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Responsive Web Design VS Mobile Site

12 February 2014

mobile site The number of mobile users are growing rapidly over these past few years, about 10% to 30% of your website visitors came through mobile devices. Does your business have a mobile-optimized website to capture all those mobile users? Apparently desktop websites are no longer adequate to serve its purpose these days.

For example, a potential customer come to your Facebook page on her smartphone. She then clicks one of your ongoing promotions and is brought to your website. Now since your website doesn't support mobile devices, she'd have to keep zoom in all the way and perhaps leaves your site before she even gets what she's looking for. The main question is not why we need mobile-optimized website, but what mobile optimization methods suitable for your business? Responsive Web Design or Mobile Site?

Responsive Web Design

Websites using Responsive Web Design method automatically adapts itself on different screen sizes they're viewed on. Since it's a platform with single website, single domain, and single url then it'd be easier to manage and maintain not only the content, but also in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In other words, less maintenance cost.

But having just one website for all types of devices may not always be easy for your site viewers. User Experience (UX) on mobile devices is completely different experience than on desktop. You might try to satisfy both mobile and desktop users with the same user interface, but you could end up loosing them both. Your mobile users might also experiencing HTTP Error 413: Request entity too large from time to time if you force them to load heavy-data websites on their mobile devices. Not to mention flash animations, jQuery scripts, and a number of other interactive components are not working on mobile browsers.

Mobile Site

Designed specifically for smaller screen size on mobile devices. So when developing a mobile site you should always pay attention on the small screen size and interaction methods (tap, swipe, etc.). Content must always organized into one-column layout. Separate UX for mobile and desktop users, and your site will get higher rank when people search keywords related to your business on mobiles devices. Mobile site development cost less than responsive design sites which need sophisticated coding and heavy technicalities. In other words, less development cost.

Final question, which solution is suitable for your business? It depends on the scale of your business, the budget you are willing to throw, and more importantly the solution that works best for your customers.

About Site by Tommy

Freelance web design and developer in Jakarta and Microsoft Certified Professional with five years of experience in web design and development, application development, database system, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), graphic design, logo design, business cards, corporate letterhead, posters/banners, brochures and flyers, social media marketing, and email marketing/campaign.

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