One of the common requests we are getting these days is for responsive website development and that is a good thing because there are great benefits to going with a responsive site. However there is also seems to be a common area of confusion and frequent misconceptions from our clients about responsive and mobile-friendly websites:
So what exactly do "responsive web design" and "mobile-friendly web design" mean?
Responsive Web Design
A responsive website is one that responds based on the user's device that they are viewing the webpage on. Webpages and its contents are automatically adjusted to fit the display of the user's device. Usability is absolutely taken into account and that is why a responsive website is going to look, and function, differently on a desktop, tablet, and mobile phone.
Mobile-Friendly Web Design
A mobile-friendly website is essentially a copy of your website, specifically designed to look and function exactly the same way across different devices. Features like navigation drop-downs are limited, as they can be difficult to use on mobile. The website is literally the same across the board, with no usability concerns regardless of the device on which it is being viewed.
You can achieve a customized mobile experience with responsive design. However, it does require expertise, proper planning, and a alightly larger budget. For Mobile-Friendly website, you can achieve a consistent website experience across all devices with a simplified, mobile-friendly site. These sites may not have crazy features or functionality, but they just work.