Responsive web design vs. mobile web

17.10.2012 by Kristjan Raude

The growing trend of smartphone and tablet use has turned mobile internet more popular. According to Morgan Stanley mobile internet will overtake desktop internet by 2014. It’s a new challenge for companies as regular websites do not perform well in mobile. A website that is not adjusted for mobile use is difficult to browse, it’s slow and leaves a bad impression of the business. Nearly half of mobile web users are unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone, and 57% are unlikely to recommend the site (Compuware).

Every business should think about their mobile web to ensure sustainable development. There are basically two alternatives: custom made mobile web or responsive web design. What are they and how to choose the best one for your company?

What is mobile web?

Mobile web is a website with reduced capacity and graphics that are adjusted for a smaller mobile screen. Only the most important information is displayed in mobile web that’s valuable for a person on a move i.e. phone number, location, prices, pictures, reservation etc. Mobile web is easy to browse and navigate. The custom made solution enables to maintain the company’s brand and visual identity.

What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design uses CSS that enables adapting the web content according to screen size.This means that the webpage has no standard size but the content is relocated according to the screen size. This ensures the page is convenient to use no matter of the device and the content remains the same for any device.

The differences between mobile web and responsive web design

Mobile web and responsive web design have strong principal differences that give advantages and disadvantages for both solutions.

The advantages of mobile web

The disadvantages of mobile web

The advantages of responsive web

The disadvantages of responsive web

How to choose?

Now that you know both characteristics it’s possible to consider the right solution for your company. The first thing to consider is the needs of your customers. What information your clients may seek from your mobile web? A local car workshop webpage would probably just need fast contact, location and service information. In this case a mobile web is more appropriate solution as it offers fast contact but responsive has too much noise. In comparison a news release is all about articles that must be available in full length for mobile users. A responsive web design offers the same quality with better browsing and content management.

Mobile web is a better solution if:

Responsive web design is a better solution if:


Mobile web is a must-have and its importance is only growing as the technology develops. A growing and sustainable company needs a mobile adjusted website whether it’s a custom made mobile web or responsive web design. Choosing the best alternative for your business depends on your company’s and your client’s needs. Start creating your mobile web today!

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Used sources: Bluetrain Mobile, Mamarye

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