It’s exciting to see new websites for local businesses, whether we design them or not. Since responsive design makes the most sense, why are web designers still selling separate third-party mobile sites to unsuspecting businesses?
Responsive Website Design
Responsive design makes the most sense for your business website. Your web adjusts itself to the size of a user’s screen using dynamic code we apply for each screen size. We want to make sure your website visitors can view all of your content on a desktop computer, a phone, a tablet, or a TV.
A responsive design keeps your desktop and mobile content on one URL (e.g. www.yourbusinessname.com) and is easier for website users to interact with and navigate. And, one URL for your website is recommended by Google so their algorithms can properly index your content. You want to make sure your website gets listed by Google in desktop and mobile searching.
Mobile Third-Party Website
Certain web design teams are still offering static HTML websites that need to be maintained by the web design company that designed it. Since these static sites are not responsive for mobile, the “fix” is for the web design company to also offer a separate mobile website. That means you will have two websites the web design company maintains for you. (That sounds like two more fees than you need, too!) Website visitors will have to pinch and zoom to view the content on your main website. This is a very outdated option for site development.
Having a separate mobile website on a completely different domain (e.g. mobile.somemobilecompany.com/yoursite) is not a viable option. Generally speaking, this is not recommended by search engines like Google. Sending people to a third-party website can confuse your visitors, causing them to leave your mobile site.
What to Ask a Potential Web Design Team
When you are comparing costs and services, ask each web design company for a proposal that includes a mobile-friendly option. The most important question to ask is, “Does the mobile site go to my own business domain or to a third-party vendor domain?”
Before responsive design, there was an option for web designers to use a service like Dudamobile. This third-party company hosts the mobile content on their servers. If the web design company states that your new mobile website will be with a vendor like Dudamobile, your mobile site content appears on their domain, not yours (e.g. mobile.dudamobile.com/site/yoursite).
In this day and age of responsive design, do not accept this option!
Do Your Mobile Homework
View the web design company’s website on different devices. Does the web design company have their own responsive or mobile site? Check their portfolio – how do their sample designs look? Do the mobile sites go to a third-party like Dudamobile?
Responsive Design is the Best Option
Make sure you hire a web designer that offers a mobile-friendly design that is easy for website visitors to view (no matter their device) with all content on your business domain. Do not buy into a second mobile website your business does not need!