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Responsive Design vs Mobile Sites

What is Responsive Web Design?
Simply put it's a web design approach that allows your website to re-size and re-shape to provide an optimal viewing experience for your customer. This means your website will render perfectly no matter the device a person uses. This also means you do not have to design and create a separate website for each device you want your site to work on.

Our site is responsive. If you are on a desktop/laptop computer click and drag the bottom right corner of the browser to the left. As you can see the site itself re-renders (or adjusts) to fit the window size: still readable, no need to zoom.

What are Mobile Sites?
Mobile sites are websites that are built specifically for a device. A company that has a traditional website needs to create several mobile sites that work specifically for said device. This means you have to have to a website for every different kind of mobile device: they all run on different operating systems, and have different screen sizes.

Check out IMDb's website (on a desktop and then a mobile device). They have a website specifically for desktop/laptop and ones specifically for mobile devices. As you can see the mobile site and desktop version are not the same and do not have the same information.

Comparison
Responsive Design
- easy to maintain because you are only updating one site
- your SEO will be strong because all key words and external links will be coming from and going to the same domain name
- your mobile site and desktop site are the same design, which will help build brand awareness
- forward thinking solution because your site will work with any device, on the market now or in the future

Mobile Sites
- may be difficult to maintain because you will have to update multiple mobile sites plus a desktop site
- it can hurt your SEO because your m.domain.com site will compete with your domain.com site (google will see that you have two sites and not give either of them full SEo weight)
- you can have a different mobile experience for mobile users than you have for desktop users
- you will need to add and update your mobile sites as newer devices are released

Check out Percorino's website. A really cool, indie design, but not mobile optimized (meaning it doesn't have a a responsive site or a m.domain.com site).
www.pecorinografton.com/