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Responsive Design vs. Mobile Web – Making the Right Choice

If you are a small business owner envisioning the creation of their websites, your web designer may ask you whether you want a responsive design or a mobile web design. Your choice can significantly determine the amount of traffic you gain and your customer conversion rates. If you don’t know which to choose, this article will help you. Here is a head to head comparison of each web design choice.

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Cost of Creation

For small business owners, start-up costs are an integral part of their marketing strategy.Considering their simplicity and reduced time, the cost of creating a mobile website is relatively less than creating a responsive variant. For small business owners willing to accept a basic mobile website, it may even cost next to nothing.

On the other hand, a responsive design requires a substantial amount of coding, optimization and testing.Moreover, the cost of coding per hour for responsive design is significantly higher. As such, the initial cost for responsive designs is high.

As such, for small business owners who want to solely base their choice on cost, mobile web may be a more appropriate.

Redesigning and Maintenance

The cost of maintenance is a major decisive factor in the choice between responsive design and mobile web.Mobile web, as simple as it may seem, does require a relative amount of maintenance. This is primarily because of the changing Smartphone trends.When trends and technology changes, redesigning a mobile website can be costly.

In contrast to responsive design, the cost of maintenance is substantially lower. The combination of fluid grids and media queries makes it easier to maintain the design. Moreover, it also makes complete redesigns simpler and less time-consuming.


As a small business owners, you need to ensure that you can make the largest impact using the least amount of resources – efficiency. When it comes to responsive design vs. mobile web, each provides a different impact.

Mobile web offers a great experience on Smartphones; simple, easy navigation and quick loading times. However, online users will use a variety of platforms such as tablets, laptops and PCs. As such, responsive design provides a greater overall impact.

Return on Investment

For small business owners, a high return on investment (ROI) is always the better choice. As such, when you combine the above factors, a different picture surfaces.With greater functionality, reduce maintenance and redesign costs and a greater impact across a growing number of platform and devices,it is evident that responsive design offers a high ROI.

With a low initial cost, relative simplicity and high effectiveness on Smartphone, mobile web offers a relatively decent ROI. However, due to limitations such as basic information streaming, single-screen  size targeting and high maintenance cost, mobile web offers a relatively lower ROI, especially in the long-run.

With differences in design, functionality, cost and impact, both current and future, small business owners need to ensure they may the right choice. Not only can it help drive traffic but ensure greater customer satisfaction. When it boils down to that evident choice, the above information should help make the choice between responsive design and mobile web even easier.

About Richart

Richard is a ecommerce developers specializing in Magento platform at Infinitytechnologies.com.au Richard has been an early adopter of mobile technology and evangelize mobile design to his colleagues and clients.

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