Websites built for the mobile world
When you’re designing a website a lot of your customers will be viewing it on their mobile phone or iPad, not on a traditional computer screen.
With this in mind, website agencies now have to take into serious consideration how the website will look on a small screen rather than just the old fashioned desk top view. Additionally, screen sizes vary immensely so that also needs to be taken into account when designing a new website. There are two ways of building a mobile friendly website with pros and cons to each. This article helps to explain the differences so that companies can make an informed choice on the route that they wish to go.
A mobile website is a site that is created specifically for use on mobile phones and tablets. This means it has a separate URL address to its desktop version. This doesn’t mean that the site will be totally different to the main site – it will essentially be a copy, but nonetheless a unique browsing experience.
A responsive website is built into the original site. Rather than creating a separate mobile site, code is added to the company’s website which means when you visit the site from a phone or tablet, it ‘responds’ and adapts to the new sizing and requirements.
There are, as always, pros and cons for each…
The key benefits for a mobile site are that they load faster and look better on a mobile device. They are only loading the things you have optimised the site to display which will result in a speedier load, and the site has been specifically designed for the small screen lending to a better user experience. As a mobile site doesn’t need extra coding to make it responsive it can also be cheaper. However, if you want your new mobile site to look the same as the desktop version you will also need to create a new desktop version which could then increase costs. With a separate mobile website if you update your desktop website it won’t automatically update the mobile version. You will now be running two websites which isn’t the best solution from a search engine point of view, or time management.
The biggest advantage with a responsively designed website is that everything is under one URL, so this is good for your search engine power. Updating your site becomes much easier and quicker as there is only one site to update, not two. Google also favours responsive design. Website designed responsively adapt to whatever screen size the viewer is using. This means you won’t have to pay further money down the line when new smartphones and tablets come on the market.
At Intent Marketing we lean towards responsive design, as it suits our clients’ needs best. We do, however, also offer mobile sites for the cases that require it.