Many small businesses are now acknowledging that their website does not provide a good experience for visitors who are on a mobile device.  This results in many mobile visitors leaving and going to a competitor’s site.  There are two ways this can be solved retooling or building a responsive design or building a mobile site.

A mobile site is a new build of a separate site for the mobile user and may not contain all of the content on the original website.  Mobile sites are

responsive web design
Example of responsive web design. Not easy to read.

straight forward and provide the information that a visitor is most likely looking for in a easy layout.
Responsive web design is a layout that will automatically respond to the device being used and displaying the site in a user-friendly format. These websites are easy to read and navigate with minimum scrolling and resizing based on the device dimensions.
How do you choose which approach is best? It can come done to costs. But the real question is what experience do you want your visitors to have.
Now let us compare the rendering experience of the mobile websites and responsive web design.

  • A mobile website is the copy of the original website where the server delivers the page which is smaller and easy to navigate. In Responsive web design, the device adjusts the page according to the device screen and also decides the orientation.
  • A new domain is created for a mobile website; therefore the links shared from mobile website browser will not be counted in the search equity of the main or the primary site. In the case of responsive web design the domain is left unchanged, but the code is changed at the back-end so it maintains the company’s link search equity.
  • A benefit of the mobile site is that you don’t have to worry about any current code from your main site and you can start fresh with modern techniques and best practices.
  • The responsive web design technology is such that if once deployed it will work well for the coming years, but mobile websites have to be programmed periodically, owing to the changing technology in the mobile industry. Both the sites serve the same purpose but what differs between the two is the mode of operation.

Responsive web design is usually more costly because the code has to be retooled or an entire new site developed. If the website contains massive amount of data to be shared, then a mobile website will be less costly and quicker to deploy. Maintenance cost for responsive website is less as compared to mobile website.
With the continuous evolution in the smart phone industry and regular releases of the OS versions, availability of abundant applications has

mobile website
An example of a mobile website.

completely changed the way consumers use their mobile phones.
Responsive web design is suitable for corporate websites, media and news sites, location based services and it involves specialized knowledge of this technology. Mobile websites have a better user experience as compared to the responsive web design.
Responsive web design is an emerging trend in the market but will it be able to meet the web application challenges in the highly advanced era of mobile phones? The answer lies what you are trying to achieve using the website. Nevertheless, mobile websites definitely offer better and faster performance.
If you have questions about using mobile or responsive design we are happy to help.

About the Author: Donna Amos

I believe you can achieve anything you truly want to achieve. “It might sound trite, but time and time again, I’ve seen it happen with my clients. They overcome the fear of exposing themselves to the possibility of failure to creating profitable exciting businesses. My clients do great work, and sometimes it only takes someone else believing in them to give them the confidence to step out and take the chance.”