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Mobile Website vs. Responsive Website Design

Last week I wrote about the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app, and I received some good feedback! One of the topics that was brought up was the difference between mobile sites and a responsive website.

If you are unfamiliar with the term, responsive website designs (RWD) are websites designed to maximize the effectiveness and visibility of the website regardless of the device on which a user is viewing the website. This is accomplished by creating a website that adapts the layout to the viewing environment by using fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries.

One way to explain what RWD websites do is that if you were sitting at your computer and you changed the size of your internet browser window, the website layout would detect the perspective changes and then accommodate to fit the new size without cause you to do additional side-scrolling.

Pulling out the positives of a Responsive Website Design

When it comes to the benefits of a responsive website design there are a number of positive qualities. First, if you decide to go with a responsive website design your website will translate well from one device to the other. All of the information will be on the web page regardless of what you are using to access the website. A second benefit is that, depending on what you require of your website, you might only have to develop one website instead of a mobile site and a full desktop site. You will also only need to manage one set of content.
There can be a downside to relying solely on a responsive web design. Most of the time, the purpose of a mobile website is to design an experience that allows users to access the essential parts of a website without crowding or adding unnecessary elements to the page. Download time can also be compromised.


There are a variety of differences between a mobile website and a responsive website design, but in the end there are benefits to both options. If you are wanting to optimise your internet presence you might consider creating a responsive website as well as a mobile site. But if your resources are limited, making the choice to pursue a responsive website design could be the way to go.

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About Tyler Weber
Tyler is a graduate of Bethel University and was added as the Director of Public Relations in 2013. With a background in Non-Profit and Public Relations, Tyler enjoys refining his communication skills while working toward a “Big-Picture” purpose. In addition to staying on the cutting edge of communication, he does his best to see the person in every interaction. If you were to sit and have a conversation with him you would likely discuss a variety of diverse topics from tattoos to your ideal super power. You can follow Tyler at Google+

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