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Alternatives to Responsive Design, Part One: Mobile Websites← back
We have talked about what responsive design is, and we’ve answered the question, “How do I know if responsive web design right for me?” But what about those of you looking for alternatives to responsive design? Perhaps it’s not in your budget, or you have determined from your own research or that your site does not need all the scaling that responsive provides. As luck would have it, there are a variety of options available if a responsive website does not appeal to you.
In this three part series, we will discuss the three most common alternatives you might decide on if a responsive website is not for you. Today, we’ll discuss mobile websites.
What is a Mobile Website?
A mobile site differs from a typical website in a number of ways. For example, a mobile website is designed for a touchscreen interface. Buttons are used to navigate more often than links, providing for push navigation that functions like clicking a mouse.
Unlike a responsive site, a mobile site might have a separate URL or redirect to that URL when a mobile device is detected. Mobile sites can allow for click-to-call features to dial phone numbers or use mapping based on the user’s location. Also, unlike a native app, mobile sites do not have to be downloaded. You simply use them from your browser.
Mobile sites are not just a trend in marketing, but have increasingly become an important part of consumer culture. By 2014, mobile internet is predicted to take over desktop internet usage, according to the Microsoft Tag blog. Addressing the needs of mobile consumers today with a mobile site can give your website the traffic and interest it needs to grow as mobile expands.
Challenges of Mobile Sites
One of the main challenges of a mobile website is translating content from a traditional desktop site to a smaller interface. In short, you have to decide what is relevant to keep and what is not. To achieve this, you might look at what drives your mobile traffic and make a note to incorporate those elements in your mobile site design.
Additionally, the user experience is important when it comes to mobile sites. According to an annual study by Bango, a global technology company, the average number of mobile page views per visitor is five, which means that the average visitor on mobile experiences up to 20 content compliance or usability issues per visit. Addressing these issues can make your mobile site more attractive to users and simpler to use than if you did not optimize your desktop site for mobile.
Mobile websites have many ways they can be used. Some of our clients in the rent to own industry, such as A+ Rentals and E-Z Rentals, use mobile websites to give customers a space to browse for products online and have a store representative contact them to complete their rental agreement. The mobile sites allow for the best components of the desktop site, such as locating a store and browsing products, to display to scale on a mobile device and allow for better navigation when you’re away from your computer.
Your goals can help you determine if a mobile site is better for your needs than a responsive site. Conversions on mobile can be different than making an app or using a responsive site, and load speeds might be different for each. Keep these in mind as you come to your decision and discover your website needs.
Contact us to discuss creating your mobile website!