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April 20, 2013

Mobile or full website

mobile-website

What would you prefer if you want to create a new website: to build mobile or full version? What are pros and cons of each variant, and why?

It’s all about a level of service. Millions of websites already exist, and every single site you can open on your smartphone! But, some websites look more suitable if their design works well on screens with different sizes.

If your full website has no special settings for mobile devices, you will see it as a tiny page, that you, of course, would like to enlarge. Sometimes mobile device automatically enlarges part of page, while other parts are in invisible area outside of your screen. It isn’t very hard to learn principles of increasing or decreasing scale, which define how a webpage should look like on your mobile devices. Usually you can use double tap to see webpage in actual size or vice versa to zoom out. But these actions are not necessary if you look at optimized website (mobile or responsive), because you get what you need already after loading process.

You can open any webpage on your device, but webpages which are not optimized for viewing on mobile devices really have a list of cons:
If you use smartphone with 3G connection, sometimes it takes much time to load standard webpage which was not optimized for mobile devices. It happens because of connection speed of your network which is slower than on your desktop or your WiFi network. Every smartphone should make some additional calculations after loading all necessary data of webpage, these calculations should give a suitable scale factor, which provide most comfortable view of page.

But what if the webpage has some problems with layout or some special things, which can mess up these calculations? If it happens you will see your page looking ugly after loading, and this is the first reason to make optimization for mobile devices.

If you apply some definite settings for mobile devices to your website, you increase satisfaction of mobile devices users. And if you look to stats, you can see that number of mobile devices will exceed number of desktop devices in a few years or even earlier.

If you open some site on Android tablet or iPad and part of page is cut off, you can find this fact unsatisfactory. The same thing will happen when you examine problems with background images or other things, which indicates absence of qualified support on this website.

Of course, every user can view any page, but he/she will see level of service on your website immediately and image of your company will improve or worsen.

You can increase level of service on your website using responsive web design, but it will require additional infrastructure for providing resized images for mobile devices with different screen sizes. Or you can make separate versions for smartphones, tablets and desktop devices, it’s more complex, but a better way to satisfy every user.
If your website was created more than 3-5 years ago, it’s time to check compatibility of site with most popular modern devices.

Retina devices are becoming more popular and if you want to support them, you have to update all graphic images on your website!

Anyway, if you want to choose between mobile and full website, at first better to choose a level of service on your website, after that you can make more balanced and conscious decision!