7 Tools to Build Websites Using Responsive Design

As smartphone and tablet use continues to grow, it's increasingly important for your business website to look good on a small screen. These seven tools will help you build a fully functional site for phone, tablet and traditional desktop devices.

By Nathan Segal
Mon, March 25, 2013

CIO — As consumers access websites from a growing variety of devices, responsive Web design becomes increasingly important. Responsive web design is about building a Web presence that scales and functions well on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. The viewing size of each device is different, which creates challenges for Web designers, not only because of the designs themselves but also due to the need to manage website components as they scale from one device to another.

One example is how to display images. What looks good on a desktop probably won't work on a mobile device, so Web developers must consider issues such as proportions, text, image sizes and compression. Another factor is how various components of a Web page will be organized on a smaller screen with different dimensions.

Tips: How to Build an Online Business From Scratch

To help you address these and other responsive Web design challenges, here are several tools and online services that will help you meet your objectives.

Adobe Dreamweaver

Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 has the capability to build fluid layouts. This lets you create three layouts—for the Web, tablets and mobile devices—all at the same time. Add Media Queries to these fluid layouts and you can easily control the appearance of your pages. Media queries let designers target different styles to different devices; one example would be a group of styles that only take effect when the screen size is larger than 800 pixels.

Dreamweaver lets you build both mobile apps and websites. The chief difference is that some mobile sites can be designed to display on all mobile devices. In contrast, mobile apps can offer more functionality, but they have to be custom built one each device. This can quickly get expensive. You can learn more about the differences and costs involved with each approach from the New Media Campaigns blog.

Recent Dreamweaver updates include enhancements to Fluid Grid layouts and Web font integration.

[Related: 6 Ways to Add Social Media to Your Web Design]

All Fluid Grid elements have been placed within the Structure category under the Insert menu. New options include Ordered, Unordered and List. Options for DIV elements such as duplicate, lock and swap now appear when you select an element. You can nest fluid elements as well. Fluid Grid elements will work with Web apps as well as mobile sites.

[Related: How and When to Build a Mobile Website

In addition, it's now possible to add from the library of Adobe Edge Web Fonts in your layouts. When you do, a script tag is added. This tag references a JavaScript file that downloads the font from the Creative Cloud server, where it's stored in the browser's cache. Edge Web Fonts are powered by Typekit by Adobe, so they can be integrated with Adobe Edge tools.

Continue Reading

Our Commenting Policies