Thursday, 21 August 2014

It's good to be responsive

As a web developer, it is my job to keep up to date with the ever changing and constantly evolving internet industry. Whether it’s researching some stupid new legislation devised by an impotent politician whose only experience of the internet is porn, or learning about new programming languages, SEO tricks, social networking fads and what is new and in fashion in terms of design.

The internet industry moves very quickly. Technology moves at an alarming rate and tastes and fashions change too. Basically, if your website is over 5 years old, you might as well not have one. With desktop monitors getting bigger all the time, mobile browsing becoming more and more popular and social media/apps changing the way people use the internet, tastes and requirements have changed significantly over the last few years.

Largely because of the dawn of mobile browsing, responsive websites have become the new “it” thing. When I first heard the term “responsive website”. I had absolutely no idea what it meant. I assumed it just meant a website that was interactive or did something responsive based on a user’s input, which is what 99% of the websites I’ve built over the last 13 years have been.

It actually refers to a site that dynamically adjusts its own layout depending on the size and type of browser that it’s being viewed on. So for instance, if you looked at it on a big desktop monitor and then shrank the window, you would see it realign itself and change right before your eyes. It’s very clever.

This is good because it negates the need to create a separate mobile version of a website which means it is more economical for the customer and means I don’t have to build two different sites.

Of course it also means everything that was built prior to the dawn of responsive sites is now out of date. This is annoying because, having spent the last couple of years redesigning our suite of apps and control panels to match our company branding and website, I now have to recode most of it again to accommodate the responsiveness. Of course this does also mean that we can now offer our clients the chance to rebuild their sites and, in the process, make them look nicer too (because, let’s face it, what may have looked good 5 years ago almost certainly looks rubbish now).

So if you don’t want a tired, dreary and unfashionable website but want something new, exciting and responsive, Datapartners can can help. Below are just some of the sites we have started to rebuild as responsive. Check them out.