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Mobile Responsive vs Mobile-Friendly website design

Posted by Suzannah Hale on Apr 10, 2018 10:02:16 AM


As website designers, we often get asked questions about mobile, and how a website will look across different devices. People often confuse the terms ‘mobile-friendly’ and ‘mobile responsive’. So what exactly do ‘mobile-friendly’ and ‘responsive’ mean? Let’s take a closer look:


A mobile-friendly website is a site that doesn’t change whether it’s on a desktop or mobile. It’s essentially a copy of your website, specifically designed to look and function the exact same way regardless of the device it is displaying on.

So put simply, nothing will change or is unusable on a computer, mobile or tablet. Features like the navigation drop-downs will be limited and difficult to use on a mobile or tablet device.

Key features of mobile-friendly websites:

  • Static content that doesn't change
  • Simplified navigation
  • Images display smaller
  • Not reliant on a mobile operating system to function properly

Mobile Responsive

A responsive website is just that. A website that has been designed and developed to respond to different screen sizes, and displays the information accordingly. Usability is at the forefront of the designer’s mind. No matter what screen your website is being displayed on, your content will look great. On a mobile device, you won’t need to zoom in just to read the text.

Key features of responsive websites:

  • Dynamic content that changes
  • Navigation is condensed
  • Optimised images
  • Correct padding and spacing
  • Reliant on mobile operating systems to function

Final thoughts

So now we all know the difference, why not check your website and see if it is mobile-friendly, or mobile responsive. At bOnline, we create mobile responsive websites for all our customers as a standard, to ensure you get the best-looking website across all devices.

If you currently have a ‘mobile-friendly’ website, so the text is small and you need to zoom in with your fingers to read anything - don’t worry just yet. Have you checked your Google analytics to see how many of your visitors are using mobile to access your device? If you don't have a huge mobile audience looking at your site on mobile - less than 35 per cent - then the site you have will do just fine.

Most new websites are responsive, so having a ‘mobile-friendly’ site could also be a sign that your website needs a refresh or redesign. There are lots of factors to consider, and bOnline are here to help you with these decisions. Give us a call on 020 3617 9950 to discuss your website.


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