Think of the viewport as your window to the web. It’s the visible area of a webpage on your screen.
You don’t see the whole webpage at once — you see only the part that fits within your viewport. This can be your entire screen on a desktop or laptop or the screen size of your tablet or smartphone.
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How Does Viewport Work?
The viewport size changes based on the device you’re using. When you’re on your laptop, the viewport is larger. But when you switch to your smartphone, the viewport gets smaller. Websites must adapt to these changes to ensure the content is displayed properly on different devices.
This is where the concept of “responsive design” comes in. Responsive design refers to a design strategy that makes webpages look good on all devices, regardless of the viewport size. Developers use CSS media queries to style elements differently based on the size of the viewport.
Example of Viewport
Imagine you’re reading a book in a well-lit room. The room is filled with more text, images, and information than can fit within the pages of your book. You can only read what’s presented on the open pages in front of you.
In this scenario, the room is the entire webpage and the open book in your viewport. You turn the pages (scroll or swipe) to see more content, just as you would scroll or swipe on your device to see more of a webpage.
How to Control Viewport?
Web developers use the HTML meta viewport tag to control the layout on mobile browsers. By setting specific values for this tag, developers can instruct the browser how to adjust the content to fit different screen sizes.
This gives them the flexibility to optimize their websites for a more pleasant and user-friendly experience on all devices.
The concept of the viewport is a fundamental part of web design and development. It ensures websites can provide a consistent user experience, whether viewed on a large desktop monitor or a small smartphone screen.
As a user, understanding what a viewport is and how it affects your browsing experience can give you a better appreciation for the responsive design efforts that go into creating user-friendly websites.
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