The Easy Answer to the m. or Responsive Mobile Debate
There is an ongoing debate in the digital marketing world as to whether to create a mobile responsive website or a “m.” website. If you’re confused now – let me fill you in on the difference:
- Mobile Responsive – one website domain that displays one layout to desktop and one to mobile devices
- “m.” Website – a separate subdomain – in essence a completely separate website – that is optimised for mobile devices for mobile users to be redirected to
When web-enabled mobile devices first became mainstream, you no doubt can recall being redirected to “m.” websites back in those early days. Now, a “m.” website redirect is extremely rare. So why the move to mobile responsive?
Well most significantly, mobile-first design and responsive web design has been embraced by most web designers and developers so that sites are built from the bottom up with mobile responsive features in mind. Rather than creating a beautiful, feature rich website that display really well on a desktop computer, and then hiding and removing functionality for the smaller mobile screen designers are now progressing towards a mobile-first design that is created with the smallest screen in mind.
Secondly, the m. domain approach required completely separate maintenance from the “www” website. A change to the “www” website meant separately making that same change to the m. version – literally, double the maintenance but avoided with a responsive design. Google themselves recommend responsive design over designated mobile URLs and prefers to only have to crawl a website once rather than twice (the desktop version, then the mobile version).
In terms of downsides or potential pitfalls of mobile responsive designs there are just two that we’ve identified. Loading a mobile responsive website can sometimes result in lengthy page load speeds so its important to have the page load speed optimised for any mobile responsive website. Secondly, the fact that Google has to crawl the websites separately isn’t ideal – a faster crawl time for Google ALWAYS means a bigger tick from the powers above.
So, I know what you’re thinking. Why the heck would anyone have a “m.” website anymore – is there really a choice?
Absolutely. But only in very specific circumstances. If your website experience needs to be entirely different for mobile users to desktop users, you may want to consider m. websites. A great example of this is a bank or a high transactional site. Mobile users using these website typically want to perform a few simple and quick tasks like checking an account balance or making a transfer. Comparatively, desktop traffic to the same bank website typically are after more in-depth support, perhaps comparing home loan rates so in these cases, an m. often makes sense.
In the wake of the biggest Google update to ever hit the internet, Mobilegeddon, mobile responsive and “m.” websites have never been so hot.
If you’re on a “m.” website and are wondering if its time to change, OR, if you are unsure of whether your website is mobile friendly, we have some simple solutions for you.
This is important so take note as our free mobile friendly website analysis will determine if you are a target for Mobilegeddon and if you are currently on Google’s hit list. 1. Your first option is to have us analyse your website for free to see if it is mobile friendly with our simple audit tool. Click here for your FREE mobile friendly analysis >>>. Option 2 is to give our team a call on 02 8488 8078 so we can analyse your website real time and provide you with a simple gameplan on what you can do and how we can help get you mobile friendly and Mobilegeddon proofed fast.
Get in touch via the form on this page or request your free mobile website audit here.