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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Websites

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Websites

Article published: 18 November 2013

Welcome to Part 3 of our series of articles designed to help you understand once and for all the difference between responsive web design and mobile sites. This time let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of mobile websites.

Part 1: Responsive vs. Mobile Websites
Part 2: Advantages and Disadvantages of Responsive Web Design

In the last article we looked at what Responsive websites are, and delved a little deeper into their advantages and disadvantages. Now the time has come to do the same for mobile websites, so that you are in the ideal place to choose which will suit your business best.


  • You can provide completely mobile-optimised traffic. It can be argued that mobile users may have different requirements when they visit your website to that of a desktop or tablet visitor. A separate mobile site can contain specially selected content and unique pages specifically tailored to this audience.
  • Allows you to slim down the design to be visually simpler and very easy to navigate. In particular this is good for shorter pages, as responsive websites often end up rearranged into long, scrollable pages. It is worth mentioning, however, that long pages on mobiles are likely to become the norm as Responsive websites become more common, and at this point it is unlikely to be a negative.



  • Needs to show the content that website visitors want to see. This links into the first advantage above – you can provide mobile-optimised content, but you need to make sure the content is right. If research isn’t done and the wrong content is chosen mobile users may be unsatisfied and have a negative experience. In addition, remember that a well-thought-through responsive website will adapt to a mobile user’s needs anyway.
  • Harder to optimise for all devices and screen sizes. There are so many different devices on the market that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, so a mobile site won’t be the right size for all screens etc.
  • What happens to visitors returning from different devices? If a visitor can find one piece of information on a desktop, but can’t locate it again when they return on their mobile device then the experience could be negative.
  • Requires separate maintenance – content needs to be updated and managed twice over. This is generally the responsibility of your web agency, but it’s definitely worth bearing in mind when the time comes to update offers etc.

So, there you have it. Three simple articles that de-mystify the Responsive web design vs. Mobile websites argument. Hopefully we’ve gone into enough detail to make it clear and easy to understand, without over-the-top jargon.

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