Responsive web design Vs dedicated mobile websites

As a mobile nation reliant on the use of smart phones it is important to have a website that is mobile friendly, is it better to dedicate a website specifically dedicated for mobile usage or to develop a responsive website for multipurpose use?

What is a responsive website?

A responsive website is a website that can adapt itself to different screen sizes depending on the device that you are using, for instance the website will be full size on a PC or laptop and will resize itself as the device gets smaller. Depending on the size of the website download speed can sometimes compromise the time it takes to download the content.  Responsive websites are great for those constantly updating content and a time saver as you will not have to update two different websites (mobile and desktop).

What is a mobile website?

A mobile website is very similar to a regular website and can be accessed using different browsers; however it is created for small screens – mobile phones. Mobile websites contain limited content and are faster and a lighter version of a full website. A mobile website is suitable for those looking to make a quick decision or a quick purchase.

Responsive websites lead the pack when it comes to SEO compared to mobile websites and they are steadily becoming an industry standard. They are easy to use and you don’t need to develop multiple sites for multiple platforms with responsive websites.  Another positive to developing a responsive site is that you won’t have duplicate content on the web, nor will you have desktop visitors’ accidentally visiting mobile sites and visa versa.

Responsive sites are recommend by Google, which means that your responsive web design will rank on both mobile search as well as regular search, rather than a mobile only site ranking only for mobile search.

However responsive web design isn’t right for everyone! For instance President Obama decided to go for a responsive website in 2012 while Romney went for a mobile site. The issue with Obama’s website being responsive was that the content was too large to download (4.2B which took over 25 seconds to download.)

There are pros and cons to Responsive Web Design Vs Dedicated Mobile Websites and above is the prime example on why you should do your research and talk to your web designer to find out what is the route for you when developing your next website.


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