Google’s Responsive Web Design Recommendations

Google has been pushing Responsive Web Design hard lately. In April they posted Responsive design – harnessing the power of media queries, which went into Google’s best practices for web development (spoiler alert: they like Responsive Web Design, a lot). There’s even a high-level tutorial for making your own site responsive.


Google's responsive Chromebook website

Then, a few days ago Google published Recommendations for building smartphone-optimized websites, which included this gem:

When building a website that targets smartphones, Google supports three different configurations:

  1. Sites that use responsive web design, i.e. sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration.
  2. Sites that dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs, but each URL serves different HTML (and CSS) depending on whether the user agent is a desktop or a mobile device.
  3. Sites that have a separate mobile and desktop sites.

It would be fantastic if Google practiced what they preached, right? Well, although they’re not going all out with Responsive Web Design across their entire portfolio of sites (yet!), they are starting to use the technology. The new Chromebook website is responsive, which is great to see!