Difference Between a Mobile Website and a Responsive Website
The internet usage habits of people have changed over time. The reason for this has been the launch of several gadgets that have made accessing the web easier for people.
Now, you can easily browse, email or chat on your smartphone or tablet. Even at work, most people use a desktop computer or a laptop. Hence, it is common to see a person using the internet on different devices during the course of a day. However, this has led to a dilemma for web designers.
Websites were originally designed for the desktop computers. With the change in screen sizes, the websites have to be adapted accordingly. You cannot expect a website to appear the same on an iPhone and a 32-inch computer screen. This led to the creation of mobile websites.
Mobile websites were designed to work perfectly on mobile devices. As soon as it is recognized that the user is on a mobile browser, the website will display the mobile version. In essence, the mobile website is a scaled-down version of the original website. Some tweaks are made to its design and content to make it viewable on the smaller screen. This makes the website appear different, even though it is virtually the same website that you can see on a computer or laptop.
The main purpose of a mobile website is to provide topnotch functionality so mobile users don’t close it out of frustration. Since the mobile version is easy to use on the device, they are more inclined to spend some time on the website. For online businesses, having a mobile website assured that they don’t lose interested customers just because of screen size constraints. Yet, at the same time, having two different websites, or rather versions of your website, is not practical.
As an antidote to the limitations of mobile websites, responsive websites were created.
As the name suggests, responsive websites are, well, responsive. Regardless of the size of your screen, the website will adapt itself and provide you the most suitable version. This way, web designers don’t have to create different versions for screens of different sizes. And not only does the website adapt to the screen size, it also scales to fit. This means that you will view the webpage in its entirety without having to scroll. This is a major drawback of some mobile websites.
Of course, this provides endless convenience to the web designers as well as their clients. No longer do they have to create and manage two different websites just because more people are using handheld devices for accessing the internet. The great thing about responsive websites is that they won’t need to be tweaked for future devices.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the intent of both mobile and responsive websites is the same. The technology used in the responsive websites puts them a cut above mobile websites, making them the way of the future as far as web design is concerned.
By Greg Mwangi