New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Exploring CSS3, progressive enhancement, and graceful degradation

From: WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

Video: Exploring CSS3, progressive enhancement, and graceful degradation

There's one caveat I have to point out before we begin for real. Media queries and responsive design in general rely on modern browsers to work properly. By that I mean if the visitor is using an old and outdated browser or an old computer, they may not get the responsive experience. In fact, they may get a very different experience altogether. This is something you have to keep in mind. The great thing is you can find out who will not see this responsive behavior. If you go to a site like caniuse.com, they keep track of all the browsers that are available and what kind of capabilities those browsers have.

Exploring CSS3, progressive enhancement, and graceful degradation

There's one caveat I have to point out before we begin for real. Media queries and responsive design in general rely on modern browsers to work properly. By that I mean if the visitor is using an old and outdated browser or an old computer, they may not get the responsive experience. In fact, they may get a very different experience altogether. This is something you have to keep in mind. The great thing is you can find out who will not see this responsive behavior. If you go to a site like caniuse.com, they keep track of all the browsers that are available and what kind of capabilities those browsers have.

If you scroll down here under CSS, you'll find Media Queries as one of the options. And media queries is the most important component of responsive design. Looking at this table here, you'll see that everything in green means that media queries work and you'll also notice that the only browsers right now who do not support media queries are Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8, and of course, Internet Explorer 6 and 5 and so on. This is important because if you know that your clients are mainly using Internet Explorer 8 or 7 and you cannot convince them to upgrade to a more recent browser, like Internet Explorer 9 or 10, then you may want to reconsider using media queries.

But it also means that for every other device and every other browser, media queries are safe to use. My general attitude to this is rather than dumb down the site just so that people who use old versions of Internet Explorer can access the site properly, create a site that has a nice layout in the full size and then let that be the size that people see if they're using these older browsers, and then the responsiveness will kick in for everyone else. And here's the great thing: in almost every case the only people who will actually benefit from the responsive design are people who are on phones and tablets, and those devices already support this type of behavior.

The people who can't access these responsive features are people who use regular old computers, and chances are they won't expect the site to be responsive anyway, so it doesn't really matter. The reason I'm showing you this site and giving you this heads-up is that this doesn't just apply to media queries; it applies to all modern web code. So if you want to build further on this course, or if you encounter strange behavior in the Anaximander theme in older browsers, you should go to caniuse.com and check that specific behavior and see if it's supported in the browser you're seeing the problem in.

Chances are it's an old browser, and that's why it's not supported. And my attitude is, if you're on an old browser--and that I'm talking about a browser that's like three or four or five years old-- I'm not going to design it for you, because then I'll hold the Internet back just so that you can get the proper experience. Harsh? Yes, but that's the only way we'll move forward with web standards. When you build web sites, you're always at the mercy of the browser used to visit those web sites, and that's a factor you have no control over. The best you can do is providing graceful degradation for older browsers or progressive enhancements for newer ones.

The good thing is, for the most part, the issues surrounding smaller screens only show up in newer devices with modern browsers, so it's not that big of an issue. Even so, it's worth taking note of this issue, which is why I bring it up.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for WordPress: Building Responsive Themes
WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

39 video lessons · 16659 viewers

Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 27s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 34s
  2. 8m 36s
    1. What is responsive design?
      4m 16s
    2. The different faces of WordPress on mobile
      1m 55s
    3. Exploring the finished Anaximander theme
      2m 25s
  3. 9m 38s
    1. Getting and installing the Anaximander theme
      1m 53s
    2. Configuring basic theme options
      7m 45s
  4. 23m 51s
    1. Deciding what screen sizes to design for
      4m 11s
    2. Thinking responsively: Designing for many different screen sizes
      6m 23s
    3. Visualizing content realignment for better markup
      4m 35s
    4. Designing menus
      4m 52s
    5. Adding responsive images and videos
      3m 50s
  5. 26m 8s
    1. What are media queries and how do they work?
      4m 18s
    2. Exploring CSS3, progressive enhancement, and graceful degradation
      3m 27s
    3. Understanding best practices for media queries
      3m 57s
    4. Creating a responsive frame
      5m 12s
    5. Customizing media queries with the Chrome Developer Tools
      5m 28s
    6. Taking device width into account
      3m 46s
  6. 11m 1s
    1. Resizing the site title and the description
      8m 22s
    2. Adding media queries to the header
      2m 39s
  7. 11m 22s
    1. Making the menu responsive
      3m 35s
    2. Creating a different menu design for small screens
      7m 47s
  8. 19m 22s
    1. Making a responsive single-post layout
      6m 11s
    2. Making images responsive
      4m 37s
    3. Making videos responsive by including FitVids
      8m 34s
  9. 7m 45s
    1. Making the sidebar responsive
      5m 10s
    2. Hiding sidebars on mobile
      2m 35s
  10. 7m 28s
    1. Dealing with footer widgets
      5m 11s
    2. Adding navigation links that return to the top of the page
      2m 17s
  11. 12m 54s
    1. Using FlexSlider to create a responsive slider
      6m 2s
    2. Creating a loop to show sticky posts in a featured slider
      6m 52s
  12. 24m 37s
    1. What is jQuery Masonry?
      3m 41s
    2. Installing jQuery Masonry
      4m 45s
    3. Configuring the index page with Masonry
      7m 0s
    4. Using CSS to finalize the Masonry layout
      6m 17s
    5. Adding media queries to the Masonry index
      2m 54s
  13. 9m 11s
    1. Exploring hidden features of the Anaximander theme
      5m 51s
    2. Where to go from here
      3m 20s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.