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Responsive vs. Mobile Website: Which Is Right for Your Professional Services Firm?

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he number of people using mobile devices to access the web has skyrocketed over the past few years, making it increasingly important for professional services firms to make their websites mobile friendly. Even with a number of statistics to support this, many firms have not taken the plunge and implemented a mobile-friendly site.

And with Google’s recent major announcement that mobile-friendliness will be a search ranking factor starting April 21st, now is the time to invest in a mobile-friendly website.

But before you get started, it’s important to know the two main methods for doing this: responsive design and mobile sites.  In this article, we’ll explain the difference between the two and help clear up any confusion around these two approaches.


Mobile's initial fix

When accessing the Internet via mobile devices was first introduced, web coders developed a way to create a separate version of a website that fit much smaller mobile screens.

When a user tried to access the website from a mobile phone, the site would recognize this and redirect them to a separate mobile site version.  A good solution? At first, yes. While this method allowed businesses to have a good mobile experience, this required the business to manage not one, but two websites.


Responsive's long term solution

In more recent years, web coders have created a solution that allowed a website to automatically resize and reformat a website based on the screen size being used, rather than redirecting to a separate mobile website. This method is called responsive design. Not only does this solution target mobile phones, it also adjusts to appropriate size of tablets and any device that users would use to access your site.


Which approach is right for you?

While a dedicated mobile site was initially a good solution, today, responsive design is the preferred approach. In 2012, Google went on record, stating they prefer responsive website design over mobile sites.  Why?

  1. Requires a single domain
  2. Works for future devices

Remember, aside from the obvious user experience benefits of responsive design, the absence of a mobile solution for your firm’s website will soon affect your Google ranking.

In a world where our technologies are getting faster and smarter every year, optimizing your firm’s website with responsive design is an investment you’ll benefit from for years to come.


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