Responsive theme or a mobile website?

26 replies
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Hi everybody,
As most WP themes nowadays are responsive, do you think there's a need for a mobile website?
Number of users reaching my sites from mobile devices keeps growing, questions is do they really need a dedicated mobile site or a responsive site will suffice?

Also, came across this mobile site builder Mobile Website Made Easy | Free Mobile Website Design | DudaMobile , saw some really nice templates ( that's what got me thinking about a mobile site).
Is there any other, affordable mobile site service you recommend?

Appreciate the help.
#mobile #responsive #theme #website
  • Profile picture of the author Joe Crosbie
    I do not think so personally, I mean most themes that have been built to be fully responsive do the job just fine.

    I would stick away from mobile site builders as although the templates may be nice, unless you can code it's going to be tricky to get the site to look the same as your normal site. This could lead to confusion and a weak brand and identity.

    Hope this helps
    I chose entrepreneurship over further education despite being laughed at by my friends and family..

    I recently hit the "RESTART" button on my life, read my personal blog to find out how I did it :)
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    • Profile picture of the author kayoz
      most of the mobile builders sold on the forum aren't of any value. Sometimes a reponsive site isn't the answer. It depends on how big the standard site is. If the reponsive site is huge, with lots of data, and rich media, it will take too long for it to load on a mobile device. There is a point where a mobile site is a better choice. You have to keep in mind the end user is not your client, but THEIR Customers. Mobile users are on the move and they are not patient. If it takes forever for the mobile version to load, they won't stick around. The generally want to know how to contact, phone number, location and any deals. They don't need or want all the information on a full website. So really it depends on your clients objectives and the UX.
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  • Profile picture of the author bluewaveseo
    I would stick with a responsive theme as they seem to do the job. just
    pick your theme carefully.
    Professional Content Writing Services
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  • Profile picture of the author MrJonny
    Nowadays, most themes have mobile capability. They also look pretty good. So, I think using normal themes with responsive design is currently the best way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggerSpeed
    I think having a responsive theme in the framework is better than having third party site to convert your site becoming more mobile friendly. Or you might consider some of good mobile plugin for wordpress. It can save some of your time..

    Just my 2 cents
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  • Profile picture of the author grace2
    These days most of the people using mobile phones to surf the internet. So it is very important for an online business to have website that is compatible with the mobile phones. This will help the business for more sales and reputation.
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  • Profile picture of the author yestyle
    Using responsive theme is best for your website because responsive theme applied for all tasks on mobile theme got.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnsander1
    Responsive website design is better than to design a movie website design because mobile website will be helpful just for mobiles and we have to make another versions for other devices. Therefore responsive website design is perfect because it is for all kinds of devices not for mobiles.
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  • Profile picture of the author blogfreakz
    Responsive site/theme is enough.. I think no need to create site/theme for mobile
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  • Profile picture of the author HostWind
    I agree with the rest of the posters, a responsive site has been more than enough in all of my personal experience. Developing a standalone mobile site just takes extra time, and there are a lot of headaches, seeing as how many different mobile devices there are out there.

    - Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author jay walters
    I like the site, especially when they are responsive. It automatically fits the screen even on mobile.

    Your site looks great and awesome. Good job
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  • Profile picture of the author digmarket
    now a days most of the themes are self compatible according to size of the screen of the devise used..check those themes.
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  • Profile picture of the author locko69
    This is worth taking a look at... only a one-off fee of $29 and you can build as many mobile sites as you want... - Start Your Own Mobile Website Business
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  • Profile picture of the author JimOrr
    I am actually going to disagree with everyone else here and say it totally depends on what type of business the website is for.

    If it is an eCommerce site or a site constantly being updated. Yes responsive is much better.

    However the one huge advantage mobi site has over responsive is you can customize it to suit the fact that the viewer is on the phone.

    When someone looks for your business on their desktop they may want to see a lot of details about it . If they are looking you up on the phone they usually will just want to know what do you offer, where are you at, and how do I contact you. You can scale the site back to cater to these needs.

    A restaurant for example. Your desktop website can have all kinds of raving reviews, pictures, how long you have been in business, etc, etc, etc

    I would ask this owner, If someone looks up your business on their phone what is the number 1 call to action you want them to do? Answer...Call Me!

    Okay on a mobi site I would put a big fat Call button front and center, above the fold, right below the company logo

    What is the number 2 thing you want to show the person looking at your site on a mobi phone? Answer... Where I am located and hours I am open

    Okay I am going to place a Google Map with a place to type in ones current location so they can either look at the map or get directions. Also have below that your hours of business.

    There is your home page

    What is the number 3 thing you want to show the person looking at your site on a mobi phone?

    Answer... Show them what I offer.

    Put a menu button on the home page that takes them to a menu page with a big fat Call button at the top and bottom of the page.

    There is basically your mobi site.

    As for customizing to look like the desktop site. Easily done. I would suggest looking up Mark Austin's Mobi Maker Pro (sold as a WSO). What I just described here plus adding in a few other bells and whistles would take me (and I am slow) about 30 mins to make and can easily charge $300 to $500 for it all day long.

    I would give you a link but do not want to be accused of just wanting to make an affiliate sale on this post. If interested send me a PM and will give you my link and thank you for doing that for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author aadi1295
    If you are using Adsense and from a country where Adsense for mobile is allowed then you should go for seprate mobile site. Because normal adsense units won't show in browsers in android, iOS and Windows Phones etc. So for that You will need a proper mobile site where you can set Adsense for mobile, which won't effect your ads impressions and earnings. Hope it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    However the one huge advantage mobi site has over responsive is you can customize it to suit the fact that the viewer is on the phone.
    You lost me there... Isn't the whole idea of being "responsive" about CUSTOMIZING it to suit the fact that the viewer is on the phone???

    I am inclined to think you have never seen a real html5 responsive theme/design, where you can use classes in the stylesheet to show/hide elements depending on the size of the screen (aka being on a phone or tablet), have images of dynamic size etc.

    All that you described as the advantages of a separate mobile site can be done with a simple flat UI web design (responsive) theme.

    There, probably, are cases when one or the other solution is better or makes more sense depending on other factors... however, what you described above doesn't require a separate site. Just some advanced coding/styling knowledge when building the theme

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  • Profile picture of the author MarkKapoor
    i will go for responsive theme. But it all depends on what type of business you deal.

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  • Profile picture of the author Designmasterindia
    Hello mate,

    I think We must move with time. And in current time many visitors have client device like i-pad and cell phone. So I suggest you must have RESPONSIVE web design. that will attract users.


    I am Freelancer Website Designer and a developer with a zeal to deliver the best quality services to our clients.

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  • Profile picture of the author tubes
    If they are looking you up on the phone they usually will just want to know what do you offer, where are you at, and how do I contact you.
    Oh no. No no no no no.

    This makes me so sad that people still believe this.

    I spend most of the time surfing the web from my phone. And of that time, almost none of it is when I'm "on the go". It's on my couch or at work. And I'm not alone. 68% of consumers' smartphone use happens at home. How People Really Use Mobile - Harvard Business Review

    In regard to restaurants, the phone number, hours and location should be prominent no matter what device you're looking at it on. Suggesting that that's only critical on mobile and that a desktop site should present reviews and photos of people smiling at their salads first in terms of priority is just silly.

    The reality is, no one can predict user intent when it comes to mobile devices. Mobile doesn't always mean the person is mobile. And it certainly doesn't mean they should be given limited content because of the device they are using.

    If you believe otherwise, may I suggest these articles and books. Or, just think about your own behavior with your phone.

    Three Reasons We’ve Outgrown Mobile Context :: UXmatters
    LukeW | Mobile Context Revisited
    A Book Apart, Content Strategy for Mobile
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    • Profile picture of the author CliffRose
      Responsive theme is the way I would go.

      Just be careful about plugins that create any pages, some of them are definitely NOT 'Responsive Theme Friendly".

      I'm just dumping a plugin because of this, and not getting any response from the vendor.

      Cheers - Cliff
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    • Profile picture of the author kayoz
      tubes: you're right to a certain extent. I agree that people aren't always on the move when they're on their mobile devices. However, when you look at the design of most websites, responsive or otherwise, the information anyone would really want is rarely on the first page. The UX and UI is more important on a mobile site and sometimes responsive isn't the best answer. It's the easiest for sure, for the developer, but maybe not the best for the end user or for the results the client is looking to achieve with mobile development. Every client needs to be considered separately and individually before deciding which route to go.
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      • Profile picture of the author samuel1785
        Now a days, responsive website is the primary requirement if your looking to boost the growth of your business. Today, people are using certain devices like tablet, iphone etc, etc to visit certain websites. So if your website is responsive then it would be very beneficial for your business purpose.

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  • Profile picture of the author curationsoft
    I still go for responsive theme, it is very flexible and and it can adapt in every gadget - desktop, netbook, tablet, mobile, etc
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Compton
    I would go with a responsive website to keep your identity cross-device compatible.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mollywhite
    Just choose a responsive wordpress theme, it will make your laptop website and mobile website both fine with the same link.
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  • Profile picture of the author MobiDev
    Responsive design is not the best solution for heavy content, such as video - it can slow down the website.

    Separate mobile site will be a good solution if you require major differences between desktop and mobile versions of the website.

    Some more details to keep in mind
    Mobile Website: Mobile URL, Responsive, Or Dynamic?
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