Do you use your phone or tablet to search the internet? Maybe you are reading this article on your phone right now! In 2016 mobile usage surpassed desktop usage and three years later businesses are still adjusting. There is no question that your website needs to be viewable on portable devices and you may have heard the terms mobile-friendly and responsive design, but what do they mean? Which is more important? Today we are diving in to answer those questions.
A responsive website changes based on the screen size of the user. When responsive design is used the text and images adjust to provide the best experience for the user. If we consider a three-column website viewed on a desktop computer and a phone, on the phone you may have to scroll endlessly just to see the information on the page. If the site is responsive it will resize to take the phone screen into consideration. Responsive design also resizes images for smaller screens, so they do not take forever to load or break up the site.
Mobile-friendly means just that the site scales when viewed on a mobile device. The site will adjust in size but not functionality. Some of the features of the desk-top friendly site like drop-down menus can be clunky on a mobile site, but can still be used, though possibly on a more limited scale.
Which is Better?
While it is extremely important to have a mobile-friendly site, a responsive site is the way we recommend businesses go. A responsive site means that no matter the mobile device used your site will look great. Think of responsive sites as the next step above mobile friendly. Mobile usage will continue to grow, so having a site that is responsive across a variety of platforms will pay off in the short and long term of the business.