What's the Difference Between Mobile and Responsive Design?


One of the biggest topics among many web developers and small business owners these days are the accessibility of websites on various wireless devices (i.e. iPhone, Android and tablet). So, what’s really the difference between building a mobile design and a responsive design? Here’s the answer:

Responsive Design

A Responsive website is specifically designed to automatically adjust to whatever device is accessing a website. If one of your visitors is viewing your home page from a PC, tablet or mobile phone, the content will remain the same all throughout. A responsive website is flexible because it allows you to display your content the way you want your visitors to view it, regardless of what device they’re using to access your website.

Why Build a Responsive Website?

With a responsive website design, you don’t have to build a separate mobile website design. You can use with other web solutions, such as native apps. Plus, it is a lot easier to manage a responsive site because it is a single data source.

Tip: Avoid designing a website that only focuses on one type of customer. For example, if you only design a website that caters to desktop users, you’re excluding mobile phone and tablet users.

Mobile Website Design

A mobile website is designed specifically for mobile devices. It is designed in addition to a Desktop website. It displays content that’s most important to the user. It will not contain certain Desktop features, such as Flash. A mobile website’s design should be clean and avoid having too many graphics. Otherwise, it will slow down the amount of time it takes to load on a screen.

The key is to provide the user with the most important pages, such as the Contact, Directions, About or any other page you want visitors to access first.

Why Build a Mobile Website?

With a mobile website, your visitors receive an improved user experience. You can instantly engage users with a variety of features, such as mapping and click-to-call functions. A separate mobile website is often more cost-effective than redesigning responsively. It also increases the amount of time a person normally spends on a site.

In contrast, if you only have a Desktop version of your website, it will be difficult for people to access your website from a mobile device. As a result, they will more than likely abandon the website.

When your website is easy to access and navigate, people are more likely to bookmark your website or make a purchase.

Tip: A mobile website should have a link to the full Desktop version.

What Website Design Option is Right for Your Business?

If you’re thinking about enhancing your mobile user experience, Responsive Design and Mobile Design are both great options. What it all boils down to is choosing a website that will cater to your target audience’s needs. To find out more information about our responsive design and mobile design services, contact us today or call: 866.213.2352.

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