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Responsive Website Design Part 3: How Does RWD Affect Content?

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Responsive websites are arranged in “regions” which can be ordered differently across devices. The way these regions of content appear on different screens will depend on the way the website is designed: regions either flow from left to right or stack one on top of the other.

The image above represents how a standard responsive site works. The prioritised order of the content regions is referred to as the “content hierarchy” and will normally be decided by your website developer in consultation with the business owner or manager and marketing team.

The design of the website has dramatic implications for SEO and conversion rates. For example, a website which places the company phone number low in the content hierarchy on a mobile site will not gain as many conversions (in this case phone calls) as a mobile site which prioritises the number. It is therefore extremely important to organise your content hierarchy in a user-friendly layout.

 

Can I arrange my website’s content any way I like?

There is a limit to how the elements of a site can be positioned. The orange boxes in the image below represent pieces of content – including text, links, images, etc. The blue boxes, then, are referred to as “blocks”.
Think of it like this:

You have a bookshelf to arrange. The books on the shelf can be arranged in any order you like.  Of course, you want to place your favourite books on the top shelf where they can be easily accessed. But then there are chapters in other books that you love too. However, if you start to rearrange chapters, the stories will no longer make sense. The same applies to website content: the blocks can be arranged, but the pieces of content need to remain in their respective places within the blocks in order to make sense to the viewer.

This means that blocks of content should be well planned in the development stage of the website build.

 

I’m not happy with my website’s content layout. Is there any way it can be rearranged?

In short, yes. But in order to free the content pieces from their blocks, the blocks need to be deconstructed. For this to happen, the website needs to be rebuilt. Rebuilding can be a complex and lengthy process because it requires careful planning of the content hierarchy for each device (mobile, tablet, desktop).

 

What if I don’t want some of the website’s content to show on a mobile device?

This is not an issue. Your web developer can hide any element on the site so that smaller screen only shows relevant content. Hiding superfluous content is highly advised as mobile users are often on the go and need direct, targeted information. Extensive content is not necessary.

The bottom line is that websites should to be carefully planned at each stage of development in order to deliver the best, most relevant content to the viewer. If you feel that poor website design is affecting your content and conversions, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help build an effective business website.

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