,

​Mobile responsive vs. mobile optimised

In the past, websites were all about plain text and basic images. They weren’t necessarily designed to be visually appealing for desktop computers let alone mobile devices. Their main purpose was to deliver their data in an effective manner.

Those days are mostly gone and now web design has become something of a fashion trend with a lot of competition. Mobile access to the Internet has massively increased in the last 5 years, overtaking desktop computer access in 2014. With high levels of traffic requesting a website via mobile devices, simply showing a desktop version which “works” is not good enough. I am going to present you two options to solve this problem:

Mobile Optimised Web Design


Mobile optimised websites are separate from their desktop variations. They are specifically designed for mobile devices and include highly compressed images, less content and add an overall quicker and more simplified user experience, which is usually what people want when browsing on a mobile.

Mobile optimised websites are however beginning to die out due to the arrival of responsive web design. Responsive websites generally need less work, resulting in fewer resources which cuts development time and costs. The benefits of a mobile optimised website can now be incorporated into a responsive website with a little extra work.

Responsive Web Design


Responsive web design came about in 2011 and has become increasingly popular in the web development world thanks to 3rd party front-end frameworks such as Twitter’s Bootstrap. Responsive design is built into the core structure of a website and reacts to the screen size of whichever device you’re using. This means developers do not have to cater for specific device screen sizes such as the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, HTC One, etc. Instead, the website will ‘respond’ to the screen size and fit it accordingly, presenting a fluid and effective design for all devices with one single template.

One of the major disadvantages to responsive web design is data transfer. Because the same content and data is downloaded whether you view the website on desktop or mobile, you could end up downloading additional content that may not be visible or necessary for your specific device. This can cause you to use up more of your mobile data allowance. It’s best to only display key content when using responsive web design and try to prevent anything unnecessary from being included.

In conclusion


If you do not have a mobile friendly website, whether it be mobile responsive or mobile optimised, you could be penalised in Google’s search rankings. This can affect business in a big way. Trends show that mobile traffic will continue to increase for the foreseeable future too. Remember, web design is becoming a fashion trend and it’s all about keeping up to date!

Not sure which mobile design is best for your website? Or finally convinced that the time for a mobile site has come? Get in touch on 0191 640 2700 or email [email protected] to talk about your needs.

Dan
Dan

Dan is a self-taught developer who has created hundreds of websites over the past nine years. Here at Flow, he builds websites to client specifications and helps maintain existing customer systems using his knowledge of PHP, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Whether the problem is big or small, Dan will find a solution to get a project back on track.

Ready to rule the world?