Mobile Optimised Website – Technology Options & Delivery

So far in the series we’ve covered some compelling mobile web statistics supporting the need to have a mobile optimised or responsive website, and if that wasn’t enough to get you across the line then it was followed up with the 4 strong reasons of:

  1. Customer expectation
  2. Remaining competitive
  3. SERP (Search Engine Results Page) visibility and performance
  4. User experience

What are your Mobile Optimisation Options?

​​There are 2 main approaches to website development for a mobile audience, are either an Adaptive or Responsive approach.

Adaptive Development

An Adaptive approach is where the website layout and template base is different for each targeted device. In essence you have 2 distinct websites 1 targeting mobile users and 1 targeting desktop users.

While this enables you to optimise content and delivery to the respective users it comes at the price of increasing management overhead with duplicated pages and content.

A typical approach to creating an adaptive mobile website is to set up the new website under an “m” sub-domain and redirect mobile users to this when they access the main website.

Responsive Development

The more favoured approach to mobile optimisation from Google and developers alike is to have a responsive design approach to your websites development. This in essence means you have a single set of layouts that respond to the different devices by moving, hiding and displaying page content appropriate to that device.

The benefits of using a responsive approach include:

  1. Google recommends it
  2. Management of website content is reduced
  3. Minimises possible SEO problems like duplicate content
  4. It’s cost effective

If you’re looking to get a new or upgraded website then a responsive approach is the way to go.
For those of you who already have a significant investment in a web presence then an adaptive site may be an option, however a responsive approach may prove to be a more economic option in the long run and remember Google recommends it.

Further reading in the “Mobile Optimised Website” Series.
Part 1 – The numbers don’t lie
Part 2  – 4 reasons why you should have one
Part 3 – Technology options and delivery
Part 4 – Features, focus and things you should consider

Andy Brown