Web Development

Mobile Site vs. Responsive Site: What’s the Difference?

san diego web design

Over time, people’s behavior in browsing the Internet changes. There was a time when most san Diego web design Internet browsing happens on desktop computers. Since most mobile phones can now connect to the Internet, people prefer using their phones to get information. As such, websites must be responsive.

With over 51% of Internet users checking information on their phones, the website should cater to their behavior. There are two options for business owners- a mobile-friendly site and a responsive site. Both options might seem similar, but there are fundamental differences. Understanding why they’re not the same is essential. Asking for help from a San Diego web design company can also help determine which one is better. 

Mobile sites 

A dedicated mobile site is different from the primary website. It’s under a different URL too. If visitors open the website through their mobile devices, they will get redirected to the mobile site. 

The site works perfectly for mobile device users, but it doesn’t provide access to the full content. Designers can cherry-pick the content depending on importance and priorities. It allows a better user experience. It also requires a better understanding of user behavior. It helps in optimizing the content available on the mobile site. 

Responsive site

A responsive website changes depending on the device used by the user. The website automatically changes based on how it appears on the device. A three-column format website on a desktop computer will adjust to two or single columns depending on the mobile device used. In doing so, the content looks clearer and easier to understand. The font size automatically adjusts. The images also fit the screen. If the user wants to zoom out the text and image, it’s possible. The flexibility of this design helps make the website more useful to visitors. They won’t have a hard time browsing the pages. 

For businesses, it’s also advantageous in terms of maintenance costs. There’s no need to spend money to maintain the mobile site, which is different from the primary site. 

The downside is that mobile device users might not feel that the layout is customized enough for them. It’s like a mini version of what they can view on bigger devices. 

Which is better?

Some web designers argue that mobile-friendly websites are better than responsive sites. Others believe the opposite. There’s value in using either one of these options. However, for better maintenance and flexibility, a responsive site is ideal. 

The good thing about a responsive site is that the business only needs to manage one site. It’s cheaper and more efficient. Another advantage is that there’s no need to determine which content to eliminate on the mobile website. The content is the same as the primary site. Mobile device users don’t miss out on anything. If the primary site holds value for its entire content, it makes no sense to leave information out. 

How does it affect search engine optimization?

Understanding the differences between these two options is also necessary for SEO purposes. It is another area where responsive sites are better. They help free SEO managers from determining the potential impact of users getting redirected to the mobile site. The only issue is that Google changes rules all the time. There might be changes in the future that may favor mobile sites’ over-responsive sites. For now, in terms of SEO strategies, responsive sites are more convenient. The impact of that chosen layout on search engine ranking is an even bigger reason for working with a San Diego web design company. It’s better to ask for help from experts. They can analyze the choices and help determine what’s best.

Mobile-first policy

Another reason why responsive sites are better is the new mobile-first policy by Google. It prioritizes websites that optimize for mobile devices. Loading speed and content quality for mobile phones are among the criteria in ranking websites. The problem with the mobile site is that it doesn’t have the same content as the responsive site. A few things got removed. It lowers the content quality and harms the search engine ranking results. This change is already affecting current search engine rankings, but Google gave the assurance that this policy won’t have a drastic impact. However, to be safe, it’s better to follow the responsive site design.

Responsive sites are forward-looking 

Understanding the differences between these two options is easy. The challenging part is determining which one is the right choice. In solving this problem, the key is to look at what users want. Do they always use their mobile devices? What issues do they face when opening the website across different devices? Does the main website contain details that should stay regardless of the device used? Answering these questions will give a better view of the layout to follow.

Perhaps, the biggest advantage of following the responsive site layout is that it’s forward-looking. Google will always announce changes in ranking websites. Future changes might even be more unfriendly to mobile sites. It makes the job easier for responsive site owners. 

Ask for help in dealing with web design elements

It’s quite challenging to decide which of the two layouts is better. There are pros and cons to each choice. While responsive sites are better in different aspects, it still boils down to what the business needs. 

Choosing between these two is only one aspect of web design. After designing the right layout, the next step is to determine what other elements to include on the website. There will be tougher choices to consider in the future. To make the job easier, asking for help from a reputable San Diego web design agency is necessary. They know these elements well. They also see the importance of what goes into the website. With their help, making decisions becomes a lot easier. Working with the agency also saves time. Since time is crucial in running a website, there’s value in asking for these services. They will also help maintain the website to prevent possible errors and adapt to design changes.

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