Responsive Mobile Websites
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Implementing a responsive website will increase a dental practice's credibility, ensure that it is known to as many potential patients as possible, and place it on a firm foundation to establish its reputation. A website is responsive when it can be viewed comfortably on many different devices and screen resolutions. Responsive websites are designed by telling devices how to display the version of the webpage most appropriate for the device's screen size and features. They are also more professional and make sense in world where tablet PC and smart phone users account for a significant amount of total Internet users.
What a responsive website is
Responsive websites are viewed comfortably on any device available. Users of these websites should not need to resize or pan in order to make sense of the content they view. The need for scrolling should also be reasonable for such a website. Many organizations serve entirely different versions of their websites to users using mobile devices and desktop computers.
How to make a website responsive
- Sizes for images and grids should be proportional, not absolute. Otherwise, they might look too small on some devices or too big on others. Remember that smart phone users view websites on screens that are just a few inches wide. Desktop users, on the other hand, occasionally use monitors that are 20 inches in diameter or more.
- Sites should also be designed using CSS3 media queries when applicable, specifically the @media property. CSS3 refers to the third version of CSS, which is a set of guidelines that tell a computer how to display a website. The @media property gives specific instructions on how to display websites for a specific device or screen size used to view them.
The benefits of a responsive website
As many people now view web pages on devices other than desktop computers and on a variety of screen sizes, you can increase the number of people who are aware of your practice and develop a good impression of it. One reason for the increase in popularity of alternative devices is that they are very convenient. People who are frequently on the road can view websites easily on a tablet PC or smart phone, and they often use these devices to find out which new businesses in their area to visit. Practices which have websites which are difficult to view on devices like these might be overlooked by this demographic, which is comprised by people growing in number.
A more accessible website also creates the opportunity for easy referrals. A patient can inform others of his or her good experience with a particular dentist and display the practice's website on a smart phone, providing these potential patients with the practice's name, contact information, and location. Information that a dentistry practice's website publishes, such as advice on how to maintain good dental health, treatment options for various diseases, information regarding symptoms of a particular ailment as well as qualifications of practicing dentists and information about them can be easily viewed from anywhere on a responsive website and subsequently shown to others. In this manner, a responsive website is an essential tool for dentists to have published information flow from the practice to potential patients as quickly as possible.
Finally, having a responsive website provides a fast and easy means for patients who use mobile devices to communicate with dental practices. New patients might feel more comfortable visiting a dental clinic if they had a means to send dentists their inquiries and receive responses in a timely manner. By attracting a large number of users to a website, administrators can use web page forms to control how dentists are contacted, as well as how to organize the inquires that are received. For example, the contact page could instruct a user to select his or her topic of interest, and messages can then be sorted, sent to a specific email address, and handled in certain ways depending on the topic of the inquiry. Techniques like this can make communication with the practice more effective and can cut down the administrative burden of receiving many unsorted messages. Accessible contact information on websites can also make it easy for patients find out how to contact dentists using methods they feel comfortable with, such as text messaging or even social media.