Mobile Webdesign: Responsive Design vs Mobile Site

Should you develop one responsive site or an additional mobile site?

Which is better? Why?

Mobile Phone Tablet Desktop Responsive Design

The mobile webdesign question.

Why build two sites when you could just build one that does everything? With tablet and smartphone sales and internet usage overtaking desktop sales and internet usage the need for a sustainable, cross-platform web strategy is clear. Responsive design has grown into a strong leadership position as it delivers a reasonable solution for the need to present mobile and tablet friendly versions of a web experience that may have previously only been catered to a desktop friendly experience.

What's the problem with a mobile site for eCommerce?

And yet, many websites still force their users into difficult to navigate mobile sites that often fail to allow access to the most up-to-date and complete information. With more than 6 Billion mobile phones globally, and over 1 Billion of those web-enabled, a poor mobile experience alienates a large and continuously growing segment of the population that are visiting websites and purchasing on smartphones and tablets.

Key metrics to consider:

  • Over 20% of internet searches are performed on a mobile device.
  • Mobile and tablet devices represent over 25% of website traffic for large eCommerce brands and is growing at roughly 5-10% share per year.
  • Google recommends responsive design in lieu of a separate mobile site.

Why Isn't Responsive Already The Standard?

So why doesn't everyone build their site to be responsive? Initially As the technology emerged that supported responsive design and implementation required significant additional effort that ranged from 2-3 times the amount of time to complete. As it has become more common, those costs have been reduced to 1.5 - 2 times the amount of time. However, the major benefits of a responsive implementation are the following:

  • Single code base reduces total cost of ownership.
  • Familiar, consistent user experience for site visitors.
  • Responsive is preferred for SEO as it requires only crawling a single site.
  • Responsive sites look great at any resolution

Mobile Responsive DesignBenefits

As you can see, building a responsive site not only presents a more consistent user experience, increases your SEO efficiency, ensure a crisp look across a variety of devices, but also cost less. You also reduce user frustration significantly and enable more effective sharing. Responsive sites don't rely on detection of the device to change its formatting, cutting back on users that are mistakenly directed to your mobile site by a link that was shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Tumblr, etc.

30% of eCommerce business was conducted on mobile in 2013. A 20% rise since 2011

Responsive web design also offers a greatly improved content management ability. Independent mobile sites either need manual input of the information or rely on automatic conversion to import the content to the mobile version, which can be ineffective at properly formatting converted articles. At best independent mobile sites require constant QA for new content, and at worse can result in a duplication of work. All content that is added to a site that has mobile responsiveness built in is automatically available on any device without extra work.

Clarity Can Help

At Clarity we are experts in mobile responsive design and implementation. Whether it is a completely new project that your company wants to ensure has the most effective mobile technology behind it, or you're ready to move your current site to a responsive design, we're here to help. Contact us now for a free quote.

Get a Quote: 800.928.8160 (toll-free)

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