To many, mobile website design and responsive website design sound like the same thing. They make it so your site will show up on smartphones, right? True, but there’s so much more to it than that. Keep reading to learn the key differences between these types of designs, and to decide which one is right for your site.
Mobile Website Design
The site design uses a set of predefined layouts based on screen size, and the user is delivered a unique experience based on their device. For example, if a webpage has an interactive slideshow, this feature will be designed differently for a desktop than for a smartphone. The web developer has to code several different versions of a webpage to make this possible.
Pros: Loads quickly, mobile users don’t sacrifice any features, higher conversion, can implement mobile-specific features
Cons: Complex to code, different HTML codes means worse SEO, updating content takes longer, issues arise when a new device comes out
(Note: Mobile website design is different than a mobile app. Most businesses do not need a mobile app, but depending on your industry, product line, and market it may be for you! This is a great article that can help you decide.)
Responsive Website Design
A single webpage will provide a consistent user experience across all devices. This technique allows the website to expand and contract based on the screen sizes. This means that the site will look different on your mobile device than it will on a desktop browser, however it will have all of the same functionality and features.
Pros: Amazing SEO, easier for updating content, will work on current and future devices
Cons: Longer load times, complex to design, potential for design features to not translate well to mobile.
If you need to redesign your website to make it mobile friendly, find an agency that specializes in responsive design. It’s true that responsive web design can head south quickly with an inexperienced designer (think navigation issues, poor photo display, and diminished browser compatibility), so finding someone with experience is a must. A good responsive website designer takes into account every detail of the design – every pixel has a purpose!
When you have a responsive website, your customers will be able to access your page from any device, your SEO will improve, and you won’t need to update your site as frequently. Technologies are getting faster and smarter every day, so optimizing your website in the best way possible is an investment you will benefit from for years to come!