Responsive Website vs Mobile Friendly Website? Are they the same?

April 12, 2021
Responsive web design

What is a responsive website?

A responsive website is a site that is pleasing for the viewer; as the needs of the viewer change so does the website, whether it be the device they are on or more particular reasons, like screen size. Most older websites are not responsive, moving a tab or having two tabs shown at once was not needed in the past, with just about everything you could want online these days, those needs have changed. Reducing the browser’s window size to small or enhancing to full screen will let you know if the website you are working on is responsive. Pictures and text should move optimizing the viewers experience on the website. There different kinds of responsive websites, they can respond on tablets, phone, and computer. Platform is a very important thing to keep when responsive websites adapt, a website will not be very appealing if the shapes of the website converge on each other creating a mess of a website. Orientation is another important way to keep your viewer engaged with a responsive website, the viewer needs to know that they can navigate a website that is smaller than normal and trust that the website will change to what they want.

What is a mobile friendly website?

A mobile friendly website is a website that fits and is usable on a smartphone, a computer screen is much larger than a phone screen, a website that can fit on a phone screen comfortably will be visited by more people. Everyone uses their phones to find the closest and best things. In 2018 google came out with something called mobile first indexing which means that when something is searched on their phone it looks for websites that are mobile friendly instead of just responsive on a computer. Having a mobile friendly website is so important because as of 2019, 40.1 percent of time spent on websites is on a mobile smart phone. People already use their phones more than a desktop computer or laptop, but if the website doesn’t fit on the screen or doesn’t show up on the first page of google it might be a crucial fix. People get satisfaction from looks, if a website doesn’t look nice, how are people going to gain satisfaction from it and trust the business?

What is the difference between the two?

There are definitely more similarities than differences when talking about mobile friendly and responsive design because mobile design is a type of responsive design. With that being said changing a website to fit a phone screen and a browser tab in order to interact with a user is completely different. For a mobile phone, a page can be rearranged to fit better while on the computer the tab can change to the user’s preference; big, small, tall, and wide. On a phone not much is changed other than the scale of the site and some limitations of what can be on the screen, there may have to be an extra drop down bar or other navigation tools. Both help with being recognized by google, it’s better to have one rather than no responsive design. In many peoples opinion, having a mobile friendly website is more important than having a responsive design on a computer. It is a fact that more and more people are using their phone to find new businesses and products. As mobile friendly lives within responsive design, they have different ways of reducing screen size and arranging a website, but they both create a visually appealing website for the viewer no matter what device they are on.

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