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Mobile and Tablet Friendly Website

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What is a mobile website?

A mobile website is a site designed and developed to display in mobile devices.

How do I convert a site to be mobile friendly?

mobile-friendly-website

There are 2 ways to accomplish this task. One way is to build a site specifically as a mobile website which is a completely separate site, which means it will nearly double the cost of development and maintenance. You can either use as a subdomain URL like for example: mobile.sitename.com or buy a separate domain name like example: sitename.mobi. These will work, however, our recommended method is to make your website responsive.

Responsive Web Design

Build a website once to work seamlessly across all screen sizes.

Responsive web design (RWD) uses CSS media queries to match each screen resolution and serve the appropriate version to fit that screen. Nowadays with so many screens sizes from desktops, tablets and different mobile sizes, it's essential to maximize the viewing experience and support all device types.

Mobile Website Vs Responsive Website

Sites designed and developed strictly to be a mobile website are not recommended due to the extra cost/work involved - especially when you can accomplish better results through a responsive web design (RWD) which supports multiple device types including mobile phones, tablets and desktops with the same website.

Googles recommends the use of Responsive Design:
...Maintaining a single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoiding any complicated redirects, and simplifies the sharing of web addresses..

How do I know if my website is mobile friendly or responsive?

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Follow the steps to test if your website is mobile friendly. In order to test your site you'll need a smart phone with internet.

  • Open your website on your mobile phone browser (chrome, internet explorer or firefox).
  • Check your URL. Is it the same, or were you redirected to something like sitename.mobi or mobile.sitename.com?
  • Did your navigation bar become a drop down list?
  • Can you read the text without zooming or scrolling side to side?
  • If you answered yes to 1st and 2nd questions, your website is mobile friendly. If you answered yes to the 3rd your site is not mobile friendly.

Is Your Website Responsive?

Follow the steps to test if your website is responsive.

  • Go to your website on your favorite browser (chrome, internet explorer or firefox).
  • Resize the browser window as small as mobile device to check if the content will re-organize automatically.
  • Are the images resizing to fit smaller screen sizes?
  • Are your links and buttons "thumb friendly"?
  • If your website re-organizes it's content as you reduce the screen size and displays your content properly letting your view text without having to zoom in and you can click on links or buttons with your thumb then your site is most likely responsive. To have a better understanding of how a responsive website should behave, use our responsive simulator below and compare it to your website.

See Responsive Design in Action

View our responsive web design in action with our responsive web design simulator

Advantages and Disadvantages

     Mobile Site
   Responsive Design 
Rendering
Experience
 

A mobile site is a separate site - a copy of your site redesigned and developed to render in a mobile device. 

 

More labor intensive/expensive solution.
 

Responsive web design, uses CSS media queries to automatically adjust 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.

Domain  

With a mobile website you can use a subdomain (like mobile.sitename.com) or a separate domain (like sitename.mobi).

Can divide domain traffic, diluting the click value and reducing organic search traffic. Increases labor to maintain your website because you have to maintain two separate versions of content.

  With responsive web design you use the same domain and same website—nothing changes except code on the back-end.

Googles recommends using a Responsive Design:
...A single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoiding any complicated redirects, and simplifies the sharing of web addresses..
Links
 

Since a mobile site uses a separate domain, links are pointed to a separate site and will not count as search link value toward your primary site.


Not so good for SEO.

  In responsive web design you preserve all link value since you only have one site and all links will count towards the primary site.


Better option for SEO.
Maintenance  

Double the work in SEO and code maintenance to stay current with next-generation phones and mobile browsers.


Often requires higher maintenance and expense.

 

Responsive technology saves extra cost and work involved in maintaining and optimization costs for an extra site an future code updates.

 
A better return on your investment.

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Multimedia Designer - Xander works on all things digital. Web design/development, video editing, web animations, app design/development, whatever. Ideas go in, pretty things come out. He graduated from the Digital Media Arts College in 2013 and loves Interaction Design.

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