Mobile Dilemma: Dedicated Site vs. Responsive Design

Apparently the presidential candidates differ on more than just healthcare and economic issues. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have different approaches when it comes to mobile website design as well.

In an article on Smashing Magazine, the writer pits Obama against Romney in the mobile boxing ring, bringing up a topic that’s often debated among website developers. Should you build a dedicated mobile website or a responsive website?

The highly recommended read outlines the pros and cons of these two approaches, using Romney’s dedicated mobile website and Obama’s responsive design website as examples. These two mobile websites are both well-designed but contrast greatly in terms of experience and content.

Here’s a look at their mobile and desktop homepages:

You may expect Duda to encourage everyone on the planet to build a dedicated mobile website like Romney has chosen to do. After all, that is the Duda way of going mobile. But we know there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, there are several right ways to go mobile.

Both Romney and Obama have created a mobile presence the right way in many respects. So, why does the Duda way make more sense for many individuals and businesses who want to build a mobile-optimized website? It’s the cost effectiveness and simplicity in the approach.

One of the biggest reasons that small businesses come to us is that they’re able to repurpose their existing desktop website – something they’ve already spent a lot of time and money on – to build a mobile-friendly site with our auto-convert technology. Responsive design requires a business to start from scratch and rebuild their existing desktop website.

The Duda way also allows individuals and businesses to customize the mobile experience for smartphone users. Take Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, for example. The restaurant recently built a mobile website using Duda, incorporating click-to-call, mobile maps and OpenTable reservations. These custom features found on a dedicated mobile site make it easier for smartphone users to get in touch with just a click of a button.

9 thoughts on “Mobile Dilemma: Dedicated Site vs. Responsive Design

  1. Dudamobile is taking our presence and visibility as a business to the next level. Our mobile website captures the essence of who we are, and what we have to offer-what an outstanding product!

    • Glad you like your mobile website! And, fittingly for this article, it promotes your Alection! I still have a bottle of your Obama and Romney ale in my fridge. Hmmm…I wonder who will win?!

  2. Great topic for debate. I think ultimately the solution is situational, but it’s something that i’ll be discussing with my clients before each web design project I do.

    • Agreed! It’s really important for clients to consider both options along with their budget when they think about mobile.

    • Websites built with responsive design are built to display differently depending on the width of the viewing screen. Elements of the page will automatically rearrange themselves based on if they have room to fit the current screen, if they dont fit they will drop down to the next line. While Duda sites do incorprate some of the responsive sizing, our mobile websites are designed specifically for mobile phones, meaning that you’re customizing the experience & layout separately.

  3. We recently built a Dudamobile site and so far are very impressed with its look and feel. We are trying the free version but probably will need to upgrade soon as we are gaining more mobile traffic.

    • That’s great! Glad you like the Duda product. If you’re looking to upgrade sooner rather than later, you should take advantage of our current fan-only deal on Facebook. It expires on Friday! Here’s the link:

  4. Great article! I think what some people miss is the power that these both have if used together. I am soon to change my whole website in to responsive layout to benefit from the SEO, while keeping my Desktop and Tablet organized correctly. However it may seem that I will have a responsive layout with my mobile, I understand the more constructive benefits of having a dedicated mobile site that I get with Duda. So, my desktop and tablet will work off a responsive theme while my mobile will go dedicated. There is more to look into this as I think that there is better SEO benefits by doing this. To me, a dedicated mobile site that was once in a responsive layout would still contain some responsive attributes that Google and search engines will credit. This is just a theory, however, I will always prefer a dedicated site overall.

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