Dedicated Mobile Sites vs Responsive Design

It’s 2014 and more than ever, your customers are using mobile devices to view your website and search the internet. In fact, for each year that goes by, the percentage of mobile viewers continue to increase. So what does that mean for you?

Plainly speaking, your website should be viewable on all devices. At a bare minimum, your site should perform correctly on all devices and screens. Things like using jQuery and CSS for slideshows rather than the ancient Flash framework is a started.

Next, depending on your needs of your business, presenting your website so that it appears larger on mobile devices can be very nice for your potential customers.

There are 2 different ways to achieve this in which we’ll explore below:

1. Responsive Design

Responsive Design is the latest and greatest when it comes to web development. Although responsive design has been around for a few years now, 2013 was the year where it really took root as the industry standard for designing & developing websites. So what is responsive design?

Responsive design is where you develop a site based on a grid. The grid is built to automatically size down from screen to screen and automatically adjust to accommodate the difference in resolution.  So if you’re viewing your site on a desktop screen and you take the cursor from the bottom right to down-size the screen, you’ll see the website adapts and moves around accordingly so that no matter what screen or device you view it on, the site remains large and bold.

Pros of Responsive:

1. They are good for SEO – Dedicated mobile sites are a little less efficient than responsive, since you’re technically creating 2 index pages, 1 for desktop and 1 for mobile. This can affect SEO if you’re using duplicate content.

Responsive utilizes one site, so SEO isn’t a factor.

2. Easier to Update – Since a responsive site is only 1 site, you wont have to perform updates twice on 2 separate sites.

2. Dedicated Mobile Site

Dedicated mobile sites are the best solution for clients who already have an existing website and don’t want their website overhauled for responsive. This route is usually much less expensive, as you’re basically creating a simplified 2nd version of your main site.

Pros of Dedicated Sites:

1. Ease of construction & deployment – Mobile sites can be built pretty quickly and can accommodate all of the customization of a main site.

2. Cost – Without a doubt, a basic mobile site is usually at least a 3rd of the cost of a responsive site. Obviously this can vary based on the complexity of the site.

All in all, both options bring a lot to the table with responsive being more mainstream. The bottom line, is that providing a positive mobile experience for your customers is getting more and more important each year.

Until Next Time!