Responsive Web Design…Separate Mobile Site – What’s the Difference?To outline briefly, there are a few key differences between the two. They are:
- One Size Fits All’ vs Separate Sites. Creating a separate mobile site obviously requires additional design, as it is essentially designing a fresh site, separate from the main website. In contrast, responsive design allows your site to be functional on all devices, without the need for extra design. Responsive web design tends to take longer in the initial stages, but obviously, if you’re going to have two sites designed, then this will result in more hours spent beavering away in the design room!
- Different Navigation. Typically, responsive web design uses top to bottom navigation, pushing content vertically on the page. (However, this can be adjusted, with some tweaking). A separate mobile site generally reads left to right, which some claim feels more natural, but obviously, depends on the nature of the site, and the content involved. For some sites, such as blogs, or retail companies, top to bottom navigation isn’t a problem. However, it pays to consider this aspect of the design, and consider the experience that you want your users to have when they visit your site.
- SEO.Responsive web designs are much easier to handle when it comes to SEO (search engine optimisation), as you are only dealing with a single version of the website. In some cases, having a separate mobile site means that additional and separate focus will need to be in place in optimising the mobile version.