Responsive website design made easy

On 22/05/2013

In Website design

The Internet and devices used to access it have moved a long way from their more humble beginnings. It used to be simple to design a website, with pretty much only one way to access it online: from a fixed computer screen, that wasn’t very big. Times have changed, and these days it’s almost impossible de know what kind of screen or device will be used to view web pages when you first begin to create a website. That makes it hard to make decisions about key website design principles, like the size of the site and its content, and how best to layout pages and site navigation.

Although a response to this problem has been around for a while, it’s not until very recently that designing websites with all kinds of different screen resolutions in mind has really gained momentum among web designers.


Make a responsive website

To adapt your website and its content to screens big and small, from wide-screen PCs to small-screen tablets and smartphones, we’ve already made it easy for you, with an option to enable a mobile-device-specific version of your site, and a mobile-ready website design to go along with it.

But that means having two site designs, each one adapted to a specific kind of device: regular PCs, and mobile devices. If you’d rather have a one-size-fits-all site design, adapted to all screen sizes, you can now do that too.

The new responsive website design templates are built from the ground up to adapt to whatever screen is used to view your website. Using a responsive website theme means you don’t need to enable two different themes for mobile devices and regular screens; the content of your site, from image sizes to menu layouts, will adjust automatically to suit the size of the screen used to display it, meaning one theme with an optimized site layout for all visitors, no matter what they use to view your site.

To replace your existing site theme with the new responsive website theme, head to the Settings > Design menu. If you save your current theme under the Themes > My theme tab, you can try out the responsive theme and reapply your old theme if you’d like, with a couple of clicks.


New website content features

We’ve taken advantage of the responsive website theme to add a few new features, exclusive to this theme. From the design settings page, you can add a search box in the site header, or enable a shortcut to the store cart at the top of site pages.

For online store owners, there’s also a new store product image zoom feature built right in – move your mouse over product images on your site pages to zoom into the image.


Flexible email templates

Your site manager has also seen a related change that everyone can take advantage of, whether or not they’re using a responsive site design theme.

We’ve recently improved the look and feel of site emails, with a new responsive site email layout. Your site emails are sent automatically when customers order goods on your online store, subscribe to your newsletters, receive a reply to a request via a contact form, or are informed that their site submission to your online website directory has been approved and published online.

Responsive website emails means they’re also adapted to the kind of device used for viewing them, ensuring they always look their best.

To see the results, or to edit your site email template at any time, head to Settings > Global settings > Email template.