January 31, 2018

How to make a site responsive

So you want to learn how to make a site responsive?

If you clicked on this article you likely have an older website that needs some love. It's running into problems or you are getting complaints from customers.
Have no fear, in this article we are going to cover how to make a site responsive and some possible drawbacks if you are on the fence.

What is a responsive website?

A long time ago when the web was first being built back in the first days of the internet, we were starting to figure this out. HTML was booming Geocities and Angelfire was the place to be and all was at peace.
Then came the birth of CSS and the next thing you know everything was turned on its head. People had a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that a standard webpage could look completely different with two different styles sheets.
Move forward years later and now we have devices which bring upon on the responsive apocalypse.
Responsive websites are a way of saying a website that can shrink, stretch or otherwise fit any device known to man. This is achieved most often by the use of CSS.
CSS uses a set of media queries to trigger certain styles on your page. Think of it like a car with a drop top, CSS is the button you hit when it starts to rain to bring up the top.
While this all sounds very technical the only thing you need to know is that a site that is not mobile friendly and responsive is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Let's dive in and find out how to make a site responsive.

How do I know if my site is a responsive website?

how to make a site responsiveThe easiest method for determining if your website is responsive is to open the site on your phone and look at it. Are things broken or cut off? Then it's not responsive or badly coded.
Most modern web builders such as Elementor or Divi have built-in responsiveness to their page builders which means you will hardly have to do a thing.
Wix and Squarespace have the same unique properties. And the same can be said of WordPress, Joomla, and almost every other modern CMS.
So what if my site is broken or not responsive? You have an older HTML based site or a third party that doesn't care about web standards.
You should most likely fire them.
But I digress. Let's find out why being responsive matters and what you need to do to get there.

Why responsive websites matter to Google and other search engines

Do you ever think Google is like a witch with a crystal ball? Well, guess what, they kind of are. Google often makes the rules for anything web and people follow them like puppies.
A while back Google decided if your website isn't mobile(responsive) then you are going to be hit with a penalty. That means if you have two websites that start on the same day, publish the same content, the same everything.
The one that is responsive or mobile friendly will rank higher than one that does not. That is a big deal!
That means to stay competitive websites have to understand, if you aren't mobile, then your dead to Google.
I have my assumptions but I believe that by 2020 we will see a complete deindexing of sites that are not mobile friendly, they will fade away.
For a small business owner, this is scary. You want to be in a spot where your website can generate some sort of leads/answer questions and it can't do that when it's not responsive.
Did you know higher bounce rates signal Google that it's a bad site? 
Bounce rates is a term used by analytic junkies that basically tell Google, this site isn't a quality site. Google has gotten so smart they don't even need people to tell them the website sucks, they can just use bounce rates to determine.
That means that Google is in a constant battle to only serve pages that are of the highest quality. Meanwhile completely burying those that are of poor design.
So I know what you are saying, okay I get it. How to make my site responsive today.
Let's look at what it's going to take to how to make a site responsive and why you are likely thinking down the wrong frame of mind.

Learning how to make a site responsive

If you have a website currently that is not passing the test about and you're shaking your head at this, you've come to the right place.
In order to make the website more mobile friendly, you need to hire someone.
Wait a second, what if I want to do it myself? Keep cost low, you know what I mean.
Well then, I would recommend something like Wix, Squarespace or WordPress but start from scratch. All these options will give you responsive websites from day one.
Yes, you will have a lot of work in front of you converting you information over but at the end of the day, it's an old site. You most likely needed to do it ages ago.
Wait, so there's no magic button or something I can do to just make it responsive?
Sure, look. If your website is not responsive today. Someone can code the site to meet today's standards but guess what it's not worth it. In most cases, most sites need to be simply redone.
Think of it like driving an old car.
  • Can that old car get a backup camera? Sure.
  • Can it have navigation? Sure.
  • Can it get Bluetooth with an adapter? 100%.
But the problem is the money someone would spend to do all of that doesn't make any sense when you could simply find an affordable new car with fewer bells and whistles.
It cost a lot of money to be on the bleeding edge. You don't want to live there but you want to know what is available. You need to keep a finger on the pulse, so you know when it's time to make a move.

Your customers and prospects will thank you

This sounds like a weird thing to say but it's often very true. There are plenty of products I've wanted to buy over the years but terrible website has turned me away.
Being responsive may seem like a buzzword but the fact these modern businesses need to accept it. Responsive websites are here to stay and you can either swim with the fishes or sink to the bottom of the ocean.
If you still have questions or you're unsure if your website is responsive try getting a free website consultation. Many website designs will often do this for free, we certainly do.
I hope this article has helped teach you how to make a site responsive. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up with [email protected]

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