One of the most important technological advances in recent years has been the ability to use mobile devices to browse the internet. While many people take it for granted that they have access to a search engine from anywhere in the world, it doesn’t take much effort to think about what life was like before smart devices existed. As these devices have become more and more common, it has become more important than ever for businesses to create websites that can be viewed using desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Initially, people were designing websites that could be viewed specifically by mobile devices. Now, many websites can be viewed using either a computer or smart device. This transition has gone so smoothly that many people haven’t even realized this. When it comes to website design for doctors, what’s the difference between a mobile website design and a fully responsive website design? Why does the difference matter?
An Overview of a Mobile Website Design
First, it is important to clarify what a mobile website design is. On the surface, this is the website that has an “m” in front of the URL. For people who have noticed this “m” when browsing the internet using a phone, this is what the “m” stands for; mobile. What this means specifically is that the regular website has a mobile sub-section where a slightly different version of the website is displayed when the site is accessed by a mobile site. Some of the other important characteristics are discussed below.
Responsiveness: A mobile website is designed to be responsive to mobile devices. A smart device will have no trouble displaying a mobile website as it was intended to be viewed; however, this changes when someone tries to view the same website on a desktop computer. For example, someone who sends a mobile website as a link to a friend might be surprised to learn that the website looks differently on a desktop. While a well-designed website will simply realize that a desktop computer is trying to view the site and display the regular version, some computers might try to pull up the mobile site. Trying to display the mobile website on a desktop computer might be a challenge and people may be unable to view it.
SEO: Of course, everyone wants to know how a mobile website will be handled by SEO. After all, this is about the visibility of the practice. A mobile website that is strong in another area of SEO will be looked upon favorably by a search engine. If the optometric website design has other beneficial SEO factors, the mobile website will rank high when people try to find the website using a mobile device; however, a mobile website will not be included if people try to find the mobile website using a desktop computer. For this reason, it is important that people who are building a mobile website maintain a regular website as well. This version can be viewed by desktop computers.
How easy it is to maintain?: This is another common question when it comes to mobile websites. This is the biggest issue with using a mobile website. The problem with using a mobile website is that it is designed for use specifically by smart devices. It is not meant to be viewed using desktop computers. This means that anyone using a mobile website will also have to maintain a regular website that can be viewed by desktop computers. This means separate websites, separate website designs, and separate codes. This can create a significant amount of work for a practice that is trying to balance its online presence with the issues related to patient care.
An Overview of Fully Responsive Website Design
Just as the article did with mobile website design, a fully responsive website design is a single site that can be viewed using both mobile devices and desktop devices. People may have seen these types of websites abbreviated “RWD.” While mobile websites are designed to be viewed specifically by mobile devices, responsive websites can be viewed by any device with internet access. This is a separate category of website design that will be discussed below.
Responsiveness and Compliance: If a fully responsive website has been designed correctly, it will be fully mobile compliant. Furthermore, the websites will be viewed using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or a phone. Responsive websites represent a different category of website that has been coded in a way that it can be viewed by any device. When people access a website using a mobile device, the website is trying to find a way to fit the entire website onto a smaller screen. This means that the website must be coded in a way that allows the website to expand on a larger desktop screen and contract on a smaller mobile device screen. If coded correctly, this shouldn’t be a problem.
SEO: SEO is back again, this time for fully responsive websites. Web sites that are designed to be fully responsive have been designed to be viewed on both mobile devices and other computers. This means that the search engine is going to consider the website for ranking regardless of the device that typed in the search query. If a fully responsive website has been designed to be SEO-friendly in other areas, the website should rank highly in the search results regardless of the device. Fully responsive websites should still be designed for SEO.
How easy is a fully responsive website to maintain?: A responsive website is designed to be viewed using both mobile devices and other computers. This can make it a little harder to develop; however, practices that put in the time on the front end will be rewarded with a long-term working relationship and only one website that can be viewed by anybody. Once the website is up and running, people will realize that the maintenance is easier because there is only one website. A little investment on the front-end can lead to numerous rewards on the back-end.
These are some of the most important differences between a mobile website design and a fully responsive website design; however, these aren’t the only differences. When going through dental website design, it is important to think about both the audience and SEO. Ease of use for the viewer and visibility of the practice are both vital considerations during the website design process. Make sure that the website is used as an effective marketing tool.