Choosing the right Mobile Solution (Part 2)
(In case you missed it, here’s the first part.)
Last time we took a look at how a separate mobile site could be a viable mobile solution. Now let’s take a look at some of the not-so-stellar things about this approach.
The main problem with a separate mobile site is maintainability. Hypothetically, lets say you want SEO-friendly content for your entire site. You now have two sites that we need to implement the new content on. This is fairly manageable on smaller sites. But say instead of having a 6 page site, you have 60. Yikes…..
The other problem with a separate site is that Google just recently announced that separate mobile sites that are not properly set up will start to be penalized in the search rankings. They are mostly targeting mobile-only errors and junky redirects (read the official Google post). Both of these errors can easily be avoided, but their likelihood increases when you have two separate sites that are interacting with each other simply because of the duality of the content. A web page file becomes corrupt and suddenly you have a mobile only error, an accidental redirect to a wrong page. You get the idea.
Responsive design battles these issues by using the same content but changing the way the site is presented so that it is optimized to be viewed not only on a mobile phone, but on a tablet, a desktop, and the way technology is going, on your kitchen door in a few years.
Maintainability is a breeze as you only have one site’s worth of content to upkeep and make changes too. The downside is that if you want a vastly different design presentation there will be a lot of hiding and swapping of content (remember, all content is downloaded prior to being manipulated) so you may have a longer render time. And Google also considers site speed (i.e. render speed) in their rankings (those Googlistas never seem happy…..).
So which is better? That depends. Do you have a website that needs a stripped down content approach while still providing your users with the functionality they need to obtain the information that they came to your site for? Does the content essentially stay the same but you need a site that is optimized for mobile in terms of aesthetics and functionality?
Each situation is different, requiring different considerations, objectives and strategies. Having an experienced web development partner is the first step to avoiding the pitfalls that can easily come with any online project.
Contact us to discuss your specific situation and we will gladly work with you to exceed your internet marketing goals.