There are four basic options for adapting a website for mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Responsive design is probably the most popular and widespread solution. In specific individual cases, however, another route may be more useful.
Responsive web design
According to TECHNOLOGY-WIKI, the website is written in HTML or CSS code that automatically adapts to the screen size of the device. Google recommends this solution, because of its relatively low cost, it is also widely used. Here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the various options of a mobile website:
Responsive design is very easy to implement. Once that is done, you no longer have to worry about the accessibility of the site from mobile devices.
In the case of large, complex websites, responsive design can cause errors in the display. Responsive design can lead to problems, especially with websites with large, high-resolution images or a lot of text. Even old browsers do not always understand the commands for the display. This is why responsive design is best suited for blogs or simple company presences.
Dynamic Serving (also: Adaptiv Design)
Dynamic serving is the “more complicated” responsive web design. Two (or more) different versions of the website are saved on the server. Depending on which device is requesting the data from the server, a different version is loaded that corresponds to the device.
Easy to implement for complex websites. Only the website that the receiving device can process is loaded.
The identification of the user device is relatively error-prone. Especially when a new device comes onto the market, improvements have to be made.
A separate website for mobile devices can be useful if the desktop version and the mobile version of the page have different objectives. Such a page is marked with an “m.” Instead of a “www” at the beginning or a “.mobi” at the end. If you decide on a separate website, you should definitely avoid errors with duplicate content, e.g. through the canonical tag.
This form is most suitable, especially for complex websites. It is also clearly marked for search engines and can be listed accordingly in a mobile search.
There is a risk of duplicate content, but this can be avoided with the correct (!) Use of canonical tags. If the content is different, there is a risk of confusion on the part of the user when they click on links that are actually intended for the desktop version or vice versa.
An elegant solution for many companies if it fits the company profile. The advantages are obvious: once an app has been installed, the behavior of the user can be tracked very precisely. It is just as easy to get data on the spread of the app, how and where the app is used, and how many conversions have taken place via the app.
Since an app is fundamentally different from a website, the advantages and disadvantages compared to responsive design, etc. are difficult to determine. An app makes sense if the website concerned offers bookings, price comparisons or communication with other users. The cost of an app should not be neglected: high-quality apps that are not simply created using a modular system are justifiably high prices. This often also applies to the care and maintenance of an app, e.g. if new options are to be added or there are security concerns.
Which of the solutions is suitable for a website depends on the company, the target group and, last but not least, the content of the page. What is certain, however, is that a mobile site should be available in one form or another – the number of accesses from mobile devices is growing from year to year.