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How To Use Tools To Build A Responsive Website

Building a responsive website is using HTML and CSS to resize, hide, or format the website for multiple devices. According to one statistic, 20 percent of Americans are mobile only. That means they almost exclusively use their mobile phones to access the internet. Google advises users to make their sites mobile friendly if they want to improve their SEO (search engine optimization) efforts.

Making your website responsive and mobile friendly may seem like a complicated task, but you can use tools to build your own site in a relatively short period. In this article, we look at how to build a simple site. It is an outline of the concepts and basic steps you need to make a responsive website.

Making It Responsive

Using HTML you can add a viewport. A viewport is a meta element that defines the screen and content for the page. It is a simple line of code that takes the following form:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>

Before you can proceed you will need to define the structure of your page. Create outlines for both the mobile and computer window versions. Avoid styling at this stage.

Mobile-first Web Development

It is important to apply the mobile-first web development concept when designing the overall structure of your page. If you start with a desktop screen, designing for simpler mobile devices may prove to be challenging. You may end up creating a site that works well on a bigger screen but frustrates mobile phone-using visitors due to its poor mobile user interface design.

Depending on the interface you are trying to achieve, you may want to start by creating a three-column website. Define the <div> element (division element), the rows, and the columns for the simple screens that your users will need. You can enhance this design by adding styling and other features.

Using Tools

If you have basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, you can build a responsive website by writing code on your favorite text editor. That process may be time-consuming for beginners who want to build a simple site.

With the following tools, you can build a responsive website using simple drag-and-drop techniques. Some tools you can use include:

Bootstrap

Bootstrap is a popular open source toolkit for front-end web framework. There are CSS, HTML, and JavaScript templates you can use for the forms, buttons, and navigation elements of your website. You can customize the elements to change properties such as color, size, and shape.

Part of the reason Bootstrap is so popular is the vast collection of elements it offers. They are designed in line with the latest standards of web design and virtually all of its elements work with responsive design. Additionally, Bootstrap is a popular and open source resource. This means that it offers an open online community that allows users to ask questions and exchange ideas.

Webflow Site Builder

Like most tools for building a responsive website, the Webflow site builder uses templates as building blocks. The aim of the builder is to develop a full-featured tool kit to allow designers, coders, and business people to develop their own sites.

Designers can create complex designs using the builder’s visual designer. The visual designer tool can generate transitions, floats, sidebars, and animations without requiring people to write each line of code. The builder has many online video tutorials on sites such as YouTube.

Imagify

If you are building a website that features many images, you need to ensure that different devices can correctly display them. Consider both the dimensions and the file sizes of the images to ensure that the site loads properly. Formatting the images manually can reduce their quality.

Imagify is a WordPress plug-in that will allow you to optimize your website images as you go. If you have an image-heavy site and you are having problems loading the site, you should consider using this tool. According to The HTTP Archive, images take 20 percent of the page’s weight on desktop devices and 40 percent on mobile devices. Page weight is a measurement of the time it takes for a page to load and other factors.

Wirefy

Wirefy may be another effective tool for web designers, especially if they want to work with wireframes, which are like blueprints for sites. The tool requires some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, more knowledge than you would need for tools such as Webflow.

The iterative approach used by Wirefy to create wireframes makes the process smoother. The site has a good collection of templates created specifically for responsive design. Programmers and designers may find the templates fairly easy to use.

Choosing tools for your responsive web design project will depend on the process and task. Some tools support collaborative and iterative design processes. Other tools are designed to make it easier for individuals and designers to create their own sites. Many of these tools do not require extensive knowledge of HTML and CSS. However, it is always useful to have more than a basic grasp of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Author Bio:

Nicole is a freelance writer and educator based in the Michigan and believes that her writing is an extension of her career as a tutor. She covers many topics like travel, mental health and education. She is a key contributor to Chapters Capistrano’s website where she covers topics like addiction recovery, holistic treatments and health education. When she isn’t writing, you might find Nicole running, hiking, and swimming. She has participated in several 10K races and hopes to compete in a marathon one day.

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