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Mobile vs. Responsive Web Design

The internet is on the verge of being dominating by mobile devices. And as the hub of your company’s digital presence, your website must cater to this rapidly growing web consumption. It is time to choose a winner in the battle dubbed “mobile vs responsive web design”.

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While mobile web usage by industry will certainly vary, needing a mobile website design is a no-brainer for any business. Whether your site generates traffic from email, social media or search engines – your website visitors are expecting a congruent mobile experience. Even search engines have taken notice of the importance of mobile. Non-mobile-friendly sites are being removed from organic rankings.

You grasp how imperative mobile is for your website, but now what? There are two main methods for developing a website for mobile:

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Mobile-Friendly

Developing a mobile-friendly website allows a business to deliver a custom experience for mobile users. As a second website intended only for mobile visitors, a company can specify what content and actions are the most important for that audience. So, a mobile-friendly website may contain only portions of its desktop counterpart.

A mobile-friendly website is ideal for brands with customers expecting a streamlined user experience. These scenarios are more common with B2C relationships than with B2B. Examples of these industries would include travel and hospitality.

Cost, time and ongoing maintenance are factors to consider with this mobile design option. The creation of a mobile-first website will take planning, and potentially new content development. Any redesign or update needs applied to both your mobile and desktop versions, as well as SEO strategies.

Responsive

In a responsive website, the same content, images and navigation adjusts to the size of the device screen. To test whether a website is responsive or not, shrink the width of your browser window. If you observe a website restacking content and images to fit into a single column format, then that website is responsive.

CMS development platforms, like WordPress, have made creating mobile websites much easier, with the availability of responsive themes. That doesn’t mean that designing a responsive website is “drag-and-drop” easy. Like any website, brands should test across devices to ensure content is rendering properly. But with only one website to design and maintain, both up-front and ongoing costs are less when compared to a mobile-friendly site.

Responsive websites are ideal for brands with tighter budgets and resources. B2B companies that use their website to share content and collect sales leads are also great candidates for a responsive design because their websites are more informative vs. transactional.

For information about the difference between mobile-friendly and responsive email design, click here.

Deciding Factors

While both mobile design options are widely accepted, there will be a right solution for your brand.
Questions to ask yourself include:

  • How does your audience currently use your website?
  • What is your budget?
  • What available internal resources for content development and maintenance do you have?

Your website is a living, breathing piece of your company. It is customer-facing and can work in tandem with your best sales team. If you don’t take the time to evolve with your users, you will miss out on potential opportunities.

If you could use some help evaluating how users are currently engaging on your website – our team can navigate your Google Analytics data, providing insights and recommendations for website design and structure. Contact Proximity Marketing today!

Let's Make Your Website More Useful:

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About the Author

Beth Kereszturi

Beth is our Lead Web Marketing Strategist who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.