The word mobile-friendly or responsive is now part of our daily vocabulary – but what exactly does it mean?
A website that is ‘mobile responsive’ is designed to provide an optimal viewing experience in all browsers. This means that rather than simply re-sizing the entire site to fit proportionately into a browser window, a responsive site will creatively reorganize the elements in a way that promotes easy reading, navigation, and scrolling in order to optimize the user experience. All of the elements are placed on a flexible grid and simultaneously resize accordingly as the browser window changes. Photos, for example, may realign themselves from a row to a column for a better viewing experience. To witness the effect, try dragging the handlebars on the browser window on your desktop computer or just compare the difference in the appearance of a website as it appears on different devices.
With more than 50% of online traffic coming from mobile devices – mobile responsiveness is a trend that is not going away. In fact, Google is penalizing those websites that have not adopted a responsive theme. I have included images below from a site that I recently upgraded from a WordPress theme that was not behaving well on mobile platforms. Open Meadow Homes now has a thumbs up from Google.