Why You Don’t Need a Mobile Website in 2014
Alright, I will admit in the first sentence that this post’s title is meant to be a bit controversial or dramatic. However, there is some truth to it: you don’t need mobile web development in 2014. You need mobile functionality, which either a mobile website or a responsive design can offer. Personally, I prefer the latter, and here’s why:
1 – Responsive Design Fits Every Platform, While Mobile Fits One
If you utilize responsive design, your website fits itself to every aspect ratio (as it responds to size of the user’s browser). With a mobile site, however, it only gets optimized for smaller resolutions, excluding tablets, and possibly alienating aspect ratios of certain mobile devices. So, you have your desktop site and a nice small version for mobile screens, but what about everything in between?
2 – Utilizing Responsive Design Gives You the Opportunity (or Obligation) to Redesign Your Entire Site
If you still need mobile optimization, why design a separate mobile site when you could take the opportunity to redesign your entire website in a responsive format? Take the opportunity to assess the limitations of your current site layout, figure out a better navigation strategy and make it work for mobile, desktop, tablet and everything else.
3 – Having a Separate Mobile Site Complicates Everything
So, you’ve taken the time to create a mobile site that features only a portion of the content on your full site. You now have to set up mobile redirects, include a link to your full site, optimize the mobile pages, and make sure that the content on the mobile site is the most important content for mobile users to find. If you do a responsive redesign, you don’t have to set up redirects, all of your desktop pages will automatically be available on mobile, you don’t have to include a link back to the full version of your site and you will save yourself a lot of headaches upon launching.