InfoStream University: FAQ

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What is the difference between a mobile website and a responsive website?

A responsive website automatically adjusts based on the screen size. It is a single website that presents a layout based on whether the user is viewing the site on a mobile device, desktop or tablet.

A mobile website is a separate site, which is often a pared-down version of the desktop site. It is designed specifically to provide a positive user experience on mobile devices only.

Both options help ensure that mobile users have a positive experience. For example, sites that are not mobile-friendly may have text that you must zoom to read, links that are too small and difficult to click on, and pages that require side-to-side scrolling in order to read content.

While both options achieve a common goal—a site that looks good and functions well on mobile devices—a responsive website has many advantages, including:

  • Only one site to maintain: A responsive website looks great on all devices, from mobile to desktop, but only requires one set of code/pages to maintain.
  • Full functionality for a complete user experience: Mobile websites often focus on a few key items, leaving out valuable information that is found on the desktop version. A responsive website presents all of your website’s information in a way that’s easy for any user to access.
  • Better speed on mobile: Because there is no redirection from the desktop site to a mobile site, the website loads more quickly.

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