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What is a responsive website?

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Quick Answer

A responsive website is a site that has an easily navigable design. A website with responsive web design, also known as RWD, appears the same on any device. Accordingly, a user has the same viewing experience on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

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With the increase of web browsers on mobile devices, RWD was created to make viewing easier and less restrictive. Prior to this type of design, users had to resize windows to larger or smaller sizes to navigate websites properly. Larger companies may also have two websites. One website initializes upon detecting a mobile device, whereas the other one is designed for more traditional usage. A website that has RWD coded into it navigates seamlessly from device to device, and mobile users do not lose content while viewing a mobile website.

Many mobile websites, which begin with a lower-case "m," do not have the same functionalities as websites viewed on a computer. RWD uses such tools as CSS3 media queries, flexible images and proportionally based grids to make viewing simpler. Because of the popularity of mobile devices, including tablets, a motto of responsive web design is "mobile first." With more users operating solely on mobile devices, positive mobile website experiences have become more important.

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