I’m often asked about the difference between a mobile website and a responsive website. A mobile website is designed to function exclusively on a mobile device – typically a smartphone. The site runs parallel to a desktop site meaning that a business must have two sites for twice the investment. On the other hand, a responsive website adjusts itself to provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices and browsers.
I can think of a few good reasons why a business might invest in two websites, such as a restaurant site, where desktop users will likely want to see the menu and mobile users will likely want directions to the business. Mobile sites are typically offering something specific as opposed to an overall experience. For most small businesses, the one-size-fits-all mentality of responsive design is the more cost-effective and efficient approach. Regardless of whether or not a business launches two sites, it is imperative today that all websites be responsive.