As customers move from desktop browsing to smartphones and tablets, it’s now more than ever, critical to have a mobile friendly website. There are however several options you’ll need to consider when making your website mobile responsive.
In the past several years, as website developers tackled approaches to delivering a website effectively to mobile devices, only one option looks to be a de facto approach that you should consider. But first, I’ll quickly outline the two approaches you should avoid.
Don’t Build a Separate Mobile Friendly Website
Initially developers opted to construct a mobile only website, in addition to their desktop version. This meant that they would include a link, typically at the bottom of the website, linking back to the desktop version of the website. Because mobile websites were so poorly constructed, usually omitting important content, visitors almost always went searching for the “View Desktop Website” link.
This approach clearly didn’t solve anything. Not only did users get frustrated on their mobile devices, searching for relevant content, but they had little choice but to view the desktop version of the website, defeating the purpose of even having a mobile version of the website. Not to mention, this option forced developers to maintain two websites. This ended up costing the developer more time and the client more money.
Don’t Build an Adaptive Website
A much better approach to constructing a mobile friendly website has been to build just one website, ideally with the same critical content, across various devices. This approach took on mainly two options, adaptive versus responsive. Although both may sound similar, there are key differences.
In the example above, you can see there are set number of breakpoints and in-between there’s a significant amount of wasted space. Given there are infinitive amount of varied sized devices out in the wild, it’s impossible to predict every breakpoint that exists out there. This approach is very limiting and in the end hurts your design and content presentation.
Do Build a Responsive Website
Responsive websites is the best approach to constructing a truly fluid website that will conform to any screen. This way your content will automatically fit into any space taking full advantage of the device’s screen space. This way, nothing is wasted.
With a responsive designed website, your website will look its best no matter the device it’s being viewed on. Content will automatically reflow to fit perfectly in the space it’s in and your website won’t need to comprise any wasted space.