From Camry to Camper: A Journey In The Responsive Web

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Imagine this scenario:

You buy a brand new, shiny Toyota Camry. You love your Camry. It’s practical, it’s clean, it gets pretty decent miles per gallon, and it was affordable.

After you’ve been driving your smart, affordable and stylish Camry around for a while, you start to notice more and more campers. “What the heck”, you think? “Why are there so many campers driving around every day? Am I missing something here? Why are there fewer and fewer Camrys on the road these days?”

One day it hits you.

Everyone now drives a camper, and you are driving an old, out of date Camry.

You decide that you too, must get a camper. But you don’t want to pony up and spend the money on a brand new camper. “What if I can have my Camry converted into a camper? That makes a lot of sense!”, you think to yourself. “My Camry is practical, clean, stylish, and only a year or two old. Surely someone can turn this thing into a camper for a fraction of the price of a new one.”

You take your Camry to a mechanic to have it converted to a camper.

The mechanic tells you something like this:

“Well, in order to convert this Camry over, we’re going to have to remove the frame, create a new frame, cut the body up and weld new pieces on to it. Then we will have to make sure the frame fits with the modified body. If that works, then we need to make sure this thing can keep in traffic. If it keeps up in traffic, we then need to make sure it’s safe to drive.”

After 2 weeks of waiting, your mechanic calls.

“I’m not sure we can make this happen for you. And it’s going to take a long time, and it’s going to be expensive. It honestly would be much cheaper and reliable for you to go to the camper store and buy a brand new camper.”

Does this sound familiar?

Maybe you have a website that was built before the web moved to the mobile world. Now you need your site to be responsive. You’ve also heard that Google is going to lower your site in search results if you are not responsive, and this scares you. You know that you need a responsive site as soon as possible. Your business depends on it.

We get it, and we get this question a lot.

Unfortunately, there’s no good way to do this without a full rebuild. Websites these days use what we call “front-end frameworks”. These are a fully thought out set of elements, grid structures, and styles that allow a site to repurpose itself depending on how big the screen is that is loading the site.

There’s no real way to shove one of these frameworks into an already existing site. Just like the differences between a Camry and a camper, a responsive front-end framework and a non responsive site are two completely different things.

If you want to move into the mobile web, you’re going to have to do it once, and do it right. This involves a complete site rebuild. I know this is not what you want to hear, but in the long run, this will cost you less, make your site more “future-proof”, and it will perform exponentially better for your users.

At the end of the day, speed, security and a pleasing experience for your users should be your main goal. If you are in this situation, plan ahead. Get the capital together to do this right. Your users, employees and bank account will thank you.

We love building responsive stuff. It’s something we are passionate about. We have iPhone fans, and Android fans here at Centresource. When we are not fighting each other with torches and pitchforks over which platform is better, we all agree that the future of the internet is on mobile devices. This won’t change anytime soon.

Do it once and do it right.

Disclaimer: I in no way endorse the purchase of a Toyota Camry. Do yourself a favor and buy something that is actually fun to drive, such as a Subaru WRX, Volkswagen GTI, or a Lamborghini Gallardo. You can thank me later.

Also, Android is better 🙂

Get in touch.

1313 4th Ave North Nashville, TN 37208 (615) 313-7679

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