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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.

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 site will compete with your 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 site).