Before we start it’s important to go over the recent changes to Google’s ranking algorithm regarding mobile friendly websites. In a nutshell the update will give priority ranking to websites that are in some way optimised for mobile browsing. This has been appropriately dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’. Google has begun rolling this update out to data centres as of April 24th 2015. With Mobilegeddon on the way it’s vitally important you assess your business’s mobile strategy.

So, with that being said, what is Responsive and Mobile Friendly Web design?

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design concept.

Mobile internet usage has never been so popular. Although desktop internet browsing remains the favourite, Responsive Web Design caters to both these giants.

Responsive web design is a way of adapting the layout of a website through the use of flexible images, CSS3 media queries, and proportion-based grids. This enables an optimal viewing experience across the spectrum of different platforms.

Responsive website design is different than just a separate iteration of a website built for mobile. It unifies desktop and mobile browsing in a flexible manner, meaning the domain name and website content are consistent across all platforms.

The Advantages:

  • Content can be managed on one domain.
  • Flexibility – Responsive web design enables content to move freely across all screen resolutions and devices.
  • Consistent user experience across all platforms
  • Sites optimised for mobile use are given additional ranking power by Google as per the Mobilegeddon update.
  • Cost effective – Having a responsive website developed is more cost effect than having a separate desktop and mobile iteration of that site.

We cannot emphasise enough just how important it is to cater to the mobile market.

Responsive web design is a relatively new technology. As with anything new it can come with it’s fair share of drawbacks. What it really boils down to is complexity. Complexity in programming a responsive website which inevitably leads to a longer development time, and complexity in managing content. For instance, using a whacking great image on a desktop is fine but when browsing on a mobile device data allowances must be taken into account. That being said, responsive web design done properly can avoid such issues or have appropriate workarounds put in place.

Mobile Friendly Web Design

Responsive web design concept.

Mobile friendly web design, as the name suggests, refers to any website that is optimised for mobile browsing. This could be a dedicated mobile site or a responsive site that can accommodate both mobile and desktop viewing.

As mobile friendly web design can fall under the responsive umbrella, let’s have a look at the advantages you can expect to achieve with a dedicated mobile website:

The advantages of a dedicated mobile site:

  • Content will be geared towards speed and on minimising mobile data usage
  • The site is specifically optimised with the mobile user in mind, taking into account interaction methods like touch screens and certain limitations like screen resolutions and sizes.

One of the major drawbacks of a dedicated mobile site is cost. Although the cost of a mobile site is not much different than that of a desktop counterpart, responsive web design can hit two birds with one stone, reducing your cost in the long run.


If you are serious about your business you need a responsive website. With the recent changes to Google’s ranking algorithm affecting mobile friendly websites you need to put yourself in the best possible position to rank highly. Mobile browsing is now so popular that you cannot afford to miss out on the mobile market. Responsive web design is cost effective and a surefire way to future proof your businesses online presence.

Need a responsive/mobile friendly website for your business? We can help.