Today what we are witnessing is an era where multiple gadgets are ruling our daily lives – tablets, smartphones, laptops etc. Needless to say, all these devices come in varying screen sizes. Making sure that a website fits different screen sizes across different devices is becoming a task for many companies.
It is indeed impressive to see a website adapt to fit a mobile screen while retaining all its core features. A website’s developers use one of two approaches for making this happen – they either go to a mobile website or for responsive web design. Mobile websites are the simple approach while responsive website design is an advanced approach. The objective may seem to be the same, but the differences between the two are much more than a simple case of simple versus advanced. Let us look at the main differences between mobile websites and responsive web design.
The major difference between mobile websites and responsive web design is ease of development. Building a mobile website is very easy and requires less effort as compared to responsive web design. Not only is building a mobile website easier than responsive web design, less work goes towards building it. Mobile websites may be pages that are not very organized, due to one set design. Also, mobile websites do not fit into screens of different sizes.
Another factor is that of economy – not only is building of mobile websites easier and faster, it is also cheaper as there is no requirement of real graphics experience. So far, it is easy to see that mobile websites score over responsive web design in three departments – effort, speed, and economy. However, that does not mean that mobile websites are better than responsive web design.
What makes responsive web design fundamentally different from mobile websites is the fact that the website’s text and graphics perfect fit the device being used. To make this happen, a lot more skill, effort and expense go into responsive web design. Choosing where buttons will be located is something enabled by responsive web design; along with allowing the developer to choose how the website will fit different devices.
It is easy to see how much more advanced responsive web design is when compared to mobile websites. In fact, one can say that the internet is headed in the direction of responsive web design. It is easy to understand why this is happening. With responsive web design, developers have great control over the conversion to mobile. It may require more effort, time, skill and money, but the results of responsive web design are worth it as the website scores high on both looks and interactivity.
In fact, companies should strongly consider responsive web design over simple mobile websites, as the former can help with better engagement with customers, with a user experience that is more uniform across devices etc. Any company will see the wisdom in paying a more in terms of money, effort and time, for the kind of results that responsive web design delivers.