With website visitors choosing a range of devices and screen sizes to browse the online world, creating responsive sites isn’t just desirable – it’s essential. We’ve created a checklist of five basic principles to keep in mind when planning your responsive website.

Create the Content First

Trying to squeeze your all-important content into a space that’s too large or too small won’t do any justice to your message. Rather than letting the aesthetics of your site dictate the content, strive for a content-first approach. It will let your content have the amount of space it needs to really sing out.

Say Goodbye to Photoshop

Photoshopped images of how your site will look on a variety of browsers are all very well. But the finished website is never going to live up to your expectations, since it’s been created in a very different way. As experienced creators of great web design in Richmond, we know that our clients want to see actual representations of their site, not Photoshopped mock-ups.

Work with a Design Library

The most effective website developers create their own design libraries. This allows them to offer clients a portfolio of design elements that have been tried and tested, leading to improved workflows. More flexible than the templates offered by website-building software companies, these design libraries give developers speedy access to a range of elements, including fonts, colours and icons, which can easily be adapted to suit individual needs.

Aim for Universal Design

With web visitors potentially visiting your website on desktop monitors, laptops, tablets and a variety of smartphone screen sizes, ensuring that everyone has the same seamless experience is key. That means taking into account the areas of the screen that visitors have available for touching and swiping, as well as considering where ‘the fold’ might occur on a range of devices. Having a website that can’t be viewed by some of your potential customers is a very grave error, so the website needs to undergo extensive testing before it’s released for general viewing.

Fast Loading Speeds Are Essential

It’s a well-known fact that website visitors only have a limited amount of patience. If your website takes longer than 3-5 seconds to load into a device browser, there’s a very good chance that your prospective customer will head off elsewhere and may never return. So you need to check that your site loads as fast as possible across all platforms, not just your own laptop or smartphone. If the pages are taking too long to load, think about trimming down your colour scheme or exporting bulky files. This is a hugely important part of the process, since no matter how beautiful, relevant or informative your website is, if visitors can’t access it quickly they probably won’t bother to view it at all.