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Are you thinking about web design and wondering what’s the difference between a mobile website and a responsive website? Over the last one decade, mobile web usage has increased to a point where developers cannot ignore it. A significant fraction of web visitors surf the internet using mobile devices. In fact, it is more than half. 52.2% of all web traffic is from mobile phones.
Businesses cannot afford to assume it. And when you take a closer look at how digital marketing unfolds, you will see that every business owner today knows the importance of grabbing the attention of their potential buyer.
It is a digital world, and many potential customers hang out online. A business needs the right tool to attract and hook customers. And a suitable website design in Singapore or any part of the world remains the most appropriate technological tool to grab customers’ attention.
Customers want to access a site either on a Smartphone, desktop, or tablet. It would be an advantage if your market could access your site using any device. However, since the majority of web browsers are mobile users, a mobile-friendly website becomes a major factor for every business to consider. This raises the question of a mobile site and a responsive site.
Most often, there is confusion when it comes to the mobile website and responsive web design. People mistakenly think one for the other. However, they are entirely different. The inability to differentiate the two makes it difficult for people and businesses to choose the appropriate size for their specific business goals. Let us check out some insights.
Difference Between Mobile Website and Responsive Website Design
A mobile website is a separate website from the main site, optimised to work excellently with a mobile device. Actually, you require a different URL to differentiate a mobile site from a desktop website. So that when a visitor views your site using a mobile device, the serve of your site directs him to the mobile site.
A practical example of a mobile site is Facebook. You will notice that when you visit Facebook using your mobile phone, the website automatically directs you to the mobile Facebook. The mobile Facebook differs from its desktop site. Some features in the desktop site are not available on the mobile website of Facebook.
This is because; some features do not fit in a smaller screen, thus, will not appear on the mobile website. However, some mobile websites are well developed to have the entire features on the main site.
More importantly, mobile website layout starts with a design that visitors can neatly view on tablet and Smartphone without any modifications. The layout aims at providing excellent mobile user experience and increasing mobile downloading speed. In addition, mobile site improves the site’s ranking on the Search Engine.
Even though a mobile website looks good on mobile devices, they have glitches and might be difficult to navigate when viewed on devices with higher resolution.
Responsive web design
Responsive web design is tailoring a website to adapt to the size of the screen size of the site visitor. When you view such site on a desktop, phone, or tablets, you will not readily identify the difference in the general appearance of the site.
This type of web design eliminates the need for creating another site to suit the mobile user as it auto-responds to the screen resolution of the device viewing the site.
When creating responsive web design, desktop resolution is the maximum resolution targeted; then it scales down to the smallest screen. From the beginning, a responsive website is designed to display correctly on a multitude of devices with different screen resolution.
When visitors view a responsive site, the server sends the same content to every device. However, the server includes information that tells mobile devices how to display a page on their screen
Therefore, responsive web design works equally for all desktops, tablets and mobile devices. The design automatically adjusts its layout to suit visitors using any device.
However, how is mobile website similar to responsive web design?
Similarities Between a Mobile Website and Responsive Webs Design
- Both the mobile site and responsive web design optimise the site for smaller devices.
- All the two provides easy navigation to site’s features on mobile devices
- Responsive web design, as well as a mobile site, enables fast download speed.
- They both improve the usability and readability for the mobile user.
- Both boost Search Engine ranking of a web site.
Pros of Responsive Web Design
- With more than half of the web browsers using mobile devices, responsive web design ensures a site is easily accessible to all potential customers regardless of their devices
- It eliminates the need for designing two websites. If you are targeting to attract both desktop and mobile users to your site you are sure they will all receive similar content
- The Search Engine gladly ranks a responsive website
- You only craft and feed content on one site
- No need two URL, a single domain will work
- Apt for a heavy-stacked information website
- Appropriate for a large form
Cons of Responsive Web Design
- Mobile user experience is not 100 % optimised
- It might be expensive to start initially
Advantages of Mobile Website
- A mobile site quickly ranks on the Search Engine
- Mobile user experience is 100% optimised
- Mobile website offers the best experience for a mobile user
- Majority of internet browsers are mobile users; thus mobile site might have good appeal
Disadvantages of Mobile Website
- The desktop user experience is not 100% optimised
- A mobile website is not suitable for heavy-stacked content websites
Why Your Client Needs a Responsive Website – Not an App
In all sense, a responsive website design is much better than an app. Singapore has at least 4.83 million and 4.71 million of them access the internet via mobile devices. Which means that more than half of a website’s traffic is mobile generated.
There are two avenues for capturing mobile users and directing them to a website; via an app or via responsive website design. However, a majority of web design clients insist building an app alongside their desktop website.
According to a Statitsta study as at the last quarter of 2018, there are over 2.1 million apps on Google’s PlayStore, and close to 2 million apps on Apple’s AppStore. The general trend is that users download an app, open it once or twice, and then they delete it.
Most clients see apps as the differentiating factor for staying ahead in the marketplace that seems to be driven by tech-driven digital natives and millennials. However, several studies show that a majority of these millennials and digital natives hardly download mobile apps anymore.
Reasons Why You Need an App
An app is an independent program or software designed to fulfil a particular purpose. There are two reasons why your client might need an app for their company
- If the client’s company has immense brand recognition
- The client’s service or product is the app itself
However, very few companies have reached this status, and it is better to have a responsive website design than an app.
Apps Are the Wrong Approach
Both the responsive website design and app are in the same forte of creating a better mobile experience for the users. However, most clients look to the success of social media apps, and this is the driving force behind their desire for an app.
According to an eMarketer study, a majority of smartphone users only use between 6 and 10 apps per week. The regularly used apps share a common theme, which includes
- Originality and functionality
- They are big brands
Besides, these apps are not mobile versions of the websites in place. Before you agree to build the app for your client, do your due diligence and see if the app has the potential to break into the top 10 apps in the world. If it does not, they are best suited to go for a website with a responsive design.
Declining App Downloads
Most smartphone users today hardly download apps, unless it is social media or specific gaming apps. For a new app to get into the top ten chart and record daily users, it must identify new needs that have not been solved, case in point what Snapchat did.
Approximately only a third of the smartphone users download apps in an average month. Furthermore, the average retention rate for an iOS app a month after a download is 3.2%.
Apps Are Expensive To Build
Building a custom mobile app is very expensive given that less than 3.2% of the people will still have it on their smartphones a month after downloading it. There are several app building cost calculators and the next time a client comes asking for an app, remind them of the two basic requirements; brand recognition as well as the originality and functionality. You can also use a website building cost calculator to help them see the point why a responsive website design is the better option.
A Sensor Tower study shows that 94% of the app store revenue is generated by the top 1% of the apps. What this means is that apps need to have a definite purpose and key functionality to be worth downloading and used daily.
Why Responsive Website Design Is the Better Choice
One of the reasons why clients want an app is to drive traffic to their websites and buy the products using their smartphones. However, a responsive website is the better way to go, and it is your job to help your clients know of the available options and solutions to their problem.
Here are the reasons why responsive website design is better than an app
People Search for Businesses on Mobile Browsers Not App Stores
This may be obvious to digital marketers, but not so much for the public. App stores are not a service providers search engine. Anyone looking for a service or a product will not go to an app store but will consult Google or other search engines right from their mobile browser.
SEO vs. Apps
Focusing on apps to give a company online exposure will significantly limit their online visibility. While Google has started indexing content from apps, a responsive website with high quality and valuable content provides a better user experience on a variety of devices.
Choosing an app over a responsive website design will lead to your client sacrificing essential SEO tools that improve your client’s online presence and visibility.
Use Webflow CMS as A Landing Page Engine
Using Webflow to build a responsive website gives you access to Webflow CMS, which is one of the best SEO tools today. A client management system (CMS) allows your clients to create landing pages, which leads to a boost in their SEO and it is useful in driving traffic to their website.
Apps Do Not Make A Brand Look Professional
If apps are not a core aspect of your client’s business model, it will be irrelevant to their success. As smartphones continue to gain popularity, users have shown reluctance to downloading apps.
More so, smartphone users are less inclined to keep an app around on their phone the app if it doesn’t add a unique purpose to he lives. As difficult as this might sound to your clients, they do not need apps to be a professional, tech-savvy, and desirable business.
As mobile phones rise in popularity, it is critical for any business to optimise its web design to suit mobile device users. A quick way would be to use responsive web design or a mobile site. However, depending on your business type and goals, you would consider all the pros and con before going for either a mobile site or responsive web design.
And if you are looking for web design in Singapore that appeals to your customers, you would hire a professional web design agency for working results. Our team is on standby ready to help your business go to the next level of success. Call us at +65 6789 9852 for a free and no-obligation session about your website design project.