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The purpose of a mobile website is self-explanatory, a version of your website that is designed to be user friendly when viewed from a mobile device (smart phone). Less information and content, easier to navigate through, larger buttons, phone numbers that could be clicked on to place a phone call, etc.
A mobile website is in fact a different version of your website. You will notice in most cases the site will redirect to a mobile version.
The mobile site generally provides you with the option to link back to the full website; however, this means there are two versions of your website on the web.
This also means updating content in two places, optimizing two versions of the site, mainly managing two pieces of website property rather than maintaining one.
Since the point of a mobile website is to nicely fit a smart phone, a dedicated mobile site generally lacks the majority of the main website’s content.
A mobile website is generally much more easier to build and requires a lot less work to build.
A mobile web site is much cheaper because of the amount of work it takes to build it.
This is because of how mobile websites have one set design and they don’t fit to different screen sizes. An example of this is if you loaded a page on your iPhone and then looked at your iPad, you might notice that the page is still fitted for the screen of the iPhone. There is no real graphics experience necessary to build a mobile website so it is done pretty quickly and cheaply.
To summarize, mobile websites, while they did serve their purpose had some setbacks that were overcome with the idea of a responsive website design!
Though mobile websites proved to be very popular for a short period of time, they had their setbacks, which in turn revolutionized what is referred to now as a “responsive website build“.
What is a responsive website? It is simple, there is only one version of your website and the websites’ design will “respond” to whatever device you are viewing it on.
In most cases, large images that are not necessary on a small screen will compact or disappear, content, articles and other elements on the page will neatly stack themselves on top of one another to accommodate the screen you are viewing it on.
Responsive web design is very different from a mobile website and is usually much more expensive because of the skill and effort that it requires to get it set up.
A website with responsive web design is when the graphics and text on a device adjust perfectly to the device you are using.
It is not a simple coding process that you can add onto a mobile website. Instead, responsive web design requires you to build from the ground up and include all of the graphics from the full sized website.
Responsive web design allows you to choose the locations of certain buttons and lets the developer determine how they would like their website to adjust to different devices.
Responsive web design is much more fluid and more advanced when compared to a simple mobile website
A mobile site is essentially a copy of your website, where the server does the work to deliver an optimized page that’s smaller and easier to navigate.
Mobile Website might be too expensive to redesign responsively.
In responsive design, the device does the work and automatically adjusts according to a device’s screen size (large or small) and orientation (landscape or portrait). It switches between these options on-the-fly.
This is very good and flexible solution.
With a mobile site, you must create a different domain.
Responsive design lets you keep your own domain—nothing changes except code on the back-end.
Maintaining a single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoiding any complicated redirects, and simplifies the sharing of web addresses
Googles thinks this is the better and flexible solution.
Because a mobile site uses a separate domain, links shared from mobile browsers will not count as search link equity toward your primary site which is not as good for search.
Since responsive design simply embeds new code on the back-end of your website, your company’s link equity is preserved which is better option for search.
Re-working of a mobile site might be needed in order to stay current with next-generation phones and mobile browsers which could require higher maintenance and expense.
The technology is more forward-thinking because once added to site it will work on next months and next year’s devices without having to be programmed further which is better return on your investment.