“Responsive Design” and Why Your Church Site Needs It

Over half of all webpages are now accessed by people on their SMARTPHONES.

cellphoneThat  simple fact has profound implications for anyone building or managing a church website.

What does your church website look like on an iPhone?

If you don’t know, you should, because half of your visitors and members do know, and the results can be ugly if your site doesn’t properly adjust.

Your Site Needs to be “Responsively Designed”

Responsive primarily means “your webpage text, images and menus can adjust to whatever screen size your visitor is using —without the user needing to pinch or zoom in on anything.

Here are screenshots from my iPhone showing what THIS website responsive code does, and what it looks like with the responsive code turned off. :

non-responsive responsive

 

Which one would you rather navigate on your smartphone?

This next graphic demonstrates how responsive design rearranges elements on your website to maintain readability on small screens. When I scroll down this website on my smartphone’s  screen, my menu links stay READABLE:

responsive2

Look at your church’s website on your smartphone and imagine being someone new to your town trying to find a link to worship times on your non-responsive website. 

If your site on a smartphone looks like an incredibly small version of your full site (like my non-responsive example above), that’s not responsive design, that’s your browser trying to squeeze it onto the screen.

How to Make Your Site Responsive

Fortunately, if you use a webpage tool like WordPress or Wix, they have designed the code behind your site to detect the user’s smartphone, and rearrange your content, menus and font sizes to fit the real-estate. This is another reason I strongly suggest churches use web-based content creation tools like WordPress, –because they continue to evolve their code to meet and exceed today’s web standards.

If you need to redesign your site, do it using one of these tools. If you’re picking a “theme” in any of these tools, check to make sure the ‘theme’ is newer, and thus responsively designed. Some older templates on these sites are not responsive.

If the company you built your website with is not offering your responsive design, or is just now getting around to it, they didn’t do you any favors.

If you’d like me to objectively look at your church website FOR FREE, and make a recommendation about its responsive design (or lack thereof), email me at neil@sundayresources.net 

Neil MacQueen

 

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