Responsive Website or Mobile Design?

Responsive Website or Mobile Design?

Written by: Edward Cupler

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Responsive Website Design vs Mobile

So you’re thinking of making your website more accessible on mobile devices. That’s great, given the huge increase of people using mobile devices and sales of such devices only predicted to increase over the next few years. Obviously you’ll want your site to look good and be easy to navigate on standard mobile phones, but have you considered tablets and other portable computers? They’re just small enough to make your full sized website harder to use but not so small that the standard mobile website would be very practical. So what should you do? You’re already going to build a separate mobile website. Should you build a third website to accommodate mobile tablets as well? Of course not. That’s what responsive websites are all about. One website for all devices.

Why a Responsive Website?

Responsive websites are built to accommodate many different devices from desktop computers all the way down to mobile phones. The best part is that all these devices are accommodated by the same responsive website. That means you only need to maintain one website and your web address never changes to display the mobile version. Also, when it comes to search engine optimization, Google prefers it that way. Unlike a responsive website, most mobile websites have a different web address (example: m.yourmobileversion.com) from their desktop counterpart. Sometimes even the content must be maintained separately. This can become time consuming, and in business, time is money.

So how do responsive websites work?

Responsive websites automatically adjust to the users screen size. They do this by adjusting images and text content to be easily readable. Navigation menus are also morphed into more compacted versions while still allowing access to all of your websites content. Some design elements may also be changed or hidden as to not crowd the limited space. This is all done to eliminate any need for the user to resize and scroll the site just to simply be able to use the content of the website. This leaves you with a website that works well for all users, not just those on desktops, laptops and few predefined mobile devices.

The Future of Website Design

I’ve seen estimates predicting that mobile devices will take over desktop Internet surfing as the most popular method of accessing the Internet in the next few years. Your customers will soon come to expect full and easy to use access to all of your website content no matter what device they’re using. While responsive website design isn’t without it’s limitations, if you truly want to reach your customers anywhere on any device and and have your website ready for new devices yet to come, responsive website design is in your future.

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