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Why Your Business Should Upgrade to a Responsive Web Design Sooner Rather Than Later

Why Your Business Should Upgrade to a Responsive Web Design Sooner Rather Than Later

Why should my business have a responsive web design?

Responsive web design has become the go-to solution for businesses that want a user-friendly interface and higher customer retention. If your company has come this far without taking advantage of all the benefits it has to offer, you may have already begun to see lower visitor numbers and a disappointing conversion rate.

 

As a responsible business owner, you’ll probably need convincing before paying to upgrade your web presence to one that includes responsive design. However, by opting in you’ll soon see a return on investment that will make it worthwhile. In a nutshell, responsive design is just better than what has gone before and in order to keep up with the competition, you’ll need it too.

 

Responsive web design is crucial for the majority of businesses because it allows your users to achieve their goals quickly and smoothly. The important elements of your website can be pulled up on a smart phone and appear as a fully functional version of the original, complete with all the utility you’d offer to customers on a laptop or desktop computer. If you fail to provide a mobile-friendly experience like this for your visitors they won’t hang around, they’ll simply click away and complete the action or purchase on a rival site.

 

Unhappy customers are not good for business and neither is going up against a major search engine. Google have recently confirmed what many insiders have suspected for some time – sites that are not optimised for multiple users will slip down their search rankings. Google bases their rankings on how useful a page is for the query a user has entered, plus the utility of the site – for example, can a user complete the action they would like to?

 

Your page may be completely relevant to their search, but if visitors cannot access the content easily across a number of devices, your site may receive a less than positive review and be placed lower in the search results. If your company is reduced to a second or third page entry you’ll lose a considerable amount of traffic, as people naturally select links from the first page.

 

Google have also pointed out that companies which have a single responsive website – rather than one standard and one mobile version – are far easier for their bots to discover, because there is just one URL.

 

If your site is responsive and ready to service mobile customers, you can take advantage of many tools and helpful apps like the click-to-call button, this enables a web user to make a voice call to your company immediately. Potential customers can also read reviews about your business or even find you in a busy place using Google Maps, both keenly relevant to the needs of mobile users.

 

Branding is one of the ways in which we build a relationship of trust with a customer and keep them coming back for more of the same. This is pertinent to responsive design for two reasons, firstly, people do not feel confident in a site they cannot easily navigate and second, in order to create a uniform brand you’ll need responsive design to produce a consistent web appearance; however your clients reach you.

 

In today’s market there are only a handful of reasons why a company may choose to stick with static design on their web page. Those who do not rely in any significant way on web traffic to drive sales, or those who have few competitors, or those who have already looked into responsive design and found it was not right for them. For everyone else, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, responsive design is the only way forward for your website.

 

Responsive web design features

Until recently web designers created different pages depending on where they would be viewed, a tablet for example has a different screen resolution to a laptop, and so the content would be optimised for viewing on that particular device.

 

However, responsive web design has revolutionised the way in which users look at the internet, it has created an across the board experience allowing us to view pages on a PC, smart phone or notebook in exactly the same way. When they build a site, designers use the same coding on any number of resolutions, giving every device the same degree of functionality.

 

Responsive web designers believe that their clients’ web pages should be accessible to every visitor, giving them an optimal experience, regardless of the device they using. This kind of intelligent response to a web user’s actions keeps your company relevant in an ever changing online market place; it boosts your e-commerce figures and makes visiting your site an enjoyable experience.

 

In technical terms there are three key features of responsive web design, the secret ingredient is generally considered to be media queries. These are filters added on to the CSS or Cascading Style Sheets, affecting the look and feel of any individual page. CSS is a highly useful tool for web designers, but by tagging on a media queries adaption, the process of resizing, rendering and orienting a page becomes far easier.

 

Another linchpin of responsive design is the flexible layout, this is based on a grid formation, ideal for formatting margins, positioning the key elements of a page and getting the spacing just right. This means a designer is not limited to a certain number of columns, they can choose as many or as few as is appropriate for the page. A flexible layout also removes the need to work out the layouts and text size based on pixels.

 

Instead, designers use percentages which enable them to adopt a far more fluid approach to producing each page. Pixels work well in photographic images, but are a clumsy tool to use over a number of devices. One pixel may be expressed as three dots on a phone, but ten dots on a desktop, changing the quality of an image considerably between devices.

 

The third component of responsive design involves the use of CSS or a dynamic resizing function to create flexible images, videos and other content. Text can flow relatively easily as the containing area resizes, but in order to spread this across more complex segments, web designers need to use different techniques. Dynamic resizing gives a web designer greater control over how a page behaves and enables them to add or remove components as needed.

 

Taken a whole, these multiple technologies mean visitors can enjoy the feeling of familiarity, regardless of what device they happen to be using, or will be using in the future.

 

When a mobile user changes from landscape to portrait mode, the intuitive design will ensure the page gets bigger or smaller. Furthermore, each element, be it an image, textbox or video will also resize itself to correspond with the different dimensions.

 

If you have ever tried to access a website and discovered that it was almost impossible to navigate around without shrinking and enlarging the text or buttons, you’ll understand why responsive design is considered good practice for the majority of website owners.

 

Responsive web design Vs Mobile web design

Until quite recently, mobile web design was considered far more relevant to modern consumers than it’s responsive counterpart, this approach sees designers using smart phones as a starting point and upgrading the technology progressively, through to notepads, desktop computers and beyond. This method meant that companies needed two websites, one for their mobile pages and one for PC users.

 

In the early golden years of mobile web design, there were a number of reasons why experts thought that web applications should always be designed first for use on a mobile device. Most important of these was the prevalence of smart phones and the fact that their popularity was continuing to skyrocket. By creating a platform that favoured these millions of users, companies could promote their service or product to what was seen as the next generation of computing consumers.

Secondly, mobile design was said to foster a cleaner concept without room for extraneous elements or unnecessary page clutter. In a screen the size of that on a mobile phone, there simply is not enough room to crowbar in extra buttons and widgets – instead, a design team had to focus on what was actually needed. By giving users a clear route to what they want, it was assumed that their experience would be better, faster, leave them more inclined to return or convert them into a paying customer.

 

Mobile applications were thought to have far more utility than PC based software, what users expected from their laptop paled in comparison to the capabilities offered on smart phones. From a digital compass, to gyroscopic effects, touch screen inputs and voice control, designers hoped to build on these tools to produce modern web design that was not limited by the constraints of a PC.

 

Although there are pros and cons for the adoption of a mobile site to run parallel to a main site, responsively designed pages are ideal for retailers who want a robust, homogenous website with plenty of utility for every user. A single site also simplifies marketing campaigns; there is only a need to manage one site and one SEO strategy. Therefore, a website which features responsive design can save companies time and money, but also provide a seamless, convenient way for customers to shop.

 

Responsive web design statistics

When a team of designers build you a responsive website you know it will adapt intuitively to whatever device it is accessed from, but where is the evidence that proves this is a factor in commercial success?

 

The content marketing company, Brand Point, found that over 90% of consumers buying decisions are affected by visual elements. In other words, if people land on your site and like the look of the place, they are more likely to stay and buy.

 

Screen resolutions are changing all the time as new devices reach the market, web developers Spyderweb found that in 2010 there were just 97 unique screen resolution sizes, but by 2013 that figure had leapt to 232. The only way of tackling this increase is to have a responsive website that is optimised for every customer, whatever device they favour.

 

Customers are driven away by high wait times and pages that take too long to appear; even way back in 2009, 47% of people expected a load time of just two seconds on a webpage. In a study carried out by cloud service providers, Akamai, it was also found that 40% of web users clicked away if they had not gained access to a page within 3 seconds. That is a pretty slim window of opportunity, and it’s fair to assume that people’s expectations have increased since this study was compiled.

 

Although external factors like a lack of Wi-Fi or 4G can also affect wait times, the importance of speed for business sites cannot be underestimated. Wed designers can write code for your responsive site that makes it selectively load the elements needed, or even bring in graphics at a later stage.

 

Design matters because it can have a huge impact on the number of new visitors to your pages, these are people who have reached you through typing in a specific search criteria and decided to click on the link to your site. Web designers, Domain7, have reported that in the case of their client Regent College, there was a leap of 99% in unique visitors after a revamp of their responsive web design.

 

If your mobile pages leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth of your visitors, they are far less likely to view your entire organisation favourably, and they’ll tell their friends. Industry experts at the Search Engine Journal discovered that 57% of people would never recommend a company that had poorly designed pages, strengthening the case for a consistent web strategy that performs the way your customers want it to – wherever they happen to be.

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Duncan_Maund/1375090

 

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Basics Of PHP

Practical Uses of PHP

It almost goes without saying that you will want your business website to be compelling, interactive, and secure. All of these characteristics will make your website more effective at bringing in and keeping customers. But how to go about it in a way that is stable, cost-effective, and easy to manage? One popular solution is to use the server-side scripting language PHP to help you solve those problems.

 

What is PHP?

Created in 1995, PHP originally stood for “Personal Home Page”, however it is now generally understood to mean “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. It was originally designed to create dynamic or more interactive web pages. It is a widely-used, open-source, general-purpose scripting language. PHP is a “high-level” language, meaning that it’s generally more human-friendly (and easier to learn) than other programming languages such as C, ASP or ASP.net.

 

PHP was originally designed for use in Web site development but rapidly grew to become a much more robust language. PHP’s primary use is as an “embedded” scripting language, which means that the actual PHP code is embedded in HTML code. When used in this way, PHP enables your web server to process web pages before they’re displayed in the user’s web browser.

 

Benefits of PHP

 

PHP is popular because it can be embedded directly into HTML coding.

PHP can be used on all major operating systems and is supported on most web servers.

PHP’s main focus is development for the web, so it has a quick development time and can solve scenarios much quicker than some of the other web design languages.

The latest version of PHP is a very stable and mature language used for web programming much like Java and Microsoft C#.

It is open source so it is free!

Database: It is very easy to write simple scripts which allow your Web site to interact with a database.

Cross-Platform: Both the PHP engine and the PHP code can be used on almost any platform, making it extremely versatile.

Development Tools: You only need a text editor to work on PHP; you do not need any development environment or compilers.

 

What can you do with PHP?

PHP generally runs on a web server, taking PHP code as its input and creating Web pages as output, however you can also use it for command-line scripting and client-side GUI applications. PHP is an extremely versatile language which enables you to create high-end, stable Web sites with plenty of bells and whistles. Here are just a few of the things you can do with PHP:

 

Make HTML Web Forms

Store Information in Databases

Remember Web site visitors (cookies and sessions)

Work with Arrays

Work with Files (File Management and downloads)

Parsing and Generating XML (also useful for large quantities of products on e-commerce)

Check which browser your visitor is using

 

How does PHP Work?

As its name (“PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”) suggests, PHP derives its power by “preprocessing” hypertext on the server side. This generally means that when the PHP script (saved as a .php file) runs on your web server, it performs the programmed actions, and returns HTML code that will then be sent back to your customer’s web browser. The PHP script itself is not included in the HTML that is sent to the browser, so the PHP code is invisible and secure to the user.

 

For example, let’s consider the following simple PHP statement. (This example is merely to show the basic syntax of PHP in action. Any detailed discussion of PHP code is beyond the scope of this article.)

 

In this statement,

 

is the PHP opening tag,is the closing tag, and echo is a PHP instruction that tells PHP to output the text that follows it as plain HTML code. The PHP software processes the PHP statement and outputs the following:This is a regular HTML statement that is delivered to the user’s browser. The PHP statement itself is not delivered to the browser, so the user never sees any PHP statements.

 

Using PHP to Improve Your Website.

 

PHP has many capabilities features designed specifically for use in Web sites, including the following:

 

1. Securing Your Website.

PHP can be used to secure your website (or certain areas of your website) so that your customer must enter a valid username and password. This can be used to reward preferred customers and to build an exclusive “membership” component of your business.

 

2. Working with Web Forms.

PHP can display an HTML form and process the information that the user types in. This can be an excellent way to learn more about your customers by asking them to provide profile information, and to collect information about their specific interests.

 

3. Communicate with Your Databases.

PHP is particularly adept at interacting with your databases, and storing information from the user or retrieving information that is displayed to the user. PHP handles connecting to the database and communicating with it, so it’s not necessary to know all of the technical details for connecting to or exchanging messages with the database. You tell PHP the name of the database and where it is, and PHP handles the details. All major databases are currently supported by PHP.

 

4. Customer Loyalty Functions.

You can also use PHP to create a number of different functionalities on your website that will further help you to build customer loyalty, including interactive polls, a guestbook, and a message board.

 

The popularity of PHP continues to grow rapidly because it has many advantages over other technical solutions. PHP is fast (because it’s embedded in the HTML code, the time to process and load a Web page is relatively short), PHP is free (it is open-source software), and PHP is versatile (is runs on a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and most Unix variants).

 

Perhaps most importantly, PHP is a very well-established language. There are many user-run Internet communities that make very large amounts of information (and scripts) available. With so much experience behind it, using PHP for certain dynamic features can be a cost-effective and low-hassle way of increasing the stability of your website.

 

Jeremy Gislason is a leading expert on membership sites, marketing and online business. For more Business Strategies, Membership Site Software and Information visit MemberSpeed.com

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jeremy_A_Gislason/137896