August 15, 2013 | Website Design

Mobile vs Responsive Websites

I’ve been making websites for years and enjoy watching how the website landscape evolves. Well, I shouldn’t say enjoy. It’s a full range of emotions that can cause me to curse at my computer screen or jump up and do a happy dance. Mobile devices are the reason for my more recent dances.

The latest buzzwords for “Mobile” and “Responsive” websites have gone mainstream. And to my excitement, more clients are ready to talk about mobile devices now more than ever. Tablets and smart phones have exploded into our lives and are changing how the world uses websites... again.

Search online and you’ll see a plethora of articles and survey results speaking to the rise in use of mobile devices to browse the web. My wife rarely uses our PC anymore and uses her mobile phone to do just about everything. I am also a heavy smart phone user and can get frustrated with sites that don’t work well on my phone. And I’m not alone in that frustration.

At Altos, we use tools like Google Analytics to help us understand how people use our clients’ sites and we’re able to determine what percentage of visitors use a mobile device. We’ve seen the surge in mobile use first hand. And we’re evolving how we produce websites to accommodate. Staying abreast of best practices requires constant research and shear experimentation (in the lab) to insure we pitch the right mobile approach, for the right reasons.

There are two mobile solutions we use to provide a positive experience to your mobile device wielding website visitors: Mobile and Responsive.

The infographic below is a reasonable representation of how Google promotes the approach based your business needs.


What does this all mean? Which one do you need? Well, that depends on your needs. You didn’t expect me to give you a definitive answer, did you? Altos has a heavy focus on user experience. We might recommend Mobile, we might recommend Responsive, or we might recommend BOTH!

“Both?” you say. “That’s crazy talk.” Well, we can do both. Take, for example, if you wanted to use a responsive template to fully maximize the space on a large monitor, but also wanted it to scale nicely to a tablet. But for people on the go with smart phones, you want to show them a Mobile site with just the basic information and the option to switch to the full version.

Both Mobile and Responsive sites are here to stay and should be strongly considered for any existing or new website. Mobile has become King!

Want to see a responsive site? If you’re on a PC, simply resize your browser window to watch the sites change.


Want to see one of our Mobile Sites?

  • - if you’re on a PC, you can click the “Mobile Version” at the bottom of the website. And if you’re on a mobile phone right now, you can click to view the full website!

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