Responsive web design is one of the most important web development trends. If your Magento store doesn’t incorporate responsive web design, now is the time to correct that.
Why? Well, there are more ways than ever for consumers to browse and buy online, and your website needs to accommodate that. Responsive web design (RWD) is integral.
So, how do you make your Magento site mobile friendly and responsive?
In this guide, we’ll first walk you through what responsive web design actually is. We’ll then talk about why RWD is a better option than having a separate mobile site for your Magento store. After that – we’ll dive into the really important parts: tips on how you can make your Magento site mobile friendly and responsive.
What is Responsive Design?
Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design and development that aims to provide optimal user experience no matter what device it’s viewed on.
This kind of design has come to the fore thanks to the many different devices consumers are now using to shop online. Desktops, tablets (iPads, Kindles, etc.), and, most notably, cell phones, are all used for online shopping. So, responsive design aims to cater to all these new ways of shopping.
The responsive design approach argues that websites should respond to the user’s environment – no matter if that’s a mobile or a computer screen.
If a shopper puts down their laptop and continues browsing on their iPhone, the website they’re looking at should seamlessly switch to accommodate screen size, platform, and orientation.
Without getting too technical, RWD relies on three main elements: a series of proportion based grid layouts, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries. If this sounds like a foreign language – a professional Magento developer will help you to build a Magento store with RWD in mind.
Responsive Magento vs Mobile Magento
With two out of three shoppers saying stating they use their mobile device to make purchases, there’s no denying you NEED a site that’s optimized for mobile.
Responsive design differs from mobile first development. As the name suggests, mobile first is focussed on optimizing the user experience solely on mobile devices.
When it comes to building your site, there are two routes you can take.
First, there’s the responsive design route. That’s one website that adapts to all devices. Alternatively, there’s building a separate mobile website.
Both are valid choices. The choice should, of course, be informed by your business priorities and goals.
However, opting for a separate mobile site over the responsive design does limit your scope. It’s also likely to come with higher maintenance costs.
In addition, Magento themselves argue that RWD is the best route for all Magento stores that want to provide users with the best experience.
So, if you want to make a mobile responsive site, where should you start?
How to Ensure Your Magento Store is Responsive
So, if you want to make a mobile responsive site, where should you start? Let’s look at the pros and cons of using extensions, themes, and developers.
Using Magento Extensions
Once upon a time, we would have used this space to recommend the best extensions to make your store responsive and mobile-ready.
However, over the years, a number of the top extensions have become obsolete, suffering from a lack of updates or being removed from the web entirely. Tools like CouchCommerce and Tenfoot and are no longer available.
However, Shopgate is still available. The tool enables you to create mobile shopping apps to improve the responsiveness of your Magento store.
With a distinct lack of variety on the market, a better bet is to turn to experienced professional Magento developers. A professional developer will be able to guide you through the process of making your Magento store responsive and mobile friendly.
Using Responsive Magento Themes
A responsive Magento theme is integral to responsiveness.
In their overview of RWD in Magento, Magento themselves recommend using the out-of-the-box themes Blank or Luma as a base for a responsive store. Think of these themes as a blank canvas (pun intended) that your developer can then build upon.
If you’re looking for something different, there are plenty of other responsive themes that you can use in your project. Check our MagePlaza’s picks of the top 12 best Magento 2 mobile themes in 2021.
Using a Magento Developer
I know we’ve mentioned it already (a couple of times!) but really, your best bet for creating a mobile friendly and responsive Magento website is by hiring a professional, experience Magento developer.
A Magento developer worth their salt will be able to tell you more about the importance of RWD, and know how to build a site that works perfectly across all platforms and device types.
If you have no coding knowledge and experience, it’s important to have a relationship with someone who really understands Magento and how to get the most out of the platform. It’ll help to ensure that your Magento eCommerce store is a roaring success.
Making a responsive Magento site can have big benefits for your site. Websites that incorporate RWD reap the benefits in the form of increased conversions and customer loyalty. The power of this web design trend is no to be ignored.
Using Magento puts you in a good position, as the company themselves prioritize RWD when developing and updating the platform. However, you’ll certainly benefit from enlisting the help from professional Magento developers to work on your project.