Whether you are in the initial phase of blog or web design or just feel that your current web real estate needs a tune up, you must place more emphasis on the user experience. People are moving away from their PC’s and laptops and switching over to tablets, smart phones, and other mobile devices to browse the Internet. To accommodate these new web viewing habits, responsive web design has emerged to make blogs and websites respond and adapt across many devices. So, is it best to have one responsive website or a separate mobile site? Let’s look at some things to consider in choosing responsive web design vs. mobile to promote your website or blog.
Consider The Structure Of Your Website Or Blog
Many existing traditional websites can be converted to be responsive, eliminating the need to completely rebuild the site. But let’s face it; some websites are just complicated. Websites with a lot of animations, flash players, photo galleries, and other interactive components may be useless on mobile devices. They either don’t support these elements or just don’t have the memory to run them efficiently. It’s true that responsive code can hide these elements, but there’s nothing to prevent them from loading. A complicated website will still be complicated whether responsive or mobile.
Consider The Investment Of Time And Money
If you have spent a considerable amount of time and money in an interactive, component-heavy desktop website, a separate mobile site could be your best solution. You certainly don’t want to completely shun mobile device users.
Rather than waste resources in the duplication of content across sites, responsive design allows you to focus on producing high quality content on just one site. If your website or blog creates a lot of content, it can be difficult and costly to make sure that all of it is properly transferred to multiple sites.
Consider The Advancement In Technology
Probably the most important benefit of responsive design is that it adapts your site to the particular viewing environment. There are a number of mobile devices available today and there will be more to come. A responsive design will adapt, no matter what the screen size of the device. Separate mobile sites have to be constantly tweaked to accommodate the advancement in mobile device technology.
Consider The User Experience
Let’s suppose that a visitor shares your mobile site’s link from their phone. When this link is pasted into an email or a social network, the link will be to the mobile site. Anyone that clicks on this link from a PC (if they’re not redirected) is going to be taken to content that looks horrible and is not properly optimized for their screen.
No one wants to see a mobile site on their PC, so they just leave. With responsive design, every link that’s shared is a link to both your full site and mobile site. There is just no confusion.
If you choose a separate mobile site, please understand that mobile users will do the same things that PC users do if the information is presented in a usable way. Don’t penalize any web visitor just because of a particular viewing device. A mobile website must truly become a customized mobile experience.
Consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google has suggested that mobile optimized responsive sites are more prominent in local search results. The reason is that a single URL for your content helps Google’s algorithms assign indexing properties.
Load time is also a factor in search rankings. If your site has to re-direct to a mobile URL, the load time will increase. A responsive design doesn’t have this redirection.
If your website is unpleasant to use and visitors can’t find what they’re looking for, your bounce rate will grow. Major search engines, like Google, may get the impression that your site doesn’t provide information people are searching for and your site will get knocked down in search rankings. A mobile site that looks great, functions well, and has all the content of your full size version will solve this problem.
When consumers search the Internet, they are trying to answer a question or they want to find information. They live very fast paced lives, so they want information very quickly. The consistent look and feel provided by a responsive design delivers an improved site experience to the visitor. Your pages load quickly and they are adapted to the viewing preferences of the visitor. This consistent user experience will have a positive impact on conversion rates.
Due to the increasing demand of consumers to have important information at their fingertips, businesses must learn to adapt. Designing websites and blogs to attract the mobile audience is no longer an option, but a requirement. The decision to create one responsive website or a separate mobile version of your site must rest on the best way your business can deliver its message to a target audience. If the budget is tight, one site would probably be the best way to go. If money is no problem, separate sites just might better serve your business needs.
Your website or blog is the consumer’s first experience with your company. Regardless of the device, you must take advantage of this opportunity. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
If you are in the planning stage for a new website or just need to update your current site, please contact us and we will help you deliver compelling customer experiences across multiple devices.