What has your experience been with mobile websites?
Have you ever had trouble navigating around a mobile website? Maybe you can't find what you're looking for and you know it was there on the desktop version of the website?
Mobile websites have been great in the past, as they catered toward people with mobile phones, tablets, etc. We all know how the world is becoming more "mobile-friendly", so that is definitely important. But in trying to make things simpler for mobile users, most mobile website designs have a few flaws:
- content may be missing (that is on desktop version, but not mobile)
- content may not be found in same place on site (causing inconsistency/confusion)
- forces webmasters to create/update two versions of their website
Responsive websites are a newer trend among website designs. They are still "mobile-friendly", but come with many great benefits:
- same content used for any screen resolution (from mobile, to desktop, to anywhere in between)
- content is in same spot throughout all screen resolutions (with the exception of "stacking" some of the content like sidebars, etc.)
- webmasters only need to create/update one version of their website
- resizes images/content to fit any screen resolution
Did I mention it's great for any screen resolution? Whether you have an iPhone, Android phone, Windows phone, iPad, netbook, laptop, desktop, it doesn't matter. Responsive websites cater to all of them!
One more note... responsive designs DO NOT hurt SEO rankings. Google's Matt Cutts talks about that here:
The Winner: Responsive Websites
To recap, responsive designs are great for the following:
- content resizes to fit all screen resolutions/layouts
- consistent content across devices
- does not hurt SEO
- keeps you from having multiple sites (for desktop and mobile)
- Google recommends it!
I'm sure there will be more benefits found in the days to come, but hopefully this helps as you think about a possible responsive website design.