Most website owners know of certain practices that should be implemented to make the user’s experience better and the website more successful such as SEO, user-friendly interfaces, useful content and more, but there’s another aspect that you should be focusing on. With more and more people using their smartphones and tablets to browse the web, it’s incredibly important to ensure that your website is easy to use with mobile devices. Two ways of achieving this is by making your site either mobile friendly or responsive. Each type of design has its own advantages and disadvantages to consider in determining which is actually better for your website.
Pros of Mobile Friendly
Mobile friendly sites are websites designed with certain functions and buttons that are specifically designed for mobile users to make their experience better. For instance, instead of pages of content, the website can be designed to merely continue scrolling all of the content with swipes of the screen. Other features such as disabling flash and lower resolution pictures are also added to make it easier for mobile users to browse the website.
Mobile friendly sites are popular due to their lower costs and beneficial aspects and features that responsive designs may not have. Since mobile sites are on their own separate domain, you may also include features that may be more beneficial to mobile users but would be useless to laptop or PC users. In this aspect, mobile friendly sites can be viewed as more innovative than responsive website designs.
Cons of Mobile Friendly
Since mobile friendly sites need to be hosted on their own domain, they basically act as a separate website. This means that revenue collected from mobile links will be separate if any can be collected at all. SEO features may also be affected due to users being lead to two different websites in certain searches. Mobile friendly sites also tend to need updates and upgrades on more frequent occasions due to constantly changing technology and browsers.
Pros of Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design allows your website to instantly change its function and look based on the screen resolution, browser and type of device being used. No matter if you’re using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC, the website will be able to work just as well on any device. Responsive websites are not hosted on a separate domain as the coding for the functionality is built right into your existing website, allowing you to easily collect views and revenue from links and SEO. Responsive web design is also meant to be long-lasting, meaning that there is little need for frequent updates or changes to keep up with changing technology.
Cons of Responsive Web Design
It costs quite a bit more to redesign a website to be responsive than it does to create a mobile friendly website. It can also be argued that responsive web design doesn’t offer a lot of the fancier options for mobile users to enjoy, but there are plenty of ways to integrate nearly every option for mobile users into a responsive website in a way that is not disruptive to laptop and PC users.
If you’re on a tight budget, it’s better to go for a mobile friendly website. However, if you’re willing to pay the extra money a responsive website is a better solution as it’s less of a hassle, easy to use and even more profitable to you.