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Responsive Web Design (RWD)

Last updated: November 28, 2017

What Does Responsive Web Design (RWD) Mean?

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach in web development and design that is geared toward creating sites that provide an efficient and appealing visual experience with text that is easy to navigate without altering the resolution of a display screen.

This capability extends to any device or browser used to view a website, which means the website appearance and layout change according to the size of the display screen.

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Techopedia Explains Responsive Web Design (RWD)

RWD is used to adapt a website’s layout to a user's viewing environment via fluid and proportion-based grids, flexible images and smart CSS and script usage.

RWD uses the following methods:

  • Fluid grids, where elements are resized through the use of relative units, like percentages, versus absolute units, like standard measurements and pixels
  • Flexible images, which are also sized in relative units
  • Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) media queries, which allow a website to determine device type, screen size and browser capabilities, enabling the delivery of different style rules based on these characteristics
  • Server-side components with media queries, which enable faster loading websites – even with slower cellular data speeds
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