Until very recently, companies were faced with two different choices when it came to establishing a mobile web presence: either have someone design and develop a mobile-specific version of their website, or watch smartphone and tablet customers go elsewhere.
Now, though, responsive design has changed all of that.
By shifting appearance and features to suit individual visitors, responsive websites offer virtual "one size fits all" capability to any business website. In other words, they make it easy for laptop and desktop users to see one version of your pages while mobile users get another that's adapted to their screen, data plan, and capabilities.
Plus, responsive web designs allow you to maintain one single web presence, which means there are lower design costs, and less work needed to keep your webpages up-to-date. Given those advantages, opting for a new business website with responsive web design should be a no-brainer for companies, shouldn't it? Or, is there still a reason to have and maintain a mobile-specific site?
The answers, as always, differ from one company and situation to the next. However, here are a couple of quick guidelines to keep in mind:
Most of the time, a responsive web design is going to be the better choice for a new business website. For all the reasons outlined above, responsive web designs tend to offer more long-term value when it comes to designing a new site. So, if you're starting from scratch, or looking to make a major upgrade, then it's definitely worth asking about responsive capabilities.
However, certain businesses can still benefit from a dedicated mobile site. If creating an entirely new website is out of the question (or out of the budget), then a dedicated mobile site might be the better answer, since re-coding existing sites to make them responsive can be difficult and expensive. Also, if you have the kind of business that gets lots of mobile traffic (that is, if half or more of your visitors come to you via mobile devices), then you might want a separate mobile site with its own set of tools and features.
No matter how you get a mobile web presence, the most important thing is that smartphone and tablet customers are able to reach you online and have your site function correctly. So, if you're having trouble figuring out what answer is right for you, call or e-mail a member of the WebRevelation team today and set up a free consultation.