Go/No Go and Responsive Design

One of my main weaknesses is that I am s-l-o-w to get things done - not because of lack of effort, it’s just that I seem to take on very ambitious projects!

I am wrapping up my website/e-commerce site and for the most part, it is NOT “responsive”.

And I’m guess that it would take me at least 3-6 months to make it truly responsive. (@PaulOB could probably update it in a weekend!!)

So the $10,000 question that I am facing is, “Do I go live with a nice looking website, but one that is not responsive, OR do I go back and fix most of my site trying to make it (nearly) “perfect” before I go live?”

A lot of people will probably say that if your website isn’t responsive, then you will likely lose 80% of visitors.

Then again, I will lose 100% of visitors - because I won’t have any - if my website is sitting up on blocks in my garage still being worked on!!

I could go live once I finish my e-commerce module, and then while it is live, hurry up and work on a responsive v2.0, but I just don’t know…

(Mods: Please leave this thread in this forum, because the people who can really help me are the guru HTML/CSS coders in this forum! Plus there will be lots of other threads related to specifics, so might as well leave this one here as a “fair warning”!)

My website is pretty massive from a code standpoint - like approaching 100,000 lines of code.

I am hoping that making it “responsive” won’t really impact my PHP or backend MySQL much, but that is another risk.

How hard, in general, is it to convert a traditional website into one that is “responsive”?

Some of the pages that people like @coothead were helping me with last Fall are basically responsive, but I know that most of my site is NOT responsive, and would probably be pretty annoying for mobile users - even though I am not one.

Here is hoping that this entire issue will not torpedo my startup business and website. :confused:

If I was a coding and web design guru like some of you, then this would have never happened, but it is really challenging to do everything (e.g. HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, front-end design, back-end design, database design, setting up my webserver, SEO, security, and a billion other things!) as a company of ONE?! :wonky:

I have tried my best, but I am only a mortal man…

Hope you guys/gals can help me survive all of this and eventually get my website live and start making some $$$ so maybe I can buy some more SitePoint books!! :biggrin:



It’s as simple as that :slight_smile:


It is?

Why do you say that?

Being a dinosaur, I only access websites on my computer/laptop, but I have been made aware at work in recent times that pretty much everyone under 35 only accesses the Internet on their smartphones.

So if my website doesn’t play nicely with mobile devices, then am I not doomed?

On a side not, a lot of the Millennials and Generation Z’ers at work have went farther to say that if you don’t have a mobile app, then they won’t bother with your site.

Sounds pretty harsh.

So can you help me better understand your advice and why my situation is not the end of the world?

You said it yourself:

Stop obsessing about every detail. Launch the site. Measure what your visitors are doing, then invest your time in making those improvements that will bring you the most return.

You can also make incremental improvements when the site is up and running. For example start by making your five most visited pages responsive.


So it’s not the “end of the world” for my website?

Yes, that is a good point, and likely the approach i would take.

In general, is it fair to say that you don’t have to completely throw away a website and the underlying application logic when you switch to responsive?

I’m sure the HTML/CSS will be a PITA, but am hoping that most of the look-and-feel, plus the functionality that I built, won’t have to change much, but rather just teh way things “flow” on smaller screens. :wonky:

I wouldn’t think so.

That is correct. You would be silly if you threw away your application logic because of a change in your site’s design.

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What percentage of web users these days are using mobile? From the younger crowd I speak with at work, it seems it is 90%+…

Sure seems limiting to me to restrict yourself to a screen that isn’t even the size of an index card.

Maybe if people didn’t feel the need to walk, drive a car, or sit on the toilet while they surf the internet, people could better adjust to using a desktop computer or laptop?! :unhappy:

In 2019 it was slightly higher than 50%

A related question is which is more important: “responsiveness” or “content”?

Since I am responsible for everything with my business, another reason that I haven’t been able to learn and apply responsive design is because I also need to filling my website up with useful content.

So after I go live with minimal content, where should I focus my time and energy?

Option #1: Keep my non-responsive site as-is and spend the first 3-6 months filling it up with useful information.

Option #2: As soon as I go live, focus all of my effort on converting my website to responsive design

Option #3: Some combination of continuing to create useful content, plus converting things to responsive.

If I go off of kids at work, I think they get more caught up on whether or not they can view a website on their smartphones and if it is “pretty”.

Being older, I judge website almost entirely on their content. Yes, a nice UI is a bonus, but I regularly visit some rather ugly websites, but what matters is I always leave with some useful bit of knowledge.

Seems like the younger generations treat the Internet more like a video game or streaming cable service where they expect to be “entertained”?! :unhappy:

Of course I would love to just sit down for the next 6-8 months and build a super cool responsive website, but I am thinking that the way I make $$$ is more a factor of traffic and good content, but I just don’t know how the world see it?!

Hello. I sorta asked this question before, but here goes again…

I am desperately trying to finish my website this summer while I have some extra time on my hands. And not being a guru like some of you, simple things are not so simple for me. :cry:

Tonight I was trying to apply what you all were helping me with here.

Unfortunately, my larger page is really broken when it comes to responsive design. (I do okay on tiny snippets/widgets, but am not good enough to build entire web pages that are responsive.)

So my dilemma is what i should do?

If I try to make every web page in my e-commerce module “responsive”, it will add LOTS of time, and it could risk me never getting this site done.

But if i don’t make things “responsive” then things are pretty broken for mobile users.

Because my website is interactive, it has lots of application logic and database stuff going on behind the scenes.

My application and database logic should be independent of my HTML.

So tonight, i am leaning towards ditching “responsive” design for now, and just getting my website done adn working for desktop.

What do you think? :wonky:

The following was posted in the other topic and appear to be disregarded? If you continue seeking perfection your site will never be finished and forever be under construction

If in doubt make the following flipping executive decision

No need to be harsh.

I thought I was making progress after my last web page, but now I see that things aren’t so easy, so I’m second-guessing myself…

No harshness intended.

Did you open the link that simplifies the executive decision by flipping a coin?

The link says 403 forbidden…

Opens OK on my computer?


“One Troy Dunce”?


Well, one good thing is that when I copied and pasted my code from my last thread, at least it doesn’t blow up.

But my this thread was inspired by the fact that now I have to make the page template responsive too, and I’m finding this taking too much time. (Unless you all said it is imperative I go responsive from the get-go.)

I learn best by reading books, and I really look forward to reading the SitePoint books I bought a few years ago, but I’m thinking that might not be the best step right now considering it is now July 1st!

For me, my solution is always to start responsive with a simple template based on an idea of the content. Keep backups and add new functionality / content in stages and check so I can always roll back. I find designing a site THEN trying to make it responsive is HARD work. If responsiveness is eventually mandatory (which in most cases it is), fitting a design into the constraints that responsiveness eventually imposes is very difficult. Again, in my humble opinion, start responsive and amend your design/desires accordingly. Start responsive if that’s your final destination. Test regularly on all formats and be prepared to step back and take a different turn. It’s kinda like following a map, sometimes a road is closed and you take a detour. But in the end it is much quicker than driving for 6 hours and then getting out a map and trying to work out where you are ! :slight_smile:


Yeah, the problem is that I built most of my site years ago before responsive design really took off.

And even trying to insert the mini responsive mockup that I did here is turning out to be a real bear.

That’s why I re-posted last night in dismay.

In my case, I think it’s just too hard to reverse-engineer what i already have, and I should just give up on responsive for now.

Sympathies ! But don’t give up completely. I guess it depends how much ‘special effects’ display and formatting, pop-ups, dropdowns, fading in and out - you have. But boiling it down to basics, essentially a website is text and images. It should be fairly straightforward to start with a responsive template and start inserting your code and images. But I agree with the previous poster - non responsive is better than nothing. Also the question is not so much what % users use mobile devices but what % of your users would use mobiles. For example I worked on a backpacking site, backpackers = mobiles - no doubt. But Investments, accountancy kinda more desk based activities are more likely to be accessed via a laptop. Out of interest do you have a link to the site ?

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ok, 10,000 lines of backend coding but just how many pages do the users see.

Surely some sort of template is being used which reduces the responsive move?