September 24th, 2012
Jennifer Web Design Tags, , , , , ,

Should I have a Responsive Website or a Mobile Website?

It is becoming increasingly more common for people to access the internet on their phones. In fact, it’s become so commonplace that it is believed that by 2013, more people will be using the internet on their phones over their desktops. That very idea is why it is important that you take into consideration how important building a mobile friendly website can be. Due to the recent development of responsive web design, it is much easier to create mobile optimized websites.

What exactly is responsive web design?
It is a relatively new web development technique, where the layout of a website changes with the screen that it is being viewed on. Meaning that one website can be viewed on a variety of different devices such as mobiles, tablets and desktops (as well as future technological advancements).

 

The question that many people are facing today when developing their websites is whether or not to choose to design a separate mobile site, or go with the responsive web design route. There are a few factors to consider when making that choice such as, context, content, and the current situation of your business.

1.       What is the Context of your Website?

Let’s talk about context first. If you decide to go with responsive web design, you will have the same content on both small and large screens; the only thing that changes is formatting. However, should you decide to create a whole separate mobile site, you can change content completely. You may want to include certain information on your original website that you deem unnecessary to be put on the mobile website.

If you are browsing the web from your desktop, chances are you are checking a website pretty thoroughly and are going to run down the different buttons in the navigation to learn a little bit more about the company. However, when checking a website on your mobile phone, it most likely is for something more pressing. Maybe you need quick directions, or store hours. It is important to have the most pertinent information readily available. You have to decide whether you want to serve different content through different devices, or whether you want all information to stay the same throughout. Think about your viewers and what you think they would want when accessing your website on the go. Do they need all the information from the original site?

2.       What kind of Content does your Website Offer?

The next thing you should consider is your content.  One of the most important things to think about when developing a mobile website is speed. Mobile devices are often much slower than desktops and therefore browsers are slower. Think about your content, and make sure that you are not including anything that is unnecessary, as the more content you have, the longer it will take to load. While you have the option when using responsive web design to have things not displayed on mobile devices, it doesn’t always stop them from being downloaded and taking up bandwidth. The more images, videos and content on your site, the harder it will be to prevent it from downloading on mobiles. Therefore it is very important to think about how your content is going to affect your mobile site.

3.       What is the State of your Business?

Finally, you need to consider where your business is at. You need to ask yourself how satisfied you are with your current website, and how valuable your mobile visitors are to your success. People with existing websites need to take into consideration that in order for their website to be responsive, the original website will have to be revamped, which may be more expensive than just creating a separate mobile site. However, if you don’t already have a website, or are not in love with the one you do have, then going responsive might be worth it to you. You need to figure out what will be most beneficial to your business. Think about the amount of traffic you get and how you think you can best capitalize on that already existing traffic.

Are you satisfied with your website, do you think responsive web design could provide a better user experience on various devices, or would you prefer just a totally different mobile website altogether? Jennifer Web Design can help you to develop the right path and put it into action now. If you have any questions or are not sure which is right for you, please do not hesitate to call or email us.

Call us today for a free consultation at 702-823-1103, or email us at info@jenniferwebdesign.com.