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Mobile web design: responsive design vs mobile-dedicated website

Real Internet Mobile web design: responsive design vs mobile-dedicated website

Mobile Web Design: Responsive Design vs mobile-dedicated website

Over the last few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of internet users accessing the web via mobile devices. According to Statista, mobile users currently account for just over half (51.65%) of the total global online traffic.

Web developers and digital marketers have realised the importance of optimising web pages and web content for mobile users. Google and other search engines have also emphasised on the need to improve user experience on mobile platforms.

There are two general approaches to designing mobile-friendly websites – responsive design and mobile-dedicated pages.

Let’s look at each concept in detail to figure out whether one is better than the other.

Responsive design

A mobile responsive website dynamically adjusts its features and layout according to the client’s device. Such a site is initially formatted for desktop use, but embedded code in the design can scale-down the view to a two-column or single-column format for tablets and smartphones.  This means that the content does not change; only the layout is adjusted.

Responsive design goes a step further in optimising web functionality and performance on mobile devices. Through what’s known as progressive enhancement, responsive pages can adjust or clip complex and irrelevant functions to accommodate the device’s performance. This solves performance issues stemming from low hardware specs and slow internet connections.

Real Internet Mobile website design
Real Internet Mobile web design

Mobile-dedicated website

A mobile-dedicated website is a site that’s specially designed for mobile platforms. The site is usually hosted on a separate URL from the main site, where the server redirects mobile clients.

In most cases, a dedicated mobile site is a stripped-down, lightweight version of the main site containing only features that are relevant to mobile users. However, some mobile websites are mirror versions of their main site but with different layouts.

Responsive Design vs Mobile-Dedicated Website

Most users cannot distinguish between responsive pages and dedicated pages. Besides, it really doesn’t matter to users provided they have access to all the features they need.

The biggest concern is probably the effect of either design on SEO, especially with Google’s Mobile-First Indexing algorithm in play. Generally, it doesn’t make a difference in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) whether you’re using responsive design or a dedicated site. However, it’s advisable to list the dedicated-mobile site as the leading site and redirecting desktop users, instead of the other way around.

Real Internet Mobile web design

Responsive design seems like the obvious choice between the two; it’s easy to implement, and you don’t have to pay for an “extra website”. But for large, highly demanding websites, a dedicated-mobile version is the better alternative.

As a Web Design company, we are experts in designing websites including mobile-responsive sites, and this is functionality we automatically include.

Get in touch with us here at Real Internet to learn more about how we can work together to develop your website, including mobile design and search ngine optimisation (SEO).