Creating a mobile website is becoming a top priority for businesses and organizations when developing a new website. And with good reason. According to research, more than 51 percent of global traffic originated from mobile devices in 2017. This number is only going to continue to grow. However, it’s only when you delve a little deeper into what it means to be mobile that you realize there are a number of terms to understand before putting your plans into place. In this article, we’ll take a look at two of these terms – Mobile Responsive vs Mobile Optimized and explain the benefits of each.
A mobile responsive website is possibly the most user-friendly of all mobile websites. The main difference when it comes to comparing mobile responsive vs mobile optimized is that the framework for mobile responsive websites has been designed and built from the ground up. This ensures a seamless transition between mobile, PC interfaces and tablets. No matter which device the website is viewed on, the site will automatically, or responsively, adjust its pages to display content in the right size and resolution.
A mobile optimized website is similar to a mobile responsive website but translates in a different way on a PC. Mobile optimized websites are designed specifically with mobile devices in mind. You will know you are on an optimized website as it will look and feel similar to a mobile app.
The best advice to follow is that which comes directly from Google. Here’s an excerpt from 2012 Google Webmaster Central blog
Sites that use responsive web design, i.e. sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration.
Both optimized and responsive mobile sites need to be developed from scratch. This means they are usually both as expensive as each other to implement. It really all comes down to design choice and how you want your mobile site to behave in the hand of a user. The good news is that once a site has been designed for mobile, you can update your pages in the confidence that these pages will automatically display as they should regardless of the mobile device they are viewed on.