Marketing Strategies

Mobile sites and responsive sites: what is the best option?

24 September, 2019 (updated) |

Data from the latest survey by Marktest indicate that 67% of Portuguese over 10 years are connected to the internet. By the end of 2016, when the survey was done, this figure corresponded to 5.7 million people. Currently, considering the growth trend of digital inclusion, this figure should be even higher.

The most used device by the population to access the internet, in Portugal, remains the smartphone.

In this scenario, two things are obvious: brands that want to stand out, on the network and beyond, must have an effective digital presence – their sites need to be displayed correctly on mobile phones, as they will probably have a large this device.

Mobile and responsive sites are the two options for those who want to offer the visitor a good browsing experience. So you want to know what the differences are between the two models and find out which one is the best option for your business? Continue reading to explain everything next!

Access by smartphone

Many people still think that if the smartphone can access a given site is because it is already adapted for mobile devices. However, that’s not true.

Every site opens in the smartphone because the devices count on a browser like one of the computers. However, when the site is not responsive or mobile, the visitor has to use the zoom by making “pinch movement,” zooming in and out to be able to navigate and view information.

Do not know if your company website or your e-commerce is mobile friendly? Do not worry! Google has a tool with which this this verification can be done.verification can be done.

Checked out? Well, if it’s not yet adapted for mobile devices, it’s time to address that. Check out the main features, advantages, and disadvantages of mobile sites and responsive sites:

Mobile sites

Mobile sites are versions – usually simplified – of the original sites. They are made exclusively for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, not computers.

On mobile sites, a script recognizes the device used and directs the user to the option that best fits the screen size on which it is being accessed. So for each case, the structure is different, and often even the layout is different.

A subdomain is also often used, with an “m” in front of the default address, indicating that it is the mobile version – for example: “”

The responsive sites

Responsiveness is a feature that makes responsive sites automatically adapt to all types of devices, based on the size of the screen on which it is displayed.

That is, no matter where it is being accessed: if it is responsive, the site will be displayed in the best way for that device. Thus, the responsive elements of the site are rearranged, and the programmer can change properties for one or more defined screen sizes.

For example, it’s possible for a banner to appear on a tablet, not on a smartphone, or for a menu to be vertical on a small, horizontal screen phone on a larger screen.

Differences between mobile site and responsive site

Mobile sites are a second site, different from the originals. Its structure, images and codes are intended exclusively for mobile devices. The content is usually the same as the original site, but the presentation is different.

Responsive sites are designed from the ground up to fit all formats and screen sizes – from smartphones to desktops. Thus, when the user accesses the site through the computer, the layout expands and uses the entire screen. On the phone, the information is rearranged.

The advantages of both models

Site mobile

Exactly as explained above, being developed specifically for these devices, mobile sites can offer a better user experience and higher conversion rates for you.

Moreover, because they are more straightforward, these tailored sites tend to be lighter and faster than responsive, as there is less information to load. Lastly, the cost of creating a mobile version is often less than the readaptation of the current site to become responsive.

Responsive site

The main advantage of the responsive site is that you do not need to have two versions of the same site. This should be taken into account when making updates: any code changes need only be made once. That is, the cost of maintenance is also lower.

Because it does not depend on a subdomain, the responsive site has a unique url, so it ranks better in the search engines and allows a better link between the links on the page. In addition, the responsive site is already prepared for new devices that can be created, since it adapts to all screen sizes.

How to choose the best option

As we showed in today’s article, mobile and responsive sites have both advantages and disadvantages. To properly choose between one or the other, you need to consider the needs of your e-commerce and the available budget.

If a site is already ready, it may be better to choose to create a mobile version. Thus, it is possible to mount a lighter structure, using only the files needed for the mobile.

However, if the site is still going to be created, opting for a responsive site may be the best option as you can plan from scratch the structure and content to be displayed on various screen sizes. So there will only be one site to be managed.

É de destacar ainda que muitos e-commerces costumam ter um site convencional e um site mobile, para garantir ao usuário a melhor navegação possível. É o caso de lojas como Americanas, Submarino e Walmart. Essa técnica permite ir ainda mais longe na usabilidade para dispositivos móveis — por outro lado, gera um custo dobrado.

Então, gostou de saber mais sobre a diferença entre os sites mobile e responsivos? Está pronto para fazer a sua escolha? Então acompanhe-nos também nas redes sociais e tenha acesso a mais conteúdos como este! Estamos no Facebook, no Twitter e no LinkedIn.

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