Should You Consider a Responsive Design or Mobile Site in 2015?
As mobile grows more popular, websites must embrace these changes and make the proper adjustments to their website. Yet one question that still comes up is whether the better option is a responsive design or a dedicated mobile website. As you look to improve your mobile marketing strategy in 2015, you will need to make a decision as to which option is best.
A responsive design is a flexible solution that allows the original design of the website to automatically adjust to whatever device the user is using, whether it be a smartphone, desktop or tablet. A mobile site, on the other hand, is a copy of your website that is optimized and easier for mobile users to navigate. Is there a better option? Perhaps. Let’s discuss the pros and cons to both.
Pros and Cons to Responsive Design
With a responsive design, you’re able to keep your own domain and nothing changes, except for some coding on the backend. Not only is this easier for you, but also Google favors this format. A single shared site preserves your URL, avoids complicated redirects and simplifies web address sharing. Having a responsive design is better for search, and you should see a better return on investment because anything done to your main site will be applied across devices, and it will work on devices going forward without any additional programming.
The only true drawback to consider is that a responsive design provides the same experience across devices, which is both good and bad. Mobile users are generally in a different state of buying mind when they are on a mobile device, and you can use this opportunity to tailor their experience if you use a dedicated site. Also, if your main site is heavy on the graphics and difficult to navigate, mobile users are going to find it frustrating.
Pros and Cons to Mobile Site
A mobile site is a good option if a responsive design will be too costly. The highlight of dedicated mobile sites is that you are able to customize the experience for the mobile user. You can keep your main site just the way you want without having to account for your mobile audience, and you can tailor the experience for mobile users who have a shorter attention span.
There are quite a few drawbacks to mobile that should be considered. First, although the initial cost of the design may be cheaper, you will need to re-work the site in order to stay current with the latest devices, and this will end up costing you more in the long run. Plus, any updates that need to be made to your websites will need to be done individually.
A mobile site may or may not have its own domain. The site can be built within the primary site but not be responsive. If it has its own domain, this could hurt organic search traffic. Also, the links from your mobile browsers will not count toward your primary site, so it won’t be as beneficial for search.
Well, there you have it. Responsive design and a dedicated mobile site. If you would like to chat more about these options and see which is the best fit, contact WSI Net Advantage.