The debatable issue is – which one to pursue – RWD or m-site? Prior to opting either for RWD or m-site, it is pertinent to look into the pros and cons of both. The final decision, to a great extent, depends upon factors such as, the purpose of the website, the target audience intended and the SEO factor.
Why Responsive Design?
Flexible to both big & small screens
The Responsive Design shifts and scales on the basis of the vehicle employed by the user to view it through large desktop monitor or small phone. Because of the fluidity of the design, it is responded well. On the contrary, m-site is specifically designed to be experienced on a Smartphone.
Google’s Preference for Easy Crawling
Google refers to RWD as the best practice of the industry. Responsive Designsites have one URL and the same HTML irrespective of the device. This facilitates Google for crawling, indexing and organizing the content. In contrast, m-site has different URL an HTML, requiring Google for crawling and indexing multiple versions of the same site.
Sharing made easy for Google
RWD is preferred by Google because the contents on one website and one URL can be shared and linked more easily by the users as compared to that on a separate m-site. For instance, a mobile user might share content from a mobile site with a friend. Later, he assesses the same content from a desktop. As a result, the user views a stripped down mobile site on his desktop. Moreover, user-experience is considered as a ranking factor by Google.
Apt for heavy content
If your site is heavily content-based, RWD is preferable because by creating your content only once, you can publish it everywhere. Mobile–specific development too requires less time because it aims at accommodating large and small screen, thus leaving more time for development of content.
Why Mobile Sites?
There are certain pros for the dedicated Mobile sites too. Following are some points to focus on:
Apt for application specific sites
It provides more custom experience while accessing your site through mobile. It is particularly so if primary function of the site is designed for an application or for connecting to different application.
Works well for special custom features
Mobile site is also preferred in case of requirement of special custom features or advertisement. In contrast, advertising banners or other custom features are not allowed by responsive Design.
Special offerings need dedicated mobile site
In case the mobile experience is different because of your brand or a unique service offering, dedicated mobile site is preferable. Similarly, m-site is preferred if your business is equipped with non-responsive website, not ready for fuller re-designing.
After considering the pros and cons of RWD and m-site, there are ample justification to conclude that Responsive Web Design has a better edge over the recently developing dedicated mobile site as it provides greater user-experience across different devices and screen sizes. Last but not the least; RWD is best suited for your mobile SEO strategy.