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Responsive vs. Dedicated Websites : The Big Question

Posted on 5/1/2015 by Wendy Admin
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There seems to be quite a bit of confusion around the idea of responsive websites vs "traditional" or what we in the industry call dedicated websites (ie: dedicated to either desktop or mobile, not both). We come across many clients who are told "Google demands responsive!" or "Your SEO will fail if your website isn't responsive!" - even by reputable consultants who are trying to do their best by their clients.

So What Is Responsive Anyway?
If you look up responsive web design on wikipedia, you'll find the following description:

"Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience - "easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling" - across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)."

But at the end of the day that's what all of us in web design strive to do - create a beautiful and well designed website that can be viewed well across all platforms with both user experience and optimized coding in mind.

So what is the difference between responsive and dedicated websites?

Responsive websites will automatically resize as they are viewed by different devices and different screen resolutions. There are some nice attributes with this type of design approach. However, there are some shortcomings as well.

The Problem With Responsive
Responsive design is a really neat idea, and it can look amazing. The problem has to do with the size of our smartphone screens. Traditionally, a responsive website will trigger changes based on a percentage of screen size and resolution; so the smaller your screen gets, the more the website should shift and change. If you look at the size of a smartphone in the early days, your screen resolution was around 640 or 800 pixels. Now, especially if you have an iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note, your screen resolution can easily jump to 2500 pixels. Right now, around 20% of all monitor screens are at 1366 pixels. See the problem? Responsive websites can't tell the difference between a desktop browser and the latest tablets or smartphones. Therefore, your main website will still show up on some smart phones even though it is "responsive".

Dedicated Mobile Websites
The solution to this problem comes through dedicated mobile websites. These websites will specifically trigger for a mobile device so you will always see an actual mobile optimized website on a mobile device. The user is looking for big buttons, easy to find information, fewer links, and less content when they visit your website on a mobile device. A dedicated mobile website provides that flexibility. It also ranks very well within the guidelines of Google's new algorithm for mobile-friendly devices.

To learn more about WEO Media's premium mobile designs, visit our website at, or call us at (888) 246-6906.
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Dental Marketing Blog | Marketing for Dentists | WEO Media
WEO Media is a national dental marketing company providing dentists with a full range of services including custom websites, SEO, PPC, social media, videos, online reputation management, branding, and much more.
WEO Media, 8625 SW Cascade Avenue Suite 300, Beaverton, OR 97008-7121 : 888-788-4670 : : 3/29/2023 : Page Terms:Dental marketing, websites for dentists, SEO for dentists, social media for dentists, online reputation for dentists