The way people access the internet has seen a massive change over the last 10 years. With the development of mobile devices, online activity can come from more than just a laptop or desktop. The diverse ways of interacting with online entities are making businesses reconsider how they should commit to their website layouts.
A common solution to address the growing community of mobile internet users was to design mobile-friendly websites. However, there’s a growing debate of whether it’s still a viable site development practice because of responsive designs.
The emergence of mobile-dedicated websites
These different site variants have less information, files and overall content. However, mobile-dedicated websites still provided the necessary functions of the main website. Through a subdomain, a person could access if they’re using a mobile device. It provides a comfortable user experience that matches the interface and layout dimension of smaller browsers. However, it does come with a few weaknesses.
Since it’s a separate site, you’ll technically run two websites at the same time. This means that your IT team has to work twice as hard to maintain both sites. Keep in mind that it’s not just a matter of copy-pasting content and code. Mobile-friendly sites need to observe proper formatting and layouts to ensure that it’s accessible to mobile viewers.
Another reason why mobile-dedicated websites are becoming out of fashion is the rise of apps. Popular service providers for video streaming, email, and even eCommerce platforms already have dedicated apps to connect with a mobile audience. These apps give them more freedom in layout options, customer interaction, and ease of access better than mobile websites.
These two reasons alone are enough to stay away from continuing a mobile-dedicated website. However, it also opens up the question of what you should do without it.
The versatility of responsive website design
Instead of catering to a mobile browsing experience, responsive web design aims to integrate coding, layout and formatting to fit either desktop or mobile viewing. This allows users to experience the full use of your website without needing to switch domains. Responsive web design gives you several advantages and healthy practices in maintaining your site.
Since you’ll be dedicating your web development efforts to one domain, you won’t have to constantly double-check your content on both site variants. Redesigning and updating your site will also be easier since you won’t have to worry about formatting issues.
Consistency is a feeling that people want to experience with a brand, whether they’re using its products or browsing its website. With the user interface and site layout functioning similarly on both desktop and mobile devices, they won’t have to adapt to a learning curve when switching digital mediums.
The most important advantage of keeping a responsive website is that it keeps your content compact. Many business owners who develop websites for desktops tend to maximise the limitations of the medium. Large file sizes, blocks of marketing copies and hard-to-use navigation are the common symptoms of bulky and slow-loading sites. You can ensure that your pages don’t contain an overload of information to your viewers through responsive web design.
Although more people use more capable mobile devices, it’s important to note that people are still using desktops for personal and business use. Developing your business site to fit mobile users only will unintentionally alienate a considerable number of online users. Using responsive web design enables you to optimise your online viewers’ browsing experience and improve your conversion rates.
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