Smart phones and tablets are becoming increasingly dominant as the device of choice for Internet-browsing users. This means they will make decisions based on how a website looks to their device. As a business owner or website operator, you have two choices.
You can create a mobile website design, or you can create a responsive website design. Both of these options have their pros and cons, and it is up to you to weigh them and determine which option is best for you.
The Mobile vs. Responsive Websites
- Pros of Mobile Design
- Ideal for sites that are used on
the go, like maps and locators
- Relatively easy to create using standard tools available today
- Easy to design specifically for the capabilities of mobile devices
- Pros of Responsive Design
- All data is on one domain.
No redirects, no separate content management, no split SEO and no separate updates
- Works more easily with all devices, regardless of screen resolution
- Looks and functions much better on every platform, rather than requiring tuned design for different devices
- Cons of Mobile Design
- The site must detect a mobile user
and redirect them to the mobile site, causing a delay
- Requires updates at the same time as the main site — essentially managing two sites at once
- Much harder to add effective tracking codes and conversion monitors
- Cons of Responsive Design
- More complex to implement initially, which means it will cost more in time and money
- Responsive design puts emphasis on some content for mobile devices and eliminates other content as it scales, meaning you must make the hard decision of what is essential
- More difficult to integrate functions specific to mobile devices, particularly touch interfaces
Responsive design has by no means replaced mobile design. There are still good reasons to integrate one or the other. The choice depends on the business and function of the website in question.
- Mobile Websites Examples
- Responsive Websites Examples