Responsive Website Building: Why Is It Important These Days? - Semalt Expert Advice

Although building responsive websites seems to us today to be something that is taken for granted, it wasn't always like that…

It happened in the first half of 2015, when webmasters all over the world woke up to what they mistakenly thought was another routine morning. They brushed their teeth, drank coffee, read the news headlines, opened the computer, and started checking their website locations.

Surprisingly and disappointingly many of the sites ranked up to this point in the first pages of Google's Search engine with a plethora of keywords degenerated into pages that no one has reached, or will reach - somewhere on the tenth or twentieth results page.

What happened?

And if this sounds like the movie Armageddon to you (in Christianity it means "end of the world") you are absolutely right. "The end of the world" best expresses the feeling that publishers and site promoters have received in the face about the decline of sites down the search results.

What has changed? And why have the sites deteriorated?

Let's see what Semalt thinks about this and what solution these experts provide you.

Google's new algorithm update

To tell the truth, already in early February 2015 Google started sending hints that a new and significant algorithm update was about to come out. But many publishers were unprepared for this and did not know what would be in the update.

Then came April 2015 and with it came the understanding and internalization that from now on to get to the top of the search results one must move on to building responsive websites. This is because Google gives priority to sites that are displayed and adapted to all devices. Sites that perform well on all devices will enjoy higher rankings than sites that are not compatible with all devices.

What was behind Google's demand to move to building responsive websites?

The demand to move to build responsive websites may have caught many unprepared, but this demand of Google had a lot of logic and common sense.

What do I mean? I will explain it

If until the beginning of the new millennium most of us used to surf the web through desktops or laptops, then in the current decade many of us surf more through smartphones and tablets. And I'm not just talking about the young people among us. Even my mother, an atonement for her, already surfs more on a smartphone than on a computer.

The thing is that before the Google Update, most of the websites in the world were suitable for displaying computers but not suitable for displaying smartphones or tablets. If you tried to access responsive websites via the smartphone that did not meet the standard of building responsive websites - you would immediately run away from them. As they were messy, with small text and/or unreadable, the buttons were too small and the display did not match the mobile-using experience.

Bottom line: sites that were not compatible with mobile will frustrate and drive the surfers away, reduce the time spent on the site and degrade the sites to forgotten results pages.

This famous update from Google has forced, and rightly so, publishers to adapt their site to all the devices that exist today: desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. And if in the future they invent more devices, we will also have to adapt our sites to them.

This important Google Update actually changed the way we think about website building today and heralded the Mobile First era. It shifted from PC to mobile and is a top priority for the simple reason - more and more people are using smartphones and fewer and fewer computers.

Let's understand in depth what it is like to build responsive websites

Building responsive websites means building websites that respond well to all devices, all technologies (touch technology, for example), and all resolutions.

How do "regular" sites become responsive sites?

First, it is important to check if your website is already responsive. You can check this out in the friendliness test offered by Google, here: 

Just enter the URL of the page you want to check and wait for the results of the analysis.

You may want to open the report and see if the elements on each page need to be improved. Second, follow these tips and tips that will help you in the work of building responsive websites.

Useful tips for building responsive websites

Whether you intend to make your site responsive on your own or whether you approach experts in building responsive websites, these are the elements that are important to keep in mind when developing from scratch or upgrading responsive websites:

Suitable for me: Portrait display and landscape display at responsive sites

Portrait view is suitable for tablets and smartphones while landscape view is suitable for desktops, laptops, and other wide screens. It is important to use these 2 views so that the site will be well displayed on any device and will reveal to the surfers the information on the site in an accessible, clear, and distinct manner.

Let your fingers go in your place: on buttons and links on responsive websites

Building responsive websites also involves the special design of pushbuttons and links. It is very worthwhile to think about the user experience and the interaction of the surfers with links and clickable buttons. [Note: See entry in Search Console in the Mobile Usability section for SEO and website promotion work]. Make sure the pushbuttons are big enough on smartphones, at least the right size for the thumb. Furthermore, make sure they are easy to press with the mouse when browsing desktops or laptops.

Breaking the Lines: Content in Building Responsive Websites

Building responsive websites also requires dilution of information. I will just give you an example: during the creation, you will be confronted with texts that you must leave in the view of the smartphone. However, those texts that you gave up in the view of the smartphone would be taken into account in the view of tablets, desktops, and laptops. It is not possible to put all the information and content we have on a computer-friendly site into a smartphone-friendly site. Fine adjustments need to be made that will make the site functional even on mobile smart devices.

Note that the amount of words entering each line also differs in different views. Therefore, it is also important to adjust the width of the text lines for each device. If devices with a wide display, such as computers, enter about 75 characters in a row, then in a smartphone display you need to keep about 35 characters in a row.

The size of the fonts will also change on responsive sites. In the smartphone view, the font size will be smaller while in the computer view the font can certainly be larger. Note that you can choose a legible and clear font size for each device.

Every professional website builder knows that building responsive websites involves special attention to images in particular and visuals in general. In general, it is important to understand that the more a website is loaded with large and heavy images and videos, the longer its loading time is, ie: it will take longer for the entire site to be exposed to the surfer. And this rule is even more important in smartphones. It is important not to overload a responsive website with many heavy images. In addition, it is important to crop and adjust the images to the different views on the various devices in a proportionate manner.

When building responsive websites, the size of the images must be adjusted to the device.  For computers, the image size will be larger and for smartphones - images should be cut to a smaller size.

For easy and convenient site navigation, use a sticky Heather

Another detail that is important to pay attention to when building responsive websites is the header, at the top of the site. It is highly recommended to make a sticky header that is permanently attached to the top of the screen while browsing the site. Why? Sticky citrus reduces the need for a lot of scrolling and fixes the main menu throughout the browsing time on the site. This allows surfers to easily navigate the site without scrolling too much and searching for the menu - since the menu is fixed and accessible to the surfer no matter where it is - at the bottom of the page or in the middle of the page. The main menu is available and highly visible and can be easily navigated from anywhere on the site. Sticky Heather is both aesthetic and enhances the functionality of smartphones.

Swiping & Scrolling - Website scrolling and scrolling

On smartphones, we are used to swiping our fingers on the screen to move from place to place. On computers, we are used to scrolling up and down with the mouse. Precisely for this reason, it is important when building responsive websites to tailor the user experience to the device. When designing for smartphones, it is worthwhile to combine the possibility of sliding with your fingers, and when adapting the site to a computer, it is worthwhile to allow pages to scroll down and up.

In conclusion

As I pointed out at the top of the article you got up one morning and noticed that your site kept getting lower and lower in the search engine. But you don't know what exactly explains this fact. It is true that this can be due to several reasons. However, the first question you should ask is this: Does my site meet Google's latest criteria?

If this is not the case, hurry up to contact a qualified SEO service so that your site receives quality care in order to regain a good position.

Because building responsive websites is a must nowadays. Unresponsive websites will deter surfers, drive away customers, and also sabotage the possibility of advancing in Google Search Results. Remember that today we only have a few devices for which we need to adapt the site and in the very near future, we will probably have to adapt our site for new devices as well.

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