Having been won round to the joys of designing WordPress templates recently, I was rather taken aback when talking to a potential client about a redesign of their non-responsive website. For those of you wondering a ‘responsive’ website is one that works just as well on a phone as it does on a desktop computer. It doesn’t need several versions of the same website to do this, just a skill in coding that involves certain coding tools like ‘media queries’ and grids. The finished effect is a website that morphs into a smaller version of itself every time it becomes too big to work on the device it’s being viewed on, and in such a way that it’s unmistakably the same website right through.
I love designing responsive website – it’s part of the reason I work with the ‘Bootstrap’ framework. A framework is a collection of code that gives a developer a solid foundation to build a responsive website on (confusingly another popular framework is actually called ‘Foundation’…) I love crafting the site so that it morphs almost imperceptibly but remains perfectly functioning right from the biggest to the smallest screen.
That’s why it was a bit of a shock when this client recounted how their designer had insisted that the only way to get their website working in such a way was to completely redesign it using WordPress. This designer may have had their reasons, I concede – but I can’t actually think of what they might have been. It’s a passion of mine to take old html websites and convert them into responsive ones using the original files as much as possible, and recreating the design with a few tweaks to modernise it and bring it into 2015…but I’d certainly never suggest that there was only one way to do it. I don’t like to undermine other designers, but on this occasion, I really couldn’t not say that.
So, for anyone wondering, if someone tries to charge you thousands of pounds to start your website from scratch just so it works on iphones…I (very tactfully) suggest that you find a new designer…!