Websites have changed a lot since their inception. Back in the early 1990s, static html was dominating the web. With the passage of time, the need to attract more visitors and make site more user-friendly, blog stormed the world, with easier content management system. It was not restricted to blogging only, CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Magento enabled site owners to maintain sites without even having knowledge of the backend process.
Flash was used predominantly for animation purpose. But it took a hit on SEO. Today, we have responsive and mobile-friendly sites, depending on the need of the visitors. The web development has shifted the focus from creation to customization.
What is Mobile-friendly Website?
Mobile friendly websites in layman term are those sites designed for mobile users. A simple way to check whether your site is mobile friendly is to use our own Google Mobile Friendly checker tool. With such sites, companies need to have two separate URL for their sites, i.e, www.facebook.com for desktop and m.facebook.com for mobile version.
As a consequence, it dilutes the domain and hurts the organic traffic as it’s obvious that two separate files are to be handled. Starting 21, 2015, Google is rewarding those sites that are mobile-friendly with better rankings.
Such site supports left to right carousel navigation and has better user experience and performance.
What is Responsive Website?
The continuous evolution of smart phones, availability of high speed internet and regular releases of mobile OS versions has revolutionized the world today.
From a recent study by Cisco, global mobile devices and connections have grown from 6.9 billion in 2013 to 7.4 billion in 2014. By 2019, there will be 8.2 million mobile or handheld devices. 2014 was a breakout year for mobile usage as mobile usage surpassed the desktop usage. Users spent an average 2 hours and 51 minutes on mobile devices, but only 2 hours and 12 minutes daily on desktops.
So the new mantra is “One Size fits all” as more visitors are accessing or browsing sites from mobile at an unprecedented rate. Such sites automatically adjusts itself according to screen sizes (large or small) , orientation (portrait or landscape), to even larger wide screen monitors, thus no separate URL are required and has better search options.
In the long run, this extra optimization and usability will definitely provide a high Return on Investment. In short, the principle is “Single code base, build once, run across all devices.”
Features of Mobile-friendly Websites:
Here are some of the features of mobile-friendly websites listed below that are to be taken into consideration when building a website that is mobile-friendly:
- Two separate versions are built one for desktop and other for the mobile version
- The development cost is medium.
- The implementation time is less if you know what you have exactly planned for roadmap ahead.
- The design approach is straightforward if you know the exact features and functionality for mobile version.
- Comparatively better user experience and left to right carousel approach.
- Better performance when compared to responsive design
- The maintenance cost is medium.
- A good choice when budget is a factor.
- Not a good choice when SEO needs be considered, as it dilutes domain and hurts organic traffic.
Features of Responsive Design:
Responsive design is a great way to give your enterprise a mobile presence in this fast paced internet world, where users wants immediate gratification of their informational needs. Here are some of the reasons why one should go for such design:
- Single version built and optimizes across all devices.
- The development cost is high but it pays off in the long run.
- Longer implementation time when compared to mobile-friendly website as the map gets complex.
- The design requires specialised knowledge of this new approach.
- Slightly less user experience with top-bottom approach.
- Potential bandwidth issues when server sends larger files then needed.
- Lower maintenance cost with controlled flexibility.
- A good choice when target audiences are mobile users and cost is not a factor.
- Better SEO results with organic traffic.
3 key scenarios that must be considered when choosing a responsive design:
The ‘website first and mobile second’ is usually the corporate mantra. For corporate websites, the need for rich images is less and target audience is large. For blog sites, extensive user input and images required are minimal.
With a single website that optimizes itself to desktop and mobile, the brand-identity is consistent.
Such sites are more accustomed to scrolling down from top to bottom, with regular content updation which affects maintenance cost, thus responsive sites pay off well.
Map Based Services:
Websites exclusively for location based services are image heavy and requires image-zooming and constant re-sizing the screen with fingers. Auto-adjustment supported in responsive design is a boon.
As the saying goes “Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.”
The same rule applies to mobile-friendly websites. So mobile-friendly website doesn’t mean responsive. Before you start your website development, take a break, enjoy a cup of coffee and analyze the target audience. Read the article above, juxtapose the features of both sites and move forward as “Unless you start your vehicle and move, you will not know whether the traffic is green or red.” Enjoy Life.
Sreejit, who is an expert web developer in echoVME has contributed his thoughts on responsive website vs mobile friendly websites with above mentioned points.
We have a track record of developing attractive and effective responsive websites which have brought in excellent results and continue to do so for our clients. If you are looking to create or revamp your website, Call us at +91-9176402555 or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for free consultation