Is a Mobile Website the Best Option? Or Should You Use Responsive Design for your Business?

Whether to use a mobile website or employ a responsive design is a big issue for many companies. The fact is companies can’t afford to lose 25% of their potential customers or clients because their site can’t be viewed properly on mobile devices. This leaves business owners with a decision: should they use responsive design or create a separate mobile site? Responsive design can work well when done right, but it can be very detrimental for a company’s business when done poorly. So, is a mobile website the best option? It can be, but there are several factors to consider.

Unfortunately, a dedicated mobile site presents its own set of problems. For example, a mobile site can require an entirely different set of images than the desktop version. This can add a substantial amount of time and effort involved in the production process and, of course, higher expenses that are passed on to the company. This cannot be avoided, however, as a professionally designed mobile site is all about creating a better experience for mobile users. Choosing images that are designed for smaller screens is the smart choice and, in regards to the company’s professional online presence and profile, actually the most cost-effective.

There are those who maintain that Google prefers responsive websites over mobile dedicated ones. This is not exactly true. The truth is, Google favors responsive websites only when they work well. In fact, Google favors sites that provide the best user experience, regardless of whether the site is responsive or a dedicated mobile website.

Another worry is that Google will not recognize that the mobile website and the desktop version are essentially the same website and, thus, they will be penalized for content duplication. They also are concerned that one of these sites might be removed from the ranking list, if it is considered a duplicate. Let’s give the search engine giant a little credit here. Google has different techniques for dealing with the different types of websites. Overall, Google is most concerned with speed, when it comes to mobile sites, and many mobile sites meet their requirements. The emphasis, as should always be the case when it comes to SEO, should be on quality.

Generally, mobile sites have the best conversion rates, as they are usually faster and easier to use. This is because much of the work is actually done on the server and not on the user’s phone. A responsive website typically will take much longer to load on a mobile device than on a desktop. When it comes to mobile sites, speed is more important than modern design. Mobile sites also allow for the additions of features unique to mobile devices, such as click-to-call and location services.

So, as to the question, is a mobile website the best option? Unless you can be sure that you can develop a responsive site affordably, professionally, and that also works with mobile devices, a mobile site still seems to be the way to go.