Mobile sites are now a necessity, leaving most businesses trying to figure out the right solution to their mobile needs. They must choose between redesigning their existing website to be responsive, or creating a dedicated mobile site?
If you’ve found yourself facing this choice, never fear! The Ninjas at Ninja Multimedia are here to help guide you through making the right decision for your business.
DEDICATED MOBILE SITE
WHAT IS IT?
A dedicated mobile site is where you have a separate website just for mobile devices.You will often see these sites have urls like m.websitename.com. Often, the mobile site is striped down versions of the full desktop site.
Dedicated mobile sites work well on mobile devices, and tend to load much faster. They are often cheaper to build because only a small range of screen sizes need to be considered in the design.
User Experience: Because dedicated mobile sites don’t have the full content of the desktop site, users may not be able to get the information he or she needs. For example: the mobile user tries to access a link from an interior page of the desktop site. They will either see the desktop version (which will not function as well), or be redirected to the mobile homepage, and have to re-navigate to find content. This is especially frustrating in email marketing.
The same frustrations can happen when a mobile user sends a link from the mobile site to a desktop user. Suddenly the desktop user is left looking at a stripped down version on the website that may or may not contain the information they want.
Updating: Depending on how your sites are set up, updating your dedicated mobile and desktop versions can become twice the work.
WHAT IS IT?
A responsive website is a site that responds to different screen sizes. Your site will look different on larger screens compared to how it appears on smaller screens. For example: if you’re viewing this post on a desktop, have some fun and shrink the size of your browser window. Watch how our site changes to accommodate different screen sizes.
Updating: Because responsive sites are a singular site, they are easy to update and manage.
Google Loves Responsive Sites: Google’s has said responsive websites are their recommended choice for businesses. The Google bots that determine your search rankings also find crawling responsive sites easier and therefore raising your rank. So, if you care about Google Analytics (and we know that you do), responsive is the way to go.
User Experience: Because mobile and desktop users are on the same site, content can easily be shared across multiple platforms. Social media and emails will always look the same, regardless of how you’re accessing the content.
Performance: Responsive sites can be slower to load than their dedicated mobile counterparts. This is, in part, because the browser has a little more code to sift through. However, having a good team of professionals coding your site (like those at Ninja Multimedia) you won’t really even notice the difference.
Cost: The upfront cost of a responsive site can be higher than a dedicated mobile site. Designers have to spend more time designing for the various screen sizes, and developers must write more code to support multiples screen sizes and make it load smoothly. Still, the cost is almost always less than designing and developing both a desktop and dedicated mobile site.
THE NINJA VERDICT
We are big fans of responsive design here. The long term benefits of easy updating, better search results, and sharability outweigh the slightly higher cost. Contact us to learn more about getting started on a responsive website for your company.