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.
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.