Zoda Design Blog
Responsive Website vs Mobile Website
With all the various devices and computers available, you never know what people are using to view your website. It could be a widescreen 20” monitor or a three in a half inch screen on an old iPhone 4s (and many other screen sizes in between). If your website is not prepared for this, the user is going to have a difficult time viewing your content.
What is Mobile Design?
When you have a mobile design, you basically have the same website, just designed for only mobile devices. The downfall to using mobile design is that you have to make a separate address. For example, most companies are using www.m.domain.com, the “m” standing for mobile. This can be problematic when a user is using an organic search and the mobile site is not showing up in the results. Additionally, having two separate sites that need to be updated on a regular basis could lead to security holes and content inconsistencies. On the other hand, mobile design can potentially save a company money since a full website redesign (to make it responsive) can be expensive, while making a copy could be a cheap fix. Despite this cheap fix, though, a mobile website is not future forward and will eventually have to be recoded and updated to new technology regardless.
What is Responsive Design?
When a website is responsive, it shifts the content on the fly from the size of the screen to landscape or portrait, and it shifts various elements so that they are more readable on smaller screens. When you design with responsive elements the domain stays the same, therefore your security flaws and content inconsistencies are minimized. The only thing different is how the website is coded. Plus, users are going to have an easier time finding your site when performing a keyword search when they’re on mobile devices. Additionally, responsive design is very future forward – no matter what screen size Apple or Samsung decide to make their new devices, the content will shift to fit.
Which is better – Mobile or Responsive?
At the end of the day you have to do what makes sense to you and the needs of your company. While it’s usually best to go with a responsive design, you may not have the budget for it. Even so, it’s the best option to make sure your content is easily viewed by everyone that accesses it. If it costs a little extra to have a developer write some code in the back end, it will pay off in the long run, and you can rest easy knowing that potential customers can view your site no matter what device they are using.
Web Designer / Developer
D-Jay Bidwell is a web developer who is from and still resides in Saginaw, MI. He received his Bachelors of Arts degree in Professional and Technical Writing from Saginaw Valley State University. Starting out his focus was mainly content writing, but quickly developed a passion for web development. You can view his website or send him an email.