What is Responsive Web Design and Why Does Your Website Need It

In the past, websites were often relatively primitive and were only meant to be viewed on square CRT desktop monitors that offered a 4:3 aspect ratio. As time and the Internet evolved, computer monitors and desktop monitors became thinner and more rectangular, eventually taking on the current 16:9 aspect ratio that virtually all monitors employ today.

Even further down the line and closer to present day, tablet PCs and mobile phones, most of which also use a 16:9 aspect ratio or something close to it, have gained Internet-browsing capabilities at an incredible speed, and more and more professionals are abandoning the traditional desktop or laptop to use mobile devices exclusively.

SEE ALSO: Is Your Website Changing with Your Readers?

Why This is Important for Your Association

Due to the rise of mobile-device usage, you need to make sure that your association’s web properties are responsive. Responsive web design essentially means that a web page will display correctly across a variety of viewing devices, including desktops, laptops, tablet PCs, and smartphones. When you employ responsive web design, visitors to your association’s web properties will be able to easily view and interact with content without having to deal with tiny text, unplayable videos, and unreachable links.

Think about it like this: if you visited a webpage that didn’t allow you to accurately view its content, or worse, made you work harder to view the content, you’re likely to go somewhere else rather quickly. The same goes for your web properties if they are not accessible by an increasingly mobile generation of professionals.

How to Get Responsive Web Design

If you’re not a developer and you’ve put together your own site, now might be the time to turn to a professional. If you haven’t had a hand in designing your own site and you want to make sure it’s responsive, now is definitely the time to turn to your developer for assistance. As mentioned, the future seems to be trending toward mobile devices that can come in various sizes, so you can’t waste time when it comes to getting a responsive website. In addition, you need to make sure that any social media properties your association utilizes provide for responsive design. This can be done through the actual property, but in the worst case scenario, a dedicated app will do.

Testing is the Key

Once you’ve worked with a developer to create a responsive design, you’ll need to ensure that regular testing takes place so that members and potential members are able to easily, efficiently, and effectively access your content. Keep in mind that upgrades and changes are made to web browsers on desktops and mobile devices, so even if something displays correctly right now, it may not next month. As such, regular testing on multiple devices and platforms is a must for associations that want to offer the best-looking and most-accessible content. Failing to conduct regular testing may meant that you end up losing potential members when you didn’t even know a problem existed.

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