We are a team of professional web designers and developers engaged in the development of mobile-friendly websites and web apps.
Responsive and Adaptive: What’s the Difference?
Responsive and adaptive designs are pretty similar in their core idea and often both these types are combined together to create a mobile-friendly website. They imply the idea that when users look for your website on their mobile devices they visit one and the same website as the desktop version. The URL remains the same in both cases so you don’t need extra coding during the development to create a separate internet page, instead you adapt your existing desktop website to different displays. Have a look at some of the interactive examples of these mobile-friendly web pages. However, the two solutions differ in their operating principles.
A mobile website with a responsive design preserves the same content and images as its desktop version. But it uses different rules which are based on browser width. Thus, when it is browsed via smartphone, it reduces some space, and becomes more compact and tight within the limits predetermined by the web developers. In other words, it is a mobile-friendly mini-version of your
An adaptive design provides you with a more creative website layout. The development of a mobile-friendly website with an adaptive design requires more efforts from the web developers and their clients. At the end you get a website which looks a little bit different from the desktop one. Unlike a responsive website, an adaptive site has different HTML code bases. Our web developers collaborate with you to identify what content to modify in the way that will make your website more attractive on mobile devices. Our expertise and experience allow us to offer you useful suggestions. We know how to benefit from adaptive design. For instance, during the development, our programmers can replace some of the pictures with smaller and faster loading icons, reduce some text that isn’t that important for mobile users, and rearrange the layout to make your website look neat on mobile devices.
Separate Mobile Site
Creating a mobile version, you virtually develop a separate website, specially made for your customers who visit your website from their mobile devices. It is usually hosted on a subdomain or a subfolder. The smooth redirects between the mobile and desktop websites and the choice of HTML serving are based on the user agent. In case of a separate set of pages, the site owner gets an unlimited set of options from slight content and layout changes to an entirely different site structure.
We know that having a desktop website isn’t enough in today’s mobile world where half of the internet content is consumed via mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Focusing on mobile-friendliness, you ensure a worthwhile investment, which can become a forward-thinking approach that leaves your competitors behind.
Our web development agency can offer you several ways to make your web presence mobile-friendly.
- Responsive design;
- Adaptive design;
- Separate mobile and web versions for your site or application.
How to Make a Mobile Site
When your mobile visitors look for your website they expect to see something similar to your desktop version, otherwise they won’t be sure that they have found the right site. Preserving the same content, colours and themes during the development of the mobile version can help you ensure your customers that they are in the right place. However, the structure itself should be adapted to mobile screens. Still, you can start making your website mobile-friendly using the two different approaches.
Do You Need to Develop a Mobile Version?
In spite of the fact that mobile-friendliness has become essential, you should think twice before developing a mobile version of your website. If you already have a website, you should check who your most frequent visitors are. Find out how many people visit your site from their desktop computers and from the mobile devices with the help of Google Analytics and take this data into account when you start making your site mobile-friendly. If you don’t have a website yet, check your competitors on Similarweb to see if you need to develop a mobile site or if responsive design will be enough.
Develop a Mobile Site
If you have learnt that people mostly visit your website on tablets and smartphones, start with identifying which elements of the desktop version they use more often and make sure that you keep them on the mobile version. You can analyse your website with Google Analytics to see what your visitors ignore, what they consider important, what their typical path is and when they navigate your website. During the website development you should consider these data to select the elements you are going to implement on your mobile-friendly site. For instance, if your desktop site runs on subscriptions and has some ads for extra profit, but you know that ads can scare away your mobile visitors, you can remove them from your mobile version. It will be useful to identify with speed tests what elements load too slowly and you choose whether to delete them on your mobile version because they are not that important, minimize them or replace them to speed up your mobile page load time.
Basic Concerns of Mobile Design
When you come to our mobile website development company, our web developers take into consideration all the aspects of the task, including your site’s mobile-friendliness. Whether a mobile app development, a responsive or an adaptive design fits you more, our team tightly collaborates with you during the development of your mobile site to make it as good as your desktop one or even better, paying special attention to its performance and look on mobile devices.
Mobile devices’ screens are smaller than those on PCs and laptops and do not allow you to view a large navigation menu together with the primary content. In our web development company we minimise the options for mobile navigation to provide your mobile-friendly sites with a neat and lean navigation menu that will be easy-to-use.
When our web development company builds a mobile site for you or makes your website responsive, we consider all display sizes, which can vary from 320px to 1280px. If your budget allows it, our web development agency will make sure that your website looks great on any device. If you want to cut some costs, our team can help you to find out which screen sizes are the most popular among your site visitors and make them a priority. Our web developers can also set the widths of all elements to 100% in CSS to let the images expand or contract automatically depending on the screen size without inflicting the text.
Optimize for Touch
Our website development company makes your site completely accessible with touch, no matter what display sizes your users have.
- Our developers keep in mind that fingers can’t hover, or click right or left, they need space because they don’t have any indication of what they are tapping and they are less precise than a mouse. When we develop your site, we always provide enough room for each link.
- And our web developers can help you benefit from some of mobile-specific features, for instance, we can make your phone numbers on the page click-to-call, or turn your address into a link for navigation.
- Professional developers also ensure that the website responds when the user touches the screen. It can be important especially if your site’s visitor has a bad internet connection and it takes awhile to load the next page. We let them know that their phones have recorded their command and are in the process of loading the page by indenting or highlighting the button. This practice improves the user experience.
- In our development agency we shape clickable space into buttons for the users to see whether they can activate the link with a click.
Run Tests on All Browsers
To ensure that your website runs equally well on all devices and browsers, our QA team tests it not only in desktop browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari, but also in tablet and mobile browsers including the default Android browser, Chrome beta, Opera, Dolphin, and others. They test the website in all browsers and different screen resolutions to achieve desirable results.
Why Responsive and Adaptive Designs Are Good for SEO
When you use one of these types of mobile-friendly web development or combine them together, you not only cut down on maintenance and content creation, costs but also improve your website’s SEO.
Low Bounce Rate
Google shows the websites that visitors want to see. Your visitors can be frustrated if your mobile site differs from your desktop version. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly at all, then there are high chances that the visitors will come back to Google to find an easily readable website. A website that is not optimised for mobile ranks lower than adaptive/responsive web pages and mobile sites.A responsive/adaptive website offers the visitors a readable content they want. As a result, your website ranking gets higher.
When you develop a mobile versions without any changes in content, in the end, you get multiple web pages with one and the same content. Such practice is called a duplicated content which appears on the Internet in different places (URLs). Such repetition of the content confuse search engines and finally filter pages out. Duplicate content cause site crawl problems and impact the entire site making your web pages losing ranking power. That is why, responsively-designed sites have significant advantage over separate mobile sites with duplicated content.
Mobile Searches Rankings
Google says that it ranks mobile-friendly sites higher in mobile searches. It doesn’t matter if you have a responsive design or a mobile version, it will rank them equally well, which means that a less expensive responsive design can ensure you the same position in Google search results as a mobile site.
A responsive/adaptive mobile site has the same URL with your desktop website, which means that a single link will bring your site’s visitors to the right version of your website. Mobile sites have appeared recently and still have fewer backlinks compared to desktop sites. Your responsively-developed website will automatically inherit the backlinks of your original site, letting you stay a step ahead of your competitors while competing for your mobile visitors.
Which One Fits You More
There are still debates about which way to make your website mobile-friendly is better. Whether you want to make a responsive design, combine it with adaptive or create a completely new mobile version,you should take into account your budget and business objectives: do you need to make significant changes in content and structure the ensure a better experience for the mobile users or do you just want the website to be neater and adapt to any screen? In spite of the fact that Google supports different types of mobile-friendly websites, you should remember that each URL requires extra maintenance and update/upgrade services, which can lead to some technical problems in the long run. Adaptive design is much easier to maintain, and it is recommended by Google.