Does your site need a separate version for mobile devices or does it just need to adapt to different screen sizes? The choice is yours but your answer could save (or cost) a lot of time in the future. Find out how you know whether or not to create separate sites or one, responsive online presence.
There is no question that your content needs to be accessible on mobile devices and tablets. With an ever increasing percentage of traffic coming from smartphones and tablets, there are plenty of reasons your business needs to be paying attention and making sure your site is optimized but do you need a separate site or just one that will adapt to the endless amount of new devices being released every day?
For some, it makes sense to create an app or separate mobile site if your visits are browsing on different devices for different reasons. For example, a music app call Rdio has a standard site for desktop computers, but when visiting the site on my mobile device, I am presented with a condensed version of the content, sticking mainly to product features and then I’m prompted to use the app made for my phone rather than access the full site.
Why? Well it is always due to the context of the situation. When I’m on my phone using a music app, it’s very likely that I am there to listen to music, and for this reason a native app is necessary so it will not interfere with phone calls or other features.
Compare that to another site, like Mashable where the context is similar for mobile and desktop browsing. For this reason it is less important to have a separate site, especially considering the amount of content that would need to be duplicated and maintained. Instead, Mashable reorganizes itself, making the large amount of content easier to navigate on the smaller screen space.
When creating a new website, mobile devices and tablets should be at the forefront of the conversation, determining what information is most important in order to make the most of the limited screen space. Only then can the content be expanded and added to for the larger space of desktop monitors.