Responsive vs Dedicated
I'm getting ready to do some research; however, I thought I'd also post a question here for discussion. Which is better or smarter: Building a site with a responsive design that adjust down to mobile devices, or building a mobile version of a site and hosting on a mobile.xxxx.com subdomain?
I'm curious to hear any pros and cons for the two approaches, or to hear if both should really be done.
Responsive websites are better. Designing mobile website can be complex and you have to re-do all meta tags, content, redirections etc. For responsive you just have to re-size the same website for various devices.
I woule like to go with responsive. Users on mobile devices still want access to all of a site’s content and features; they just don’t want to have to pinch and zoom their way through the site to get at it.
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Originally Posted by eliza189
Responsive works fine down to 480px screen width or so. To get down to 360px can take too much compromise, so if you need to support small screens, perhaps dedicated is best. I doubt whether it is necessary to support screens below 360/320px width anyway, unless you are writing for a niche market.
With the current Smartphone market I don't think screens below 480 are going to provide a huge amount of traffic.
A mobile site can be great for certain applications, especially where you want to provide people with a virtual business card of sorts and just want them to book a viewing, or call you from their mobile.
Responsive design is much more all encompassing.
You'll end up catering for a much larger range of devices and users if you go for a responsive design in my opinion.
I highly recommended to build a website using a responsive web design because nowadays, it is a trend to use smart phones or tablets. Everyone use smart phones and with responsive web designing one can optimise a website on all devices anywhere without creating a separate designing and developing code.
Have you actually built a responsive site?
Both have Some Advantages as Well Disadvantages ...
From My Point of View It is Dependable on the type of information you offer and what your customers need . A Responsive website is better in aspects like better website optimization , Update with website ..
The advantages of doing a dedicated mobile site, is that the page weight is considerably less, our mobile site load is under 2 thirds of the size that the desktop site is, so just imagine loading the the desktop site on a mobile device, huge savings and makes for a much better experience overall, so if the savings are there to be made, Iï¿½d always opt for the dedicated mobile site.
I tend to agree.
Originally Posted by semaphore.v
Also, on a mobile device i might not necessarily just want the page to reformat to fit a smaller screen. I will tend to want bare bones features. For example, on an ecommerce site, mobile users are unlikely to write reviews, though they might want to read them.
It's worth considering though that 'mobile' usage isn't nearly as high as some figures suggest for most sites. The problem is they're often miscategorizing iOS and Android traffic as mobile, when in fact it is tablets. It's actually quite annoying on an ipad when you get bounced to the mobile version of a site.
The other thing to consider with responsive design is that things move around on different screen sizes. As a result, a site I visit on my desktop with 22" screen will have things in different places to when I visit it on my laptop or ipad. If it were just fixed width 1000px, everything would be in the same place. From a usability point of view, and considering that many people use a variety of devices these days, it can be quite jarring to have things laying out differently depending on what machine you're on.
I agree and disagree. If you just scale the graphics to suit the screen size,then, yes, there will be a benefit in writing dedicated pages. But that problem can be overcome (on all except the home page) by using PHP scripting. PHP allows you to dynamically load smaller images on smaller display sizes, and omit irrelevant details (if desired). Also, the problem with things moving around can be overcome by using position: absolute. Absolute positioning is a good/better way of building a responsive site.
Last edited by jedaisoul; 03-14-2013 at 02:09 PM.
ASP.NET has built in thumbnailing, this is not a problem to make images resize dynamically. But things moving around can be.
For example, look at the pixedelic camera plugin site (won't let me post a link but google it and you'll get it).
If you make your browser window smaller it goes from two columns to one. And the navigation menu changes from a list to a dropdown. It's very cool and responsive, but it does mean it lays out differently on my ipad, laptop and dev machine, whereas an old fashioned fixed with 1000px or so would layout same on each.
I'm not familiar with ASP.NET, but I was not referring to thumbnails. I was talking about loading different sized images when the page loads. You can do that with PHP. The problem with just using a 1000 px width is that people with small screen devices have to use horizontal scrolling, which is tedious. The problems you mention with the pixedelic site are specific to the way the developer has solved the problems of differing device widths. You do not have to solve it that way.
Small screens would be served a mobile version of the site (as per the original question).
Originally Posted by jedaisoul
Regarding images, the thumbnailing functionality possible in ASP.NET means you can generate and cache images of any size and compression level at run time. So for example, a product only needs you to upload one large image. The site can then serve a version at any size and level of compression you need. So on the mobile site, you might server smaller compressed images, on the main site, you might serve 3 or 4 different sizes of the image for different purposes (listings, large view, etc.). It can all be cached, so there is virtually no overhead - once an image of a particular size and quality was called, next time it comes straight out of the cache, no different to a static image in terms of overhead.
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