These days gadgets come in different screen sizes. iPad, iPhone, Smartphone, Laptop, Phablet, etc., have become the “must-haves” for the youths. The difference in the size of the devices has compelled companies to optimize their websites in order to make them workable on these gadgets. It also helps you stand ahead in the competitive environment.
Both responsive designs and mobile sites optimize the website and offer faster load times and simpler navigation so that more and more visitors can access it without any inconvenience. However, both the solutions have their pros and cons.
Mobile websites are comparatively easy to build and do not require many efforts. Therefore, they are cheaper. They are usually hosted on sub-domain, but can also run on the same URL using dynamic hosting. If you want an entirely different layout for your mobile site, then it has to have separate URL. But, if you use separate URL, links clicked from it will not be counted as search link equity toward your primary site. The content remains static, and displayed images are smaller on this layout. Another most important feature is that it does not depend on the mobile operating system to function properly. It offers simplified navigation.
If we talk about the cons, the maintenance cost can be high as you have to maintain two domain, and it can dilute the organic traffic. The features like drop-down are limited as it can be inconvenient for the mobile user. Cross-platform sharing is a bit difficult.
Responsive Website Design (RWD)
In responsive website, the device auto adjusts the website according to the size of the device to provide an optimal viewing experience. Only the back-end code changes in this approach and the domain remain as it is. The websites adapt to the viewing environment by using flexible images and proportionate grids. It is easier to manage, as one site can be used for many devices. Also, once you have invested in it, it will provide good returns in the long run. The link equity of a company services are preserved as it embeds new code on the back-end. No additional cost is required to promote your website on the mobile.
The major con of RWD is its slow loading time. Some old devices may not support this responsive technique. Depending on the size and content of the website, it requires proper planning, skills, and a bit higher budget to implement it.
The decision of choosing between a mobile website and responsive website depends on your requirement. If you have a sound initial budget, you can invest in RWD, and if you want to spend it in parts, then you can go for mobile design.
If you do not have a huge mobile audience and your site is simple text and image based, then you can use mobile website. Else, if you have huge mobile traffic, then you can choose a responsive layout.