According to Google, over the past two years alone, mobile search traffic has increased five-fold.

As more and more customers are on the go, searching for products and services from their mobile devices it's becoming imperative for businesses to engage with their customers and enhance their mobile experience. For some businesses building a separate mobile website may seem appropriate.

We'll review and compare the differences between a separate mobile site vs. responsive design… and why Responsive Design is better.

What Is A Mobile Site?

In a nutshell, a mobile website is a copy of your website where the server does the work to deliver the page that is smaller and easier to navigate.

You usually create a different domain; ie. "m.company.com"

What Is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is one site that adapts to the viewer's device whether it is a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Responsive is a design technique that automatically resizes and adjusts the website on various device screen sizes and orientations. Content for all devices is thus served from the same domain.

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Mobile Site Vs. Responsive

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Google Prefers Responsive: Responsive design has one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device. This means that it is easier for Google to crawl, index, and organize content. Don't take our word for it,;check out "why responsive design" from Google.

Maintenance (Time is Money): A separate mobile site needs TLC too! Creating a mobile site means having a separate mobile domain. Consider not only the cost of maintaining a second site; chances are you will have to update your mobile site every time you update your desktop version! And of course, with a mobile site, you have to update it in accordance to new phones, tablets, mobile browsers etc… Time is money!

Responsive design means one site for multiple devices, so maintenance is easy… one website is cheaper than two.

SEO Value: As mobile sites use a separate domain links are split between two sites. Responsive design on the other hand has all link love and social traffic go to one and the same domain.

Conclusion:

Easier to manage, preferred by Google and more "future-ready": Responsive Design is in general the way to go and a better run for your investment in the long run.

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2 Responses to “Why You Should Choose Responsive Design Over A Mobile Site”

  1. naeem says:

    agreed on the responsive verdict.

    Our online store (200 000 visitors a month) for the last 3 years had a mobile site (redirect) while it did work and did the job, it was never as polished and in line with our design.

    Earlier this month we revamped our store and went responsive, eliminating the mobile site. We have seen a significant increase in engagement, time spent and sales/conversions.

    More importantly, we've see strong growth in the tablet/phablet demographic too.

    Over time i'm certain our SEO will get a boost too :)

  2. Nice article on responsive disgn! Of course Google is recommending the less crawl intesive mobile design to save resources on their end. In my opinion the contextual environment of the visitor is also important: Just fitting the same kind of content on a smaller screen leaves a lot of potential behind. How about tailoring the content itself to the situation the visitor is in at the moment? Instead of displaying long articeles they could be summarised when visited from a mobile device that is not connected to wifi etc…