Need a Mobile-Friendly Website?
But unsure about which solution to choose
Both a mobile site and responsive design will optimize your site to be more appropriate for smaller screens; both will offer simpler navigation and faster load times. However, there are differences, which is why we share the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions below.
A Mobile Site vs. Responsive Design
| Mobile Site
|A mobile site is essentially a copy of your website, where the server does the work to deliver an optimized page that’s smaller and easier to navigate.
The solution can really customize a unique experience for mobile users.
A good choice when it might be too expensive to redesign responsively.
|In responsive design, the device does the work and automatically adjusts according to a device’s screen size (large or small) and orientation (landscape or portrait). It switches between these options on-the-fly.
A very good and flexible solution.
||With a mobile site, you must create a different domain (many companies choose to differentiate theirs by “m.domain.com”).
Can dilute domain and hurt organic search traffic. Can add to website management because you have to maintain two separate silos of content.
| Responsive design lets you keep your own domain—nothing changes except code on the back-end.
Googles thinks this is the better solution:
...Maintaining a single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoiding any complicated redirects, and simplifies the sharing of web addresses... [read more]
||Because a mobile site uses a separate domain, links shared from mobile browsers will not count as search link equity toward your primary site.
Not as good for search.
|Since responsive design simply embeds new code on the back-end of your website, your company’s link equity is preserved.
Better option for search.
Re-working of a mobile site might be needed in order to stay current with next-generation phones and mobile browsers.
Could require higher maintenance and expense.
|The technology is more forward-thinking because once added to site it will work on next months and next year’s devices without having to be programmed further.
A better return on your investment.