7 Tips for Building a Responsive Website in 2022

Estimated read time: 8 minutes

If you still don’t have a responsive website in 2022 with all functionalities available let’s get to it.  I wish I wouldn’t have to write sentences like that but the reality is that some sites still have functionalities that don’t work on all devices:

To comment please visit the full site.

Visit the full site to make a payment.

Please use your desktop to do XYZ.

I appreciate the honesty and even the difficulty of offering all services on all devices.  But things should just work on all devices.

Mobile light?

First off: I don’t believe that mobile users should get a light version of a website just because somebody at some point may have thought that people only use their phones to look up directions or phone numbers. People use their mobile devices everywhere and for anything now.

So how can we make sure people get what they want … or might want (once they know it’s there)?

  1. Define your content strategy. What do you share with the public and why?
  2. Get decision makers’ buy-in that you want to reach people no matter what devices they use.
  3. Watch your analytics. Where are people actually coming from? What device do they use? What are they doing once they get to your site? What devices are they using?
  4. Find a good developer that can help you get there. If you have a self-hosted WordPress site there are plenty of developers out there that can help. You could also start with an out-of-the-box responsive theme.
  5. Test, test, test and keep watching user behavior. Then adjust your site. Let’s say you see a trend that mobile users do indeed look for different sections of your site when compared to desktop site users. Respond by perhaps highlighting that section differently on mobile. But, that doesn’t mean to eliminate the other sections.

  6. Use technology that works on all devices. Or at least strive for this. At the least this means: Don’t use flash, which does not work on iPads and iPhones. If you have videos I would suggest YouTube since those videos – even when embedded – work on most devices. WordPress also now allows direct uploads of videos. Those work on mobile, too.

The  case for a responsive website

Let’s make it easy for the end user. If we can offer a good user experience with relevant content we can build our audience, gain customers and build a community.

Google rolled out its mobile-first Index update, making the search algorithm more favorable to mobile-oriented websites. 

Desktop-only sites are being dropped from Google’s index altogether. This means that if your website is desktop-oriented or desktop-only, it is time to start making some changes. 

Google’s decision comes as no surprise to any self-respecting web design company. The number of people accessing the world’s most prominent search engines through smartphones and tablets has been steadily increasing for some time, and web designers are continually working on creating more responsive, mobile-first solutions.

Let’s take a look at what it means to have a responsive website in 2022. 

What Constitutes a Responsive Website in 2022?

More responsive websites improve usability and readability on smartphones and other devices, so there’s a direct correlation between responsive design and user experience. A responsive website can seamlessly adapt to the various devices that consumers use to access it. 

Considering the rising numbers of users accessing websites from smartphones and tablets, as well as the mobile-first index we mentioned earlier, any web design strategy in 2022 must have responsiveness at its core. Neglecting this concept is likely to lead to impaired campaign performance and a decrease in sales.

Read next: A/B testing tools – A demo of Google Optimize

How to Make Your Website Responsive

Here is an easy-to-follow list of practices you can implement to offer your customers the best experience regardless of their chosen device.

1. Keep Things Simple

Keeping your website simple and free from excessive embellishments and animations is a crucial point. This will allow the site to provide its visitors with a slick and smooth experience, no matter which device they happen to be using.

Rather than thinking of this as a function-oriented compromise you’re forced to make, think of it as a win-win scenario; a well-done minimalistic aesthetic will make your website look especially appealing to a modern audience. 

Clear and simple user interfaces are gaining popularity by the day and offer a way to make your calls to action stand out even more — a point which we will discuss in a bit more detail later.

This can also help you be on the right track to make your website accessible.

2. Focus on Making Responsive Pages 

We don’t need to tell you that desktops, smartphones and tablets all have different-sized screens. This means that the elements of your site that fit the screen perfectly on one device may not come out looking that great on another.

Imagine a desktop-oriented site that features all kinds of information on its homepage, including links to other pages, customer experiences, calls to action, etc. You may think that all of these elements are essential to your presentation, but you’ll have a hard time transferring this concept to a smartphone screen.

This is why you should adopt a mobile-first strategy when creating your homepage and all pages. You may need to think hard about which elements of your site truly are essential and make a conscious choice of what to display on its smartphone version.

Remember that some users don’t even enter through your homepage. They might get to your website through an article or another landing page.

3. Make Your CTAs Pop

Your website likely has a call-to-action that you want your prospective customers to complete. It might be signing up for an app or buying an item from your online store. If you’re going to give people the best possible chance to do this, you’ll need to feature a primary call-to-action on your page.

Also don’t over-do your calls to action.

The best way to do this is to make the CTA stand out from the rest of the page. You may want to enlist the help of a digital marketing agency to make the CTA as effective as possible on all platforms.

Read next: Small business websites – How to create one quickly and what to include

4. Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly

Users today are not exactly patient when it comes to waiting for websites to load. Attention spans are limited. Most people will jump ship if your site hasn’t finished loading within a few seconds. The negative effect of this is two-fold: 

  1. You lose a potential customer
  2. Your website gets a bad mark in Google’s rankings

Having too many users abandon your site before it loads is a big problem for SEO, and it can lead to fewer people seeing the site. If it takes more than two or three seconds for your website to load on a fast internet connection, it’s time to make some changes.

5. Think Carefully About Your Fonts

Typography should be a primary concern when you’re trying to build a responsive website. Visitors shouldn’t have to strain their eyes to read your content, regardless of the device they’re using.

If your font is too small or otherwise difficult to read, you will lose prospective customers before having a chance to convert them. For a truly responsive website, ensure that the font sizes complement the device they’re viewed on.

That said, try to avoid using too many different styles. This can dilute your brand identity, along with making the website seem unorganized and scattered. There are four factors to consider when it comes to responsive typography:

  • Text amount
  • Font style and size
  • Line lengths and hierarchy levels
  • Color contrast

Also make sure to follow best practices. Some users use the zoom in function on their devices and you want to make sure your website works when they zoom in.

This is called dynamic type and typically works just fine in Safari.

6. Keep Things Interesting with Interactive Elements

This step is all about engaging the site’s visitors. Fun interactive design choices can be the difference between a dull website and an entertaining one. 

Still keep things simple but there are lots of ways to include creative animations and interactive elements without making the site cluttered. The trick is to find the balance.

Read next: What’s the best way to display photos on websites for mobile users?

Visual content is highly important in content marketing and infographics that are actually viewable on mobile are even more important.

So how do you create an infographic that can be viewed on mobile devices? We might even call them optimized for mobile.

Here’s an example from BUILDINGS media.

As you can see that infographic is easily viewable from smartphones and larger screens. That’s really how infographics should be developed. The trick, since you can’t actually create them in a responsive design yet in 2022, is to have the text large enough to be readable on all current sizes of screens.

Consider a one-column design as well. That makes it even more readable on mobile.

7. Use Personalized Content

A website’s responsiveness is not only determined by its ability to adapt to different screens and devices. The most advanced websites out there respond to their visitors’ interests, presenting them with personalized content. 

What your website shows each customer can change depending on their location, search terms, or the sites they have visited.

Personalized content is becoming more relevant each day, and it is a key component when it comes to keeping your conversion rates high.

Parts of this article were originally a submitted article on the importance of having a responsive website is supported by Digital Silk. Thanks for the support and I hope everyone finds this content helpful. 

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