Responsive Website Design, Mobile Optimized Website, or Mobile App?
Which is right for your business? That’s a great question, and the answer is it all depends on your individual needs and your visitor profile. For most businesses one or more styles is appropriate, so let’s explore the difference:
Mobile Responsive Websites
It just makes sense, when ever possible, for one website to do it all. A mobile responsive website will display readable text on any size device that it’s being viewed on — computer monitor, tablet device, or smartphone.
Owner Advantage: One website to update and maintain. No additional domain name fees, sub-domains or extra hosting fees. Visitors don’t need to be redirected to a different URL.
User Disadvantage: Website technology must be updated. Although text is easily readable, certain functions are not always easy to find unless the site is well planned out. Links may be too close together on a small screen. Often times too much information is displayed forcing a visitor to scroll through a lot of extra info that is not of interest to a visitor on a smart phone.
Mobile Optimized Websites
Often confused with an app, mobile optimized websites come at a very reasonable price tag and are produced in as little as a week. This style is very smartphone friendly and will typically display only information relevant to a visitor browsing from a smartphone. Styles range from stock icons to custom photo buttons with our without custom background images. Usually very colorful and nicely styled – our personal favorite! To implement we simply insert device detection and redirection software. This style is flexible, functional and social.
Owner Advantage: Your clients get one touch access to all your important contact, products or services information. Easy to access from your domain name. Website is automatically detected and redirected, so there is nothing to download to view the site. This style may include a link directly to a mobile app for download, if needed.
User Disadvantage: Although pretty easy to do, website information may need to be be updated and maintained separately.
Similar in design and styling to the mobile optimized website, an app typically includes enhanced features like push notifications, rate and review, voice record feature, submit a photo, online shopping, etc. Mobile apps are not accessed via a website URL as they must be downloaded and installed on a visitors smartphone. Apps require more planning and changes may require re-submission for approval in the app store. Mobile apps can be offered for free download or purchase. They are very user friendly.
Owner Advantage: Once downloaded the app icon stays on the visitors smartphone for one touch mobile app launch. May be used in combination with a mobile optimized website for direct access to app location.
User Disadvantage: Visitors must know about the app and download it from an app store (Apple or Android). Development time and price is significantly greater than with a mobile optimized website. We can review your functionality requirements to see if an app is required or we can leverage a mobile optimized website.
*We also offer hybrid solutions — the best of mobile optimized and some of the advanced functionality typically only found in an app.