Implementing Responsive Styling in Your Rails eCommerce App

Sol Dieguez
Aug 26, 2022

There’s no denying Ruby on Rails’ popularity when it comes to building complex and efficient eCommerce applications. Considering there are 1,071,057 live websites built using the Rails platform, there’s a lot of competition in terms of design and site infrastructure. This means your eCommerce Rails app needs to be as responsive and mobile-friendly as possible in order to attract more leads and generate more sales in the long term. You can achieve this when you add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app.

What is eCommerce responsive styling?

According to the official Google guidelines, responsive design is “a setup where the server always sends the same HTML code to all devices and CSS is used to alter the rendering of the page on the device.” But what does this mean? It means eCommerce responsive styling is a design and web development approach that focuses on building mobile-friendly apps, where every page can be displayed on different devices, thanks to its elements adapting to different screen sizes. These proper dimensions apply to tablets, smartphones, laptops, and desktops.

Why do you need your Rails app to be a responsive eCommerce website?

Better SEO rankings on Google Search Results.

When you add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app, you’re not only improving its performance for users but you’re also helping your site improve its SERP rankings. Why? Because it makes your website more mobile-friendly, which Google now considers a vital ranking factor when it comes to indexing different websites on search results. Naturally, you should want your eCommerce store to rank higher on search engine results pages to be discovered by more candidates and attract more leads over time. Search engine optimization is an organic way to drive increased traffic into your Rails eCommerce store, meaning it improves Google’s impression of your site while generating more sales revenue over time.

Improved user experience.

As mentioned before, adding responsive styling for Ruby on Rails to an eCommerce application will help improve the site’s performance for its users. This is thanks to the way your eCommerce store will now be able to adapt to different user devices and screen sizes, effectively helping leads stay on your site once they find it. If the Rails eCommerce app is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, those who visit will have no technical reasons to leave unless they find your products or services not relevant to what they were originally looking for. Of course, a stronger user experience has several benefits that make it better for business. If the store is accessible to everyone, then you will be able to have all those people as potential customers!

Lower bounce rate.

As an online store owner, you’re probably familiar with the internet marketing and IT term called bounce rate. This is a KPI that measures how many people aren’t engaging with your website’s content, as it’s calculated every time a new user visits a single page on your website and does nothing to interact with the content before leaving your eCommerce store. It basically tracks how many visitors your site has that do nothing in relation to your site’s CTAs, such as clicking on a related article, buying a product, or filling a contact information form. When you add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app, you’re effectively improving the user experience of your site and motivating its visitors to interact with the page they visit. Having the right font or screen size will make users more likely to stay on your site rather than bounce right back to the Google search results.

How to add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app

1. Use a CSS responsive framework for Rails eCommerce apps.

A CSS responsive framework is a previously curated and ready-to-use CSS stylesheets collection. This Cascading Style Sheets library makes any efforts to add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app by providing them with responsive tools and the designs they need to create a Rails interface that’s mobile-friendly and responsive for any user device. All the stylesheets are easy to replicate once arranged for the first time, helping Ruby on Rails professionals save time when creating a responsive eCommerce site. A few of the most popular Rails CSS responsive frameworks are Bootstrap, Skeleton, Bulman, and Tailwind CSS.

2. Integrate element priority into the efforts to add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app.

Element priority goes a long way when it comes to creating a responsive Rails application. This means you or your development team should add responsive styling to the smaller designs of your application. Why? Because mobile design has two modes, landscape and vertical, causing the layout becomes more longitudinal. This makes elements show up on a list if not arranged properly taking into account responsive styling. What needs to be done is to display the most important elements of the page first and leave all extras behind for mobile user devices. The best way to achieve this is by designing the smaller views first and then moving on to the bigger elements of the projects so you can achieve a responsible and mobile-friendly application.

3. Add adjustable spacing for responsive web design.

A responsive Rails eCommerce app needs to be able to adapt to any kind of user device screen with absolute ease. Depending on the screen size, there are many things that can be adjusted, and spacing is one of them. For example, iPads and tablets benefit from more white spacing thanks to the size of the screen, but smartphones require less spacing due to the limited space on the screen. It’s really easy to add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app through adjustable spacing. All you need to do is set the adjustable spacing values for every screen type, based on the user device, and make default parameters for each screen size. This will help your website finally work properly on mobile while adding responsive styling to your Rails app.

4. Make the app support landscape mode.

Landscape mode is essential if you want users to identify your Rails eCommerce application as mobile + tablet friendly. No app is truly responsive until it features landscape mode support. In fact, according to recent statistics, there is already an immediate 34% increase in landscape orientation usage moving from different large smartphones to the miniature tablet size of 7-8 inches. This shows a current trend amongst users: the growing usage of landscape mode.

Even if you don’t want to add landscape support for your smartphone Rails eCommerce application, you can still add it only to the tablet app. This configuration can be accessed through the tab “supported interface orientations” in your info.plist from your control panel. You just select landscape mode for tablet and iPad interfaces and are ready to go.

5. Custom and scalable fonts.

Scalable typography will add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app in a practical and necessary way. Typography designed for tablets will be too big for smartphones, and fonts escalated to fit a smartphone better will be too small for an iPad. Fonts are especially important because they don’t only affect the aesthetic of your Rails eCommerce app, they also affect the user experience at a biological level because of their connection to eyesight and its health over time. The best way to turn fonts into a responsive eCommerce feature is through adaptive typography. You can add different types and sizes of fonts when you set your app’s text styles and adapt the sizes for different devices and screen types.

6. Get some help with your media queries.

Cascading Style Sheets, CSS for short, hold an immense amount of power when it comes to responsive styling for Ruby on Rails. They provide developers with access to a tool that allows for responsive web and mobile design: media queries. These are a way to apply certain characteristics, features, and user preferences to a Rails eCommerce app, introducing responsive styling to any application. When you access these queries, they allow you to modify your site or app depending on a device’s general type or more specific parameters such as screen width or the type of mode used, like landscape or portrait.

Need a team of experienced Ruby developers to add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app?

Now that you know how to add responsive styling to a Rails eCommerce app, it’s time to take your eCommerce store to the next level. At Resolve Digital, we can offer you custom eCommerce development services with the expertise of seasoned Rails developers. From adjustable fonts to scalable spacing, we will ensure your Rails-based eCommerce store is as responsive and mobile-friendly as possible. Contact us to learn more about our eCommerce development services!

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