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The Difference between a Mobile Site and a Responsive Site

The Difference between a Mobile Site and a Responsive Site
Timothy A
Timothy A
September 14, 2021
Posted in  Web Design

Mobile browsing is now the most popular way to browse the web. It’s not surprising, considering how accessible it is! Mobile devices are much smaller than desktop computers, so it’s important that all of your content fits well on a small screen.

This blog post will review the difference between responsive and mobile sites. By the end, you should know which one to choose for your website. Let’s get started!


How do Mobile Sites Work?

A mobile site is a website that’s specifically designed for mobile devices. It is not simply a version of the desktop site shrunk down for mobile devices; rather, it is created separately and has its own coding.

The way that these websites works are by having different URLs (web addresses) for each type of web page: one URL for your standard desktop website and another separate URL for your mobile website.

This lets you create two entirely different pages on your server with unique content specific to their purpose – one suited specifically to desktops, and another meant only for browsing on mobile screens only.

Mobile Design

How do Responsive Sites Work?

A responsive site uses code that responds dynamically depending upon what platform/device it is being viewed from. The website adapts and responds to the screen it is being viewed from.

Responsive sites look much better on mobile devices and will automatically resize and reformat content to fit smaller screens (which can be a nightmare for older websites).

This means that you only need one URL (web address) per page. There are no separate URLs like with a mobile site; rather, your content changes based on how it is being accessed by visitors at any given moment.

This makes browsing easier because there isn’t extra effort needed on behalf of your audience: clicking between two websites while trying to access information can get annoying fast.

However, the visual fidelity of responsive sites may not always compare well with that of dedicated mobile or desktop sites – which you might want in order to stand out!

Responsive Design

What Kind of Website is Better?

Both mobile and responsive sites have their pros and cons, so the best option for your site will depend on what kind of content you’re trying to put out.

If you want an aesthetically pleasing website that gives a cohesive experience to all visitors regardless of which device they are using (mobile or desktop), then responsiveness is probably right for you.

On the other hand, if you want your website to be optimized for mobile devices then a dedicated mobile site may be more appropriate. It will cost more to run and maintain, but it could be more beneficial in the long run.

two different colored coffee beans


Will a responsive website look the same on different devices?

Responsive websites automatically change depending on what device they are being viewed from. There is no need to manually switch between websites. Instead, all of your content will be available and optimized for whatever screen size it’s being accessed by.

How do I create a mobile site?

Creating a mobile site is much more difficult than creating a responsive website. It requires dedicated coding and should not be done without professional help or careful research into your target market’s browsing habits on smartphones, tablets, etc.

If you have no experience with this, then it’s recommended to hire a professional who can make this process as painless and quick for you as possible.

How do I create a responsive website?

Creating a responsive site is fairly easy! It’s much easier than building an entirely separate mobile website, especially if you don’t need it to be adapted specifically to smartphones or tablets.

Is WordPress responsive?

WordPress is a free website-building tool. It’s easy to use and can be used with a responsive design! In fact, it’s WordPress comes with hundreds of cool themes that look just as good on mobile as they do on desktop.

What makes a website ineffective?

A website is ineffective if it doesn’t do what it’s intended to do. For example, if your website is to sell products, then it is ineffective if customers don’t have a smooth shopping experience.

Does my site have to look exactly like my competitor’s website in order to be effective?

No! Your site doesn’t have to look like your competitors, and it certainly doesn’t need to fit their template. Make sure that the design of your own site fits with what you’re trying to put out there: if you don’t stand for anything, then no one will know why they’re visiting your website in the first place!

Does my business need a mobile app?

Not necessarily! Apps can be expensive to make and maintain, so before you go get one made (or download every free app under the sun) consider whether or not they are worth your time or money.

Will my website work on all phones?

A good responsive site will adapt and reformat content depending upon what screen size they’re being viewed from. As such, your website should automatically work on all phones.

What is a mobile user-agent?

A mobile user agent is the type of software used by smartphones and tablets to let websites know what device they’re accessing from. This way, your site can properly adapt its content according to screen size!

Are there any disadvantages to using a responsive design?

One disadvantage of responsiveness is that, depending on the needs of your website, it may not be as visually appealing as a mobile site. You see, although responsive design works for most websites, some websites will suit being viewed from a specially-coded mobile site.

How can I make my responsive design faster?

There are several ways you can speed up your responsiveness. If you have a WordPress website, there are several plugins that can help your site load faster and work better on mobile devices!

For example: WP Super Cache or WPRocket Rocket cache. You should also check out the official Google guidelines for optimizing websites for speed to learn more about this process!

What are the advantages of having two separate websites?

Having two separate websites for mobile and desktop gives you more control over what kind of content is shown to which audience. You can decide exactly how your website will look on each platform (how much or little information it shows, etc.) independent from the other version. This allows you to customize content specifically depending upon whether a visitor is accessing it via smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

What are the disadvantages of having two separate websites?

Having both a mobile and dedicated website will cost more than owning just one – which means that you might be paying for something that your visitors simply don’t need.

Depending upon how many resources you’re willing to allocate towards this project, having two sites can also be fairly time-consuming. It’s better to avoid doing this if you don’t have the staff or bandwidth for it.


In conclusion, there are plenty of benefits to both mobile and responsive websites depending upon what you’re looking for. It’s important to consider how your site will be used before you make a choice.

Responsive sites are perfect for giving visitors consistency across all platforms, but they lack aesthetic appeal when compared with dedicated mobile websites.

Mobile websites may be more attractive and engaging product-wise but can be expensive to develop and maintain. The best choice depends on the needs of your company!

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