The buzz in the industry seems to be that responsive design is the wave of the future. Many people feel that creating a mobile site is a waste of time, for three main reasons:

  • Need to create different designs for each site
  • Need to update content on 2 different websites
  • Additional cost for development of the mobile site

I think responsive is a great solution for a new website, but I don’t think it is essential at this point.

  • iPads and tablets count as mobile devices, but most desktop sites are not difficult to use on these larger screens.
  • There are some great responsive templates, but as a whole, responsive designs are simpler and less detailed than desktop designs.  Also their layouts are often limited to certain styles.
  • Responsive CSS is new to most developers so you will pay a premium for a custom responsive design.

The biggest reason why I feel that a responsive design is often unnecessary is because of the availability of mobile website tools that solve the biggest issues with a separate mobile site.  DudaMobile will ‘mobilize’ any website.  If you don’t believe me put a URL into their website and you will have a mobile website in minutes.

  • Works with any CMS.
  • Will allow for certain sections to be populated dynamically.  Imports new content from your website.
  • Allows for easy customization of your mobile website.
  • The downside of this services is that it costs $10 a month.
WP Touch Mobile website

WP Touch Mobile website

WPTouch is a mobile plugin for WordPress sites that has a great free version.

  • Content is automatically updated through WordPress.
  • Allows for easy customization.
  • Free version works well, and does not require an attribution link.
  • PRO version is available for a 1 time fee rather than a monthly payment.

There are a variety of other mobile solutions but these two options are the best we have found for solving the common issues with a separate mobile site.

  • Dynamically update content.  No need to update two websites.
  • Choose from a variety of simple mobile templates and customize colors.
  • Cheap and easy setup.

To see WP Touch in action you can see our latest projects by pulling up these sites on your phone.   LuongoBellwoarLaw.com and Naturescapes-pa.com

Posted In: Web Design

2 thoughts on “Mobile Websites vs Responsive – Don’t redesign your Desktop site just yet

  1. Bill Sebald

    Google used to recommend using a user-agent checker to default to a mobile only site when a mobile browser was detected (per this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY9h3G8Lv4k). It’s sounds like in the last 12 months they’ve more vocally leaned towards a responsive design strategy. I’m of the opinion we’ll all
    have to get there eventually, but appreciated the alternatives you provided. I’m going to play with WPTouch on your recommendation. Sothanks for that!

    Reply

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