One of the most common questions I receive when discussing a website project with a potential client is "will it be responsive?" For quite some time all the major search engines have been actively demoting websites that do not have responsive layouts. So, the answer to this question should always be "yes" regardless of the available budget.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive design is in place when a website layout properly adjusts itself to the viewer's unique screen size. It has become immensely popular since the rise of smartphones in the early 2000s and became essential within the past several years.
How Does it Work?
The content of the website typically doesn’t change across devices. Instead, the theme carries detailed instructions on how to display that same content on different screen sizes. The good news is that almost any modern framework will incorporate responsive design elements from the start. Bootstrap, NationBuilder public themes, and most WordPress themes automatically adjust based on whether a computer, smartphone or tablet is in use.
When a webpage is loading the browser typically conveys which device or screen size is being used. Using mainly Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) the appropriate design elements are pre-configured for displaying the content. Website visitors generally remain blissfully unaware of this internal design working behind the scenes. They immediately see the end result in the form of a properly formatted website.
Why Should You Always Utilize a Fully Responsive Design?
There are a number of reasons why a web designer should always deploy a fully responsive layout. Let's quickly delve into what these factors are and why they are important.Read more
Popular sites generally have a lot of content and many visitors simultaneously. During peak hours this can place heavy stress on an under-powered server environment, leading to slow performance or potentially downtime. Since the rise of widespread residential and commercial broadband adoption internationally, numerous solutions had been found to mitigate or prevent this issue entirely.
On one end of the spectrum is the website Craigslist.org which is hugely popular in terms of US-based traffic, but the website itself is extremely lightweight to minimize memory and bandwidth usage. In contrast, top 50 websites like Reddit and Imgur regularly go offline as a result of their massive popularity. Whether the downtime is a result of a specific traffic spike, malicious attack or website configuration issues, the result is almost universally negative. Everyone knows it is imperative that the website's performance is guaranteed. To make sure that a website continues to perform well under load we can distribute static website content to multiple servers across the globe. With the use of a reliable content delivery network (CDN) many traditional hosting concerns are eliminated. In this post I will address the less technical aspects of CDNs and provide some basic use case examples.
What is a Content Delivery Network?
A CDN is a large networked system of multiple synchronized servers, usually constructed in different locations worldwide. It is primarily used to deliver content in a quick and efficient manner to each unique website visitor. A few major commercial suppliers of CDNs are Akamai, MaxCDN, Fastly, Limelight and Amazon CloudFront. There are also free or low cost CDN providers like CloudFlare and CDNify. The NationBuilder platform is deeply integrated with CDN technology from the start, and WordPress offers the functionality through extensions.Read more