPress and create a complete e-commerce website from scratch can be done, but it is really not something I will recommend. Off course there are those who will totally disagree with my and that is ok, the fact still remains. If you can code, then you don’t need to bloat your site with unnecessary plug-ins and widgets. If you can code, you can ensure that every aspect of the website behaves exactly how you intended it to in the planning phase of the development process.

If you are really serious about your brand’s image then there really is no substitute for a good web developer who can write custom code for every page and div for every device. There is nothing worse that searching for a product and going to a website that looks aesthetically appealing with the most beautiful image slider at the top, but low and behold…press the menu button to navigate to other pages and it navigation disappears.

This is when I realise the poor client and owner of this site was fooled by someone who claimed that he/she can develop a four page website with all the bells and whistles for a ridiculous amount that makes us developers frown and wonder, how is it possible?

Short answer is, it isn’t possible, had the person had any coding knowledge at all, even just novice level, then that person would have known that the issue at hand is literally one CSS property and value away from working as intended, just z-index: 1000; that’s it, just that and all would work fine.

Never underestimate the value a developer brings to the table and always question anyone who tells you you don’t need a developer. The CMS that person needs to build a website would not exist if it weren’t for us developers.

So if you want your website to be responsive, then respond to this by employing or contracting people who can actually read and write code.

And remember the golden rule for web development today is: Design for mobile first.

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