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Web Design Blog

Mobile Website Vs Responsive Design

Is your website built for desktops, mobiles, or both?

In 2014 it was reported that 30 percent of all searches came from mobile devices, and since then this figure has increased to over 60 percent. In response to this rise and looking at Market Research trends, Google has changed its search algorithm to reward sites that are mobile optimised.

You may remember our Mobilegeddon post, where we explained what the new algorithm change means for you and your website, and what we can do as your Web Design company to make sure that Google gives your website the green light for "mobile-friendliness."

This is one of the biggest changes to the Google algorithm in years, so it’s not one that you can ignore. With mobile optimised sites being rewarded in Search Engine ranking, if you do not have a responsive or mobile version for your website, it could suffer.

How does Google test for “mobile friendliness”?

The algorithm scans each page on a website, checking for speed, responsive design elements and mobile best practice.

The main things that they are looking for are quite simply:
  1. Text sizes that are readable without zooming and content that fits the screen so that zooming isn’t necessary
  2. Making sure that links are easy to click and access, and are not too close together
  3. That the websites code is designed and structured for mobile browser/devices
The above 3 points can be achieved easily by ensuring your website is either Mobile Responsive or by having it's own dedicated Mobile Website Service installed. 

The argument between whether to choose a responsive website or to have a mobile version built is a highly debated topic.

What is the difference?

Responsive Design: Applying a responsive design to your website means that your website is built for all screen sizes. A responsive website will 'respond' and collapse/expand automatically to fit the screen it is being viewed on. So whether you are viewing on a mobile, tablet or PC monitor, the website would reformat itself automatically to give the viewer the best possible experience.

Mobile Websites: A mobile site is a separate website built and designed for Mobile and Tablets only but based on your desktop sites branding, navigation and content. Mobile websites are designed with large navigation, easy to read content and optimised images for smaller screens. Our mobile website page explains this in more detail and offers great live examples of how our own mobile platform works.

So which should I choose?

The option that is best for your business depends on many factors, such as the purpose of the website, how websites of other businesses in your industry display and of course, the intended target audience (asking your customers never hurts).

Both options will force your sites design to be simple, clear and concise because mobiles cannot handle the all singing all dancing sites of yesteryear.

Something to bear in mind:

Having a responsive website design does not guarantee it is mobile optimised, it must adhere to Google's strict Mobile Friendly rules. Check out their Mobile Friendly Test service to see if your site is deemed mobile friendly.

Our Responsive Design and Mobile Website services both pass the mobile friendly test however many other websites do not due to their text size, layout, links, code structure and image sizes so it is worth checking.


It’s a matter of personal preference and if you're Analytics data is telling you not many of your hits are coming from mobile devices then it may not be needed.

The question you need to answer is, do you want your website to look the same on all devices and just resize depending on the screen it’s viewed on, or do you prefer the style and layout of the mobile website service?

The decision is completely yours.

If you have any questions, or you would like more information on either of these web design services, please do not hesitate to call us on 02380 633 644.