The difference between mobile and responsive websites

Today, every business needs to accommodate smartphones and tablets with a mobile-optimised website. You can do this by either creating a mobile website, or a responsive website. The question everyone asks is ‘Which one is better?’ The truth is, neither of them is better than the other, it all comes down to what is appropriate for your business and your website. So what is the difference between mobile and responsive websites?

A mobile website is a separate site that mobile users are forwarded to when they try to access your website on a mobile device. For example, if I typed into my smartphone browser, it would re-direct me to (mobile website). On this mobile website the content will be suited for smaller screens, and navigation which is optimized for touching rather than clicking.

Mobile websites usually have less pages and less content, only keeping the most important elements. This is good because it means that the user easily has access to the important information, but it can be hard to cut that content down, and can sometimes mean that some information can’t be included in the mobile website. Mobile websites are also cheaper to design and run, but remember that you will be making updates on two platforms rather than one.

A responsive website is one website that has the ability to adapt automatically to best suit whatever device it’s being viewed on. This option is good because with changing technology, it’s so hard to keep up with all the new device types and sizes. But a responsive website will change automatically to fit any size screen. Having a responsive website also means that you only have one website to make updates to, all of your content can be viewed on all devices and you only need to upkeep SEO on one site.

A responsive website is a longer more expensive process to go through because you have to get your whole website re-designed. These types of websites usually go through a lot of trial and error before being correct and creating the ‘perfect’ website on all devices can be a challenge.

No matter how many people debate about the pros and cons of each option, it ultimately comes down to what’s best for you. In the end the people viewing the website don’t care if it’s responsive or mobile, they just want it to work.

Clarity Marketing can help you decide on the best solution for your business. If you would like help with a mobile optimized website give us a call on 1300 060 204 or submit an online enquiry. Read more about our services here.