Responsive Design vs Dynamic Design

If you are new to front-end development you may be unaware that responsive design and dynamic design are two different concepts. It can be frustrating because in English the terms are largely synonymous with one another. However, in the front-end space the words mean two completely different things. The relationship is that every good website is responsive, but it is not necessarily dynamic. The reason why is that responsive designs accommodate different device screen sizes.

Responsive Design is mostly a CSS approach to website design. I don’t want to dive too deeply into this subject because I do it backwards. Typically the idea is that you design your website for mobile because that’s more commonly used, and then scale up your design to the monitor size. It worked, but I designed this website backwards. By that I mean I tested my site on my monitor first, and then found a design that worked well enough for mobile. I plan on revisiting the mobile version someday to help improve visibility. I’m still working on making this site dynamic and it’s easier to test javascript on desktop.

Dynamic design is sort of what I did with my portfolio on the main site. Websites should be aesthetically pleasing of course, but people like it they can push buttons and they work. The other benefit to dynamic design is that it can make it super easy to generate content on a regular schedule. There’s a few different strategies you can employ like using a Content Management System or build your own system by hand. Honestly I’m somewhere in between with the main site because a CMS would not make sense. One downside to this approach though is that it can reduce a site’s Search Engine Optimization.

The idea behind SEO is to make a website as easy for bots to parse as possible. The problem here is that aesthetically pleasing sites are often very complicated. Going back to my portfolio if you examine the HTML there are only roughly 12-14 links. However, the website can display up to roughly 23 projects currently. As a result despite looking nicer there are some potentially hidden pages now. Therefore you have to find a balance between making your content easy to parse and look pretty. Whereas, either way you want a responsive website because it will help your SEO and maximize your audience.

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