For years, web designers and marketers have been discussing mobile and responsive designs. As a way to encourage the adoption of mobile-friendly or responsive design on websites, Google made mobile-friendliness an official ranking feature in its search algorithm in April of 2015. Mobile Optimised and Responsive Sites are not the same thing, despite their similar-sounding names.
In this article, we'll go through the differences between responsive and mobile-friendly website design and how it affects user experience. We'll also provide some pointers on how to pick the best alternative for your company.
Developers were ahead of the curve in anticipating and responding to this shift to mobile use by establishing what was dubbed the "mobile site." Sites that are specifically developed for mobile devices are known as "mobile-friendly" or "mobile-optimised." When using a smartphone to access a desktop website, it can be a frustrating experience because the page elements often appear stacked on top of one another and the text is disjointed or otherwise difficult to read. Faster download rates and additional mobile-specific capabilities such as click-to-call, GPS mapping, and object hyperlinking via QR codes are also provided by mobile optimised sites.
Is there any difference between a "mobile site" and a "responsive site?" You might think of mobile websites as independent from their desktop counterparts, while responsive websites are just versions of your site that can be adapted to fit any screen size. In order to display a unified web page that suits the user's screen size and orientation (small or large), a responsive website interacts with the viewing device, rearranging specific page elements (portrait or landscape). To ensure that the most important aspects of a web page are visible and legible, responsive websites undertake these actions on the fly, "responding" to the exact device requirements of the user. The benefits of responsive websites are immediately apparent if you've ever used a mobile device to view a non-responsive site. Non-responsive sites are more likely to have visual anomalies such as missing images or content that is jumbled or badly organised.
Your website's goal will play a big role in whether or not you should use a mobile-optimised or responsive site. A mobile-optimised website will provide a streamlined, uncomplicated user experience for your potential customers if you operate an online store or other forms of an e-commerce site. The decreased page load time provided by mobile-optimised sites will also aid in cutting abandonment rates, making this an important factor to consider. Countless studies have shown that customers would simply go elsewhere if they have to wait too long for a page to load before purchasing an item. Online retailers' "workhorses," mobile-optimised sites are good "workhorses" since they provide simple and efficient transaction capabilities.
It isn't uncommon for online businesses to adopt responsive websites, but content-heavy sites like blogs or online magazines are the most common. Responsive design is not a "fast fix" that can be added to an existing site; it necessitates a complete redesign of the design and coding, which may be prohibitively expensive for many companies. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to construct a distinct mobile-optimised site rather than a responsive overhaul of your current desktop site. It is widely accepted that responsive design is the future of the Internet.
When it comes to consumer electronics, responsive websites are seen as forward-thinking because they take into account the ever-changing landscape of mobile devices. As soon as the iPhone was released, it revolutionised the way people accessed and saw the Internet. As time passed, a slew of new smartphones from a variety of manufacturers hit the market, each with a unique interface for viewing Internet content. Future-proofed responsive web pages can support any new design requirements that may emerge from various manufacturers because they offer maximum flexibility and adaptability.
In conclusion, both mobile optimised and responsive websites have their benefits and drawbacks, so you'll need to assess your demands, budget, and goals before making a decision. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to website construction, but remember that the general public isn't interested in them. They just want the site to work when they visit it. Finally, that's what we ought to aim for as well, don't you think?
If you need help optimising your website for mobile or responsive design, look no further than Elephant in the Boardroom’s Website Development. We build mobile-friendly and responsive website design to give your business a competitive edge. Let’s talk about your website needs –schedule a call or send us a message.