Responsive site, mobile version or application: what fits your project better?

Responsive site, mobile version or application: what fits your project better?

Yandex research shows, that the number of people who use tablets and smartphones to surf the web is increasing. A good website, first of all, takes into account the users’ needs. If you take care of you customers, content supply should be as convenient as possible. So you cannot do without content adjustment for mobile devices.

Do you need a mobile version?

Mobile version is a separate website which is developed in addition to a main version and usually have functions and design optimized for handheld devices. It is easier and runs faster than the computer version.

As a rule a mobile version has got only main functions of a website, so graphics and other interesting content may be limited.

Pros of mobile version:

  1. Segmentation

    You will have 2 different websites so you will be able to create and publish content made specially for a mobile version. It is useful if you have special offers for mobile users.

  2. Performance

    Saving the device resources, the site is viewed with.

Cons of mobile version:

  1. Complicated management

    You will have to manage 2 websites so to publish articles, photos twice and monitor the efficiency of each version separately.

  2. Additional expenses

    Expenses on the developing and supporting of two websites are higher than if you have just one. Moreover, you need an extra domain for a mobile version, so you may have to change a tariff plan at your hosting provider (if you are using a minimum tariff).

  3. The question of content repetition

    If you want to double the content freely in two versions, you will have to inform search systems that your websites are related.

When a mobile version should be used?

It's worth developing a mobile version for large internet portals with a huge database. In this case there is a point in simplifying the design as much as possible and structuring the content.

Responsive website

A site with responsive layout is adjusted to a screen size of a device, you view the information with. Unlike the mobile version when you use responsive website both on your PC and mobile a browser uploads the same html-code, where the certain rules of displaying the information according to the screen size are decoded.

Advantages of responsive layout:

  1. Benefits of site promotion

    Both Yandex and Google confirm that mobile search index is higher for websites adjusted to smartphones, so your website will be above non-responsive ones. On pages that fit for being viewed on mobile devices there shouldn't be horizontal scrolling and elements that don't work on popular mobile platforms.

    Yandex about the importance of adjustment
    Google confirmation

    Read also: Google news: Google to release separate mobile search index

  2. The improvement of behavioral factor

    Statistics show that responsive layout decreases the level of "refusals", and the time a user spends on a site increases. It's quite up to the point: if it's easy to scroll the site on a mobile, a user won't leave it immediately.

  3. Saving resources

    Responsive layout is a more economic solution than a mobile version of a website and its support. Furthermore, the site management becomes easier – you can publish an article only once. So the question of content repetition doesn't appear in this case.

Drawbacks of responsive layout:

  1. The needs of mobile users are note always taken into account

    The point is that the gadget users' aims of attending the website may be different from the tasks PC users' want to execute. A smartphone user who is viewing a website in an overcrowded bus or in a queue in a supermarket is unlikely to read long analytical articles. Quite often users of different devices are interested in a limited amount of information such as telephone number, company address and telephone to contact it on the spot.

  2. Download speed

    To open a page both a smartphone and a PC upload the same amount of data and perform the same tasks. Powerful desktop with a broadband internet connection can do it much better. Whereas on an unpretentious smartphone with a worse internet it can take some time to upload the site.

    Anyway, you don't need to worry about the download speed so much. Developers got used to optimizing a resource not to overload it.

  3. Lack of choice for a user

    If it's inconvenient to view a mobile version of a website for a user, they can switch to its full version. Responsive site doesn't provide such choice. If layout lapses, images or texts interfere in each others fields, a user has nothing to do but return to the website later via PC. That is why we underline that layout of high quality is extremely important.

Mobile application

There is one more variant of your website adjustment for gadgets users: mobile application. However, we would like to clarify that application is not a substitute of a mobile version or responsive layout, but an additional feature.

You should think about the cases when your client will install an application and start looking for updates and news. He will do it only if they already know your company, see it in a positive light and are interested in your offers or information that you publish.