Mobile Website vs. Responsive Design

Feb 9, 2016 | Web Development

Both responsive design and mobile websites are viable options. In this blog we explain the difference between the two options and which option will work best for you.

Mobile Website vs. Responsive Design

Having a mobile-friendly website is a vital component of any digital marketing strategy. In April 2015, Google updated their algorithm to begin factoring in the mobile-friendliness of a given website. Other search engines followed suit shortly after. Since this time, many website owners have migrated to responsive design. Many who had mobile websites also took this opportunity to transition to a responsive design format. Both responsive design and mobile websites are viable options. In this blog, we explain the difference between the two options and which option will work best for you.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design refers to a website that is specially coded to automatically resize to fit the device it is being displayed on. Whether you pull a responsive website up on a desktop, tablet or smartphone, you will be greeted with an optimal viewing experience.

There are many benefits to having a responsive website. Developers find that the responsive website is the easiest and safest option because it uses only one domain. The back-end code is specially developed to detect the dimensions of a screen it is being accessed on and respond appropriately. This also means that updates to the main website will carry over across all devices. Responsive design also ensures that you are ready for whatever new devices may come our way!

What is a Mobile Website?

A mobile website is more or less a copy of your website, catered to mobile devices. Mobile websites use different domains than the main site and require maintenance of two separate codebases. The plus side to this is that you can create a unique experience on your mobile website. Unfortunately, the mobile website isn’t exactly future-ready. This means that new devices and browsers could potentially derail your mobile website down the road.

Which Should I Use?

Responsive design is typically the preferred option for mobile-friendly websites. However, your goals will dictate which makes sense for you. We generally recommend that clients go responsive when they are ready for a redesign. But that doesn’t mean that a mobile website isn’t an option. If you find that you want to create a completely unique experience on mobile, a mobile website may be the way to go. And if you currently have a mobile website and are not in a position to undergo a redesign, there is no need to fret. Mobile websites are still useful at this time and as long as you are mobile friendly, Google will reward you.

If you need assistance with going responsive, please contact Informatics. Our developers and designers would be happy to help!