There is a misconception that a responsive website and a mobile-friendly website mean one and the same thing. For a layman, it might mean the same but, for designers, developers and webmasters, there is a great difference. Let us have a look.
A responsive website changes itself based on the device it is being viewed on. This means that such a site will appear different when viewed on a desktop and mobile device. The text and images that appear in a three-column layout on the desktop will change to a single-column display on a mobile device. Images that are not important are hidden on a mobile device so that the information that is more important is seen clearly on a mobile device’s small screen. Responsive websites will have optimized images, condensed navigation, dynamic content and proper spacing, and for all this to be accomplished, a lot of planning is needed, which results in a higher budget. A responsive website design is costly but, it gives the users a better customized mobile experience. It is useful for users because the text, images and other content automatically adjusts to fit the screen size and the site is easy to navigate with a mouse click as well as with touchscreen; thus, making it easy to surf on both desktop and mobile devices.
In a mobile-friendly website, nothing changes as does in a responsive website. It is designed to work in the same way on every device. There is no HTML/CSS code to adjust the images and text on different screen sizes. But, to make it accessible to use on mobile devices, there are some things that are kept in mind while designing these websites like limited navigation drop-downs and no animations. A mobile-friendly website has images that appear smaller on mobile screens, simplified navigation and static content. Simply said, there is a single design that works both on desktop as well as mobile, where the design is scaled down in size. They have no special features for working on a mobile device but, they work. They don’t provide a great user experience but, provide the information they need. It is an alternative when you want a cheaper solution for users to be able to view your site on mobile devices.
How to know which website is better?
You should be satisfied with a mobile-friendly design when you don’t have much traffic coming in from mobile devices and the website you have is simple and doesn’t have complex functionality. If you have small sized images on your site, they will load easily and quickly on mobile devices. So, a mobile-friendly website will do.
You should opt for a responsive design when you have atleast 35% or more of the traffic coming in from mobile devices and the structure of your website is complex or has special features that will get difficult to use on a mobile device. This is what you need if you want your website to appear up-to-date for a longer time. If you are opting for a responsive website design, you can get in touch with Jain Technosoft, who have a team of skilled, experienced and professional web designers and developers who can provide an excellent website design to suit your business requirements and bring in better conversion rates.