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Responsive Web Design vs Mobile Desgin

Responsive Design and Mobile Design Aren’t the Same, but Do You Know the Difference?

If you’re familiar with the world of website design at all, you’ve probably heard about mobile design or responsive design, and maybe you’ve heard both terms. While they may sound like the same thing, they’re not, and if you’re a business owner you’ll want to know not just the difference between the two, but why the difference matters.

First – Why Even Be Mobile Friendly?
If you have a smartphone, have you ever tried to look at a website that isn’t mobile friendly? It’s a pain! While on a desktop the website is laid out nicely and you can see all the options, a full-sized website on a tiny smartphone screen can make you go cross-eyed. And business owners need to be worried about having a mobile friendly website with an estimated two billion people using smartphones by 2015, according to DazeInfo.com. That’s a lot of potential customers looking at websites on their devices!

Mobile Design
A mobile design means that there is a website designed specifically for mobile devices. While a mobile design can be a standalone site, it’s more often used as a secondary site. Mobile design is a supporting role, allowing mobile users to maneuver through a modified version of the full website with ease on their device. Don’t mistake mobile design for a mobile app, however. An app, short for application, is something that is downloaded and used independent of a browser. A mobile website or mobile design is literally a website that has been designed specifically for mobile devices.

Responsive Design
Responsive website design means that a single website is built to adjust to the screen size it’s being viewed on, no matter what size that screen is on. There isn’t a secondary site – the one that users see on their mobile device is the same as the desktop version, but the website adjusts to the screen size for the user. As an example, RevBuilders Marketing’s current website is built with responsive design, so no matter how you adjust your browser, the website adjust to fit perfectly.

Responsive Design vs. Mobile Design: Pros & Cons
Given the brief overview of mobile design as compared to responsive design, it then begs the question: “Which is better?” The honest truth is that there is much argument over the matter. It depends on who you ask!

Mobile design is thought by some to be a more cost-efficient alternative, and offers the opportunity to have a website that is completely geared towards mobile users. It does, however, mean you have to have a separate url for the website, and have to adjust and parse through your website to slim it down for the mobile. Or start from scratch, which means additional work. One pro is that, in terms of the stats, it would be clear how many visitors go to your main website and how many to your mobile site, although to see the total number of visitors you must combine the reports.

Responsive design allows for one website on one url to be the main point for all users, unifying the experiencing and allowing your attention to be focused onto one website. It also means that no one, regardless of what device they’re using, should have any funny layout issues, since even mobile design websites have to be adjusted for the numerous smartphones and tablets and other devices out there. Responsive design also allows all the statistics for your website to be in one report. There is some argument that responsive web design is more expensive than a mobile site, though that will vary depending on the website and the web design company.

Conclusion? No Easy Answer.
There is certainly nothing wrong with mobile design or responsive design, and RevBuilders Marketing is happy to provide both. We just want you to be aware that these are different designs, and the pros and cons of each. We’re also available to consult with you on which is the better option for your company. Contact us today!

Do you have a mobile-friendly website? If so, is it responsive design or mobile design?

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"I have a great passion for the visual aesthetic, and an even greater passion for incorporating these great tools of communication into promotional and marketing strategies. Being able to design, direct and implement elements that transforms a perception is such a rewarding task."