Do I need a Mobile Site or Responsive Site

Do I need a mobile site, a responsive site? This is a question that we have discussed with clients many times.

With on average 50% of people accessing sites by mobile (our survey July 2014) paying close attention to the user experience and the accessibility is important.

Both a mobile site and responsive design will optimise your site to be more appropriate for smaller screens; both will offer simpler navigation and faster load times. However, there are differences and pros and cons of both. It’s important to ensure whichever you choose that it best suits your business.


Mobile Site Responsive Design
The customer experience A mobile site is essentially a copy of your desktop website. Depending on what the user browses on your server will determine what version of the site to serve.The solution delivers a simplified version of the site that is optimum for mobile users.A good choice when it might be too expensive to redesign responsively or if a small percentage of your users use mobile. In responsive design, the site is set up so that the device does the work and automatically adjusts according to a device’s screen size (large or small) and orientation (landscape or portrait). It switches between these options on-the-fly.There is more set up time needed to define the site for the various browsers.Ideal for that change frequently or have a high percentage of mobile traffic.
Domain Protection With a mobile site, you must create a different domain (the ideal is to use “”). Can dilute domain and hurt organic search traffic.Will add to website management because you are essentially maintaining two separate sites. Responsive design uses just the one domain—nothing changes except code on the back-end. Googles thinks this is the better solution.One site is maintained.
Link Equity Because a mobile site uses a separate domain, content can vary on both sites and links may not be shared on both.This can therefore dilute the value of your inbound and outbound links as they are on 2 domains.
Not as good for search.
Responsive design works on the one domain so your company’s link equity is in one place.Better option for search.
Future-Ready The ongoing maintenance and upgrading of a mobile site might be needed in order to stay current with next-generation phones and mobile browsers.Less expensive in the short term but could require higher maintenance in the long term. The technology is more forward-thinking because once added to site it will work on new browser updates and new devices.Depending on the size of the site, number of updates and mobile traffic, responsive may be a better long term investment.


For more information on mobile versus responsive sites, contact us. We’d be happy to talk through your options.

Contact the team by phone on (01) 808 1301, or email us at 

Richard Coen

With over 21 years of experience in Digital Marketing, 31 years in sales and 25 years in business development, Richard assists companies to develop key growth strategies on a local or international basis. He can assist marketers to achieve balance in their approach to key areas affected by the growth in digital marketing.