Responsive web design is no more a choice, but a necessity as the number of mobile device users overtook desktop users almost three years ago. To reach out to the largest section of the audience and tap into new and emerging markets, it is necessary to create websites that are responsive and adaptive. It means that the website design must display all types of devices, including mobile devices effectively, by changing the appearance to suit the different screen sizes and the browser environment. Creating websites that have lasting value for some planned duration is one of the biggest challenges faced by web developers. But with a responsive design, they can overcome the challenge by creating websites that users can enjoy across a wide range of devices. It needs some careful thought and planning to implement a responsive design based on a mobile-first approach.
The process of web development has undergone drastic changes ever since the mobile storm became a tornado. Since the time Google announced way back in 2015 that it would consider websites with a multi-functional display on all kinds of devices for better ranking, it became very clear that responsive web design is the only way ahead for creating websites. The number of mobile device users, mainly comprising of smartphone users, is likely to touch 11.6 billion by this year. As per indications available, the exponential growth will continue for many more years. The popularity of mobile devices has impacted web development that now heavily relies on responsive design to create websites that provide the smoothest experience across all kinds of devices and improve website performance.
Drupal, the ubiquitous CMS available as open-source, can adequately support web developers in creating responsive websites and provide the right solutions. Drupal can support all web development endeavors and meet the expectations of developers by encouraging them to use the CMS for delivering digital solutions for businesses. Drupal’s sharing abilities provide a cutting edge in content management by enrichment of content through sharing.
Drupal’s secret of longevity
During its 18 years of existence, Drupal has provided steady support to web developers and gone from strength to strength. During the eventful journey, Drupal has remained rock solid and withstood the test of times to emerge as a CMS of choice that powers thousands of websites and keeps counting. While many other content management systems like Interwoven, Scoop, Vignette, and PHP Nuke. Made abortive attempts to find favors with web developers, and finally exited the scene. Drupal along with WordPress has been the mainstay of web development. Drupal has always demonstrated foresightedness in capturing trends. Much ahead of time and putting them to good use as evidence in the way it has accommodated responsive web design
Among many other content management systems, Drupal has several elements that strengthen web developers and support their creative endeavors in building powerful websites aimed at mobile users. The Drupal modules have been the driving force in enhancing the responsive adaptability of sites. The modules are the source of power for Drupal websites, and developers can use them to fulfill their ambitions of creating high-performing websites.
Here are some Drupal modules that web developers make good use of.
Drupal 8 comes with the responsive image module, and at its backport is the Picture module that is useful for managing images when designing websites by using the responsive design technique. To optimize images, administrators can pair image styles with CSS queries. When using the module, the picture element added to HTML comes into play that can deliver alternate image sources depending on the capabilities of the devices. The optimization is available for the screen as well as print. Since the module delivers alternative image sources according to the device, it helps to prevent bandwidth wastage. The Picture module enables the proper handling of responsive images in Drupal, and to apply the easiest technique, you must download the full desktop version of the image. To install the Picture module, you must first install the Image Style module and Breakpoints module upon which the Picture module rests.
Responsive images and styles
Loading of images is one of the biggest challenges faced by developers because the website can slow down. If it has to handle a heavy load of photos on mobile devices. When creating websites with Drupal, developers can use the Responsive Images and Styles module. That allows creating different image styles, thus enabling the browser to display the photos automatically. Adjusting the size according to the size of the screen. Since the responsive images and styles module supports the Media module. It imparts the same capabilities to the uploaded images with the text editor.
The Adaptive Images module is useful for resizing and adapting pictures sourced from the field to match the screen size of the device. The module integrates very well with the built-in image styles so that the effects of adaption impact the styles and enhance them. Configuring the module is easy because you have to add the adaptive effect to the image style and then specify the breakpoints.
If it is necessary to display images in a crappier way that looks much better than the usual modes of the display. Then the Retina Images module should come in handy. The purpose of the module is to increase the pixel density of images so that it looks much distinct and sharper. The impact of the Retina Images module enhances the image effects built into the Drupal core by default. Thereby improving its capabilities to display high-resolution images.
The use of the Breakpoints module makes it easy for developers to manipulate a theme. In a way so that the breakpoints show up to other modules. The process standardizes the height and width as well as the resolution of devices while keeping track of it. The modules of Drupal are interdependent, and it requires installing some compatible modules to make a specific module work effectively. Since the Breakpoints module is dependent on the Chaos tool suite. You must have the latter installed before installing the Breakpoints module. Similarly, Picture modules are compatible with breakpoint modules.
The name of the module is self-explanatory because it is easy to understand what to expect from it. Going by the name of the module Mobile Theme. It becomes clear that the module revolves around serving themes on mobile devices. BY scanning the available themes in the repository. You can select a theme that would resonate with the audience that you want to target. Despite lacking responsive qualities, the module is extremely mobile-friendly. By using the module, you can access several themes.
Client-side adaptive image
That the prerogative of selecting images rests on the client is amply demonstrated in the name of the module. Which upholds the importance of clients. You cannot create a responsive design without using the client-side adaptive image module. The module comes with an image field for matter, and for displaying images from the formatted. You must make proper use of the module. Moreover, The module is easy to set up and facilitates adaptive imaging. The module will help you in every way to download images of the appropriate sizes. The best display of bright and sharp images is available on large screens. But for mobile users, the photos would be somewhat lighter.
The images of a slider tend to deform that you can prevent by using the Flex slider module. The loading speed of the module is outstanding, and it allows configuring the time of reproduction and style. However, the module is not a complete solution by itself because. Depending on the format of the images, it can lead to usability problems by rendering very small images on mobile devices.
Videos are being increasingly used in web designs. The Fitvids module makes it easy to embed videos in web design. To include video in the web design, choose a video from any of the video streaming platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Kickstarter. Any other platform and implant it into your web design with the help of the Fitvids module. If you want to add more fluidity to the videos or resize it according to aspect ratio to enhance their responsiveness. It is possible to alter the quality of videos by using the module’s J-query key.
Responsive web design must have enough fluidity to integrate the design with advanced browsing features. Various devices lead to the most pleasing viewing experience. The fluidity of design is an essential requirement, and no developer should ignore it. This makes it almost mandatory to use the Fitvids module for designs that include videos.
Creating web designs with Drupal gives numerous options in responsive designs only. If you know how to make use of the modules that support your design objectives. Besides creating responsive designs, Drupal websites are SEO friendly, too. Which attract marketers to use the CMS for strengthening their online presence. You can now execute any design proposal in Drupal that can integrate the responsive design features seamlessly into the website. While enhancing its functionalities too.