A website’s just a website, right? This question that may have crossed your mind recently, especially if you read about technology every now and again. A particularly hot topic? Mobile Optimized versus Responsive websites. Soooo….what’s the big difference?
A website that is OPTIMIZED has both a desktop and a mobile version. A mobile optimized site will reformat itself for a list of handheld or tablet devices. Larger navigation buttons, reformatted content (usually in column format) and differently optimized images appear when the user is on an iPhone or other mobile devices. This means that there can be multiple versions of the same site optimized for different sized devices, though it is most common to have one Desktop version and one Mobile version.
On the other side of the coin, you have the RESPONSIVE website.
As website design continues to evolve, responsive design is a method of developing a site that is completely flexible regardless of device. Rather than detecting a specific browser type or device type, the website automatically orientates itself based on the screen size of the device. A combination of reformatting, and re-optimizing, the site provides tremendous flexibility. By having a responsive website, you are “future proofing” due to the ability to change screen size and resolution.
So, which is right for you?
As the variations in both mobile and desktop continue to grow, the old methodology of designing for desktop or mobile will continue to degrade the quality of the user experience over time. That said, a responsive site would require an entire new website build, which means time and money. If you are looking to redesign a new website anyway, responsive is the way to go.
However, if you are happy with your current website, and a huge overhaul isn’t in the cards, sticking with mobile optimization may be the best option for you.
Section 101 provides both, and depending on what a partner wants to do, we can best advise what would be the best type of website that will work for them now and into the future.