Responsive design or a mobile website? I have debated this in numerous past blogs. Each time I have come to the conclusion that ultimately it depends upon the business however, my personal advise would be to go with a responsive web design over a mobile website. As we move through 2014 and I see the direction the web is going I am feeling much stronger about the fact that responsive design is definitely the way to go. Problems With a Mobile Website There are numerous down sides to choosing to go with a mobile website of a responsive design. Here are just a few:
- Two Websites to Update ? When you have a mobile website, you essentially have 2 websites. You may think that you can go in and make an update to your website through your content management system, but this is no longer all you have to do. The updates you made will update your desktop site however, the updates you made will not show up on your mobile website. So then you have to make sure you remember to go into your mobile website and update the same content. If you don?t then you will have mobile users viewing one thing and desktop users viewing another thing.
- Two Search Engine Optimization Campaigns ? Much like with the websites you will have to run two separate SEO campaigns in order to rank for both desktop and mobile SEO. This will take twice the time and twice the money. Most small business owners don?t have the time to spend on 2 SEO campaigns and can?t afford to hire a professional SEO company to preform 2 campaigns.
- Cost ? If you still don?t see a difference then the cost alone should be what pushes you to go with a responsive design. Getting 2 websites designed is a large cost on its own but then you add in marketing costs for 2 websites and it really makes going with a responsive design a no-brainer.
- The Explosion of Mobile Users ? Mobile users are growing even faster than first thought and because of this it is important to have a website that is friendly towards mobile users. I am sure that you have already noticed an increase in traffic to your website from mobile users. This trend is only going to continue to increase. If you do not have a mobile friendly website then you are ignoring a large portion of your potential online customers.
- Positive User Experience ? A responsive website gives mobile users a positive experience when they view your website. They will still get the same content that a person viewing your website on a desktop gets the only difference is that it is displayed in a way that user friendly towards mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. The one major benefit is that you won?t have to worry about using the zoom and scroll functions. These are two functions that will frustrate many mobile users and cause them to leave your website that is why it is so important that you have a mobile friendly website.
- Blogging and Social Websites Bring Mobile Users ? This is a trend that is becoming more and more obvious. With the increase of blogging sites and the increased popularity of social websites such as Facebook and Twitter mobile users are surfing the web more frequently. There are a growing amount of people out there that check their social media accounts numerous times a day and most of the time they are using their mobile device to check it. If you are running the correct social media marketing campaign then their will be a chance that they could end up finding your website. Your social media campaign will inevitably bring more mobile users to your website than it will desktop users. Why spend all that time on promoting your small business on social media websites if you are directing your traffic to a website that is not mobile friendly?
- Responsive Design is Preferred by the Search Engines ? This is becoming more and more apparent. Google is showing preference to websites that use a responsive design. This alone would be enough to make sure that your online business has a responsive design. It takes a lot of time and money to get your business ranked on the search engines and it is well worth it but as I am sure you know you have to play by the search engine rules and one of the rules is that they want you to have a responsive web design.
- A Speedy Responsive Design ? You can?t just have a responsive web design. Your responsive design must load up quickly or it will end up costing you both with users trying to visit your website as well as with the search engines. This is why you must make sure that you hire a professional web design company that will do the job right the first time. Most small online businesses cannot afford to get this wrong.
- Future Devices ? Mobile devices are not the only future of internet users. Another device you will see internet users using in the future is televisions and there will be new technology in the future you can count on it. The great thing about responsive web design is that it will work on all the new technologies and allow the user to view your website in a user friendly manner.