The majority of people today use some kind of mobile device – such as smartphones, iPhones, iPads, and tablets – to browse the web. How can you be sure your website will render correctly on all these different sized devices? The answer is in ensuring your website was created with a responsive, mobile friendly design. But getting a mobile friendly design presents some choices to be made. Below we present the two main ways of creating a mobile friendly website.
Two Approaches to Mobile Website Design
There are two different ways to approach mobile friendly web design. The best way is to ensure that from the start, your website was created using a flexible layout that detects user screen size. The second way is to create a separate mobile site that renders on smaller screens, while the original website renders on large screens.
Separate Mobile Site
The separate mobile website is not responsive sites per se; rather, they are created with the content formatted into a one-column-layout. This allows for viewing on small sized screens. The features of mobile websites are usually a “light” version of the main website, meaning that not everything that is in the full site is included in the mobile site.
A disadvantage of the separate mobile website is that when content updates are needed, both the mobile and full websites need to be updated. This creates extra cost, as well as increasing the chance of inconsistencies between the two websites. In addition, creating a separate mobile website with only a portion of the full website’s content makes the wrong assumptions about the user’s intent, and can create the wrong user experience.
Being that there are so many different sized mobile devices, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all mobile website design approach. Because of this, the mobile site may not render properly on all screens sizes.
Another drawback of a separate mobile website is that it because it requires a separate URL, it requires more complicated SEO requirements and can be prone to error.
A Better Option
A better option is for your website to be created from the start using a mobile friendly responsive design. Then no matter what size device it’s viewed on, you can be assured that the user will have access to all its content and features. A responsive website will also save time and money, as only one set of content needs to be managed as opposed to maintaining two separate websites.
Responsive design is the best solution, as well as the recommended practice by Google for mobile friendly web design.
Beyond Custom Websites offers a nice variety of responsive layout designs, all of which look professional on screens of all sizes. We also offer several other web design features, including easy navigation, prominent contact information, call-to-actions on every page, social media integration, optimized images, and much more.