Responsive website design is a critical consideration for today’s online marketers and webpage designers. Responsive websites provide a tailored look that’s customized for the user’s device. This results in functional optimization for smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers, so visitors enjoy the best experience possible no matter how they reach your page.
Mobile now represents 65 percent of digital media time, making it more important than ever for companies to offer highly responsive websites and streamlined designed. Make sure you’re using these testing tactics to keep your page on top of the pack.
Work With an Emulator
It’s simply not feasible to purchase every device you could potentially access your website through for testing. However, you want to make sure you’re as thorough as possible with your responsive design. The best solution for this conundrum is an emulator. You can download emulators for various types of devices that let you simulate the viewing experience on different tablets and smartphones without actually purchasing these devices.
Google Chrome has an impressive suite of developer tools that includes device mode. You can test various screen sizes and even emulate a touch screen experience on your desktop computer. Screenfly by Quirktools is another handy option that offers an impressive selection of 27 different views. Screenfly also has a “rotate screen” feature that lets you see your site in both portrait and landscape view.
Use Google PageSpeed
Google PageSpeed is a powerful analytics tool that will give you a broad range of insights into your page performance on various devices. Simply enter your website URL, and you’ll get suggestions for improving speed and performance on both mobile and desktop devices. Google will tell you what you should fix, what you want to consider fixing, and where you’ve passed with flying colors.
Best of all, you can run PageSpeed on any web page. Try it on competitors’ sites to see how you compare. Are you on the ball or lagging far behind in the responsiveness game? For more functionality, integrate the PageSpeed module with Nginx or Apache web servers for automatic optimization.
Hop on Your Smartphone
While emulators can do a great job of offering a cursory look at how your page responds to different devices, it’s important to spend some time simply surfing the site like a customer. Hop on your smartphone and try visiting the page with a few different goals in mind. See how easy it is to find a local store, call the customer service line, or complete a purchase via the mobile site.
Testing on a popular smartphone will give you a functional real world feel for how responsive your website really is. Using a product like the LG G5 will give you a bright 5.3-inch screen where you can appreciate the finer points of your mobile site. Make sure you’re accessing the site with a reliable network like T-Mobile, so you don’t lose your connection in the middle of the project.
Compare Locations and Browsers
Tools like WebPageTest.org and Pingdom let you test page performance across different locations and webpage browsers. This is important because a great report in the U.S. using Chrome doesn’t necessarily transfer to a user across the world using Internet Explorer. It’s important to optimize your website for strong performance with every visitor.
When you’re using these types of tools, keep your customer base in mind. Do you work primarily with local clients in your state, or do you have a strong global presence with several important customers placing orders overseas? Make sure you’re focusing on the results that are most relevant to your company. If you provide plumbing services for a few cities in Ohio, it’s not critical that European visitors have a speedy experience with your site. However, international orders could make up a big chunk of your sales if you do all your business online.
Responsiveness is something you can’t afford to ignore. Make sure you’re testing your site carefully and know exactly where you stand in this area. Responsive website design can mean the difference between a lackluster page and one that truly stands out.