A Responsive Design vs. a Mobile Site

Both a responsive design and a mobile website will optimize your site for smartphone consumption; and both options provide user-friendly navigation and quick load times. Despite the shared benefits, the two options do have their differences. The advantages and disadvantages of both a responsive design and a mobile website are below.

 

Consideration Responsive Design  Mobile Website
Rendering Experience
  • A user’s device does all the work when it comes to responsive design
  • Responsive sites are automatically adjusted to screen size and orientation
  • Responsive design is the more budget-friendly of the two choices
  • A mobile site is a copy of a primary website that can fit within a phone's viewport
  • The server makes sure that mobile users receive the appropriate experience depending on whether they're accessing the site from desktop or mobile
  • This option provides marketing teams with the ability to customize and optimize mobile experiences
Website Domain
  • Responsive sites utilize only one domain. There are no changes except for code on the back-end
  • Google prefers responsive design as a mobile solution. Maintaining a single site preserves a canonical URL and simplifies the sharing of web addresses
  • Mobile sites require a different domain, like m.website.com, for example
  • A mobile domain can have a damaging impact on organic search ranking and traffic
  • Further, maintaining a mobile site can also over-complicate website management since there are two different properties to work with
 SEO 
  • A responsive site's link equity is preserved since new code is only embedded on the back-end of a website
  • As a result, responsive sites are a better option for SEO
  • Any links shared from mobile browsers will not contribute to any search equity towards the primary site because a mobile site utilizes a separate domain
  • As a result, this option is not as good for overall SEO.
 Future-Proof
  • Responsive technology is future-proof. A responsive design work on next generation devices without any further development
  • A responsive site provides better returns on investment
  • In order to keep up with new devices, a mobile site may require development and up-keep to remain current
  • A mobile site may result in on-going maintenance and higher expense

 

 

 

 

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