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Responsive Design vs Mobile Sites and Apps

By Leadhub
Posted on March 6th, 2018
website homepage template on a laptop, desktop, ipad, and smart phone

As you take your leap into the mobile-first era, you may be wondering what kind of website is better: responsive design or mobile-specific sites and apps. Spoiler alert: it's not mobile sites or apps. We'll explain why - but first, a few definitions.

Responsive site - a site built to respond to the size of the browser. You maintain one site that works across all devices - computer, phone or tablet.
Mobile site - a site built specifically for phone browsing. These sites are often limited in size and breadth, since speed of loading is of utmost importance.
Mobile app - a separate mobile experience that is downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

Cost of maintenance
Although the upfront charges of a site with responsive web design may seem hefty at first, the long-run return pays off. Mobile sites and native apps are separate entities from their desktop counterpart and require extra maintenance when it comes to updating and refreshing content for your sites. Making one changes actually means making multiple changes. More maintenance equals more costs, which can be a waste of money. Responsive websites are more efficient in that it is only necessary to make changes to a single site rather than two or more depending on your site. It also centralizes any kind of troubleshooting and monitoring. With one main platform, it's easier to identify the problem and fix it across the entire board.

Storage Space
In an age where consumers are looking to clear space on their devices and still receive the content they want, responsive websites provide the perfect solution. Mobile apps are installed and become native to the phone itself, meaning they can take up a considerable amount of storage space. Constant app updates and re-downloads can be annoying and downright frustrating and may encourage consumers to delete the app outright.

User Experience
The way content is presented and interacted with can make or break a website. In terms of engagement, consistency is key. Having a learning curve to each of your different platforms (mobile site vs. desktop site vs. mobile app) can be quite a turn off to your audience. Keeping one consistent platform that performs that same and adjusts to screen size will improve the overall user experience of your site.

Not sure how to get to your website designed responsively? Don't fret. Leadhub can handle all your web development needs or questions. With highly experienced web developers and designers on our team, your site is guaranteed to get the response you want.

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