Mobile Friendly Vs Responsive Development: Let’s differentiate

When we talk about the terms – mobile friendly and responsive design, we usually end up referring them as two different terms with the same meaning . But in the mobile development industry, they are utterly two different terms like north and south pole. Let’s bounce!

It would be a good idea if we initiate defining these two terms and then, discussing about which thing your website needs.


Let’s put it in simple words – a mobile friendly site is a bare minimum mobile optimization strategy you must have for your mobile visitors. It is imperative to design a xerox of your website, specifically to look and function in the same way for hand-held devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets, iPhones and iPads. Moreover, Google’s search rankings prefer mobile-friendly websites and so does Google robots. You can use Google webmaster tool to check whether your site is mobile-friendly or not. A mobile-friendly site is a slimmed version of desktop view is one of the things checked manually. For instance, generally your content should be of at least 14 or 16 pt font. It seems big though, but hard to read when it shrinks. And if it is hard to read, then it is not mobile friendly.


As the term says, the responsive site is developed to respond to different screen sizes its being accessed by. Usability is the factor that is considered and makes a difference in terms of look and function on desktop, mobile and tablet. If we access a site from a desktop, then full website gets displayed. Whereas layout and navigation will function differently for mobile and tablet.

What does your website need?

Well, that totally depends. Even though mobile-friendly sites are outdated, but they still have its importance. Moreover, Google takes mobility as a ranking factor as well. Hence, it can’t be ignored. In this mobile digital world, people use Google from mobile and only optimized websites are ranked and viewed. A standard website probably ranks low when it doesn’t have a mobile optimized site. Hence, you need a mobile friendly website as a bare minimum mobile design strategy.

And how about responsive web designs? Well, they are considered as costlier strategies. If it is easier taking an existing site and make it mobile friendly to tapping into the mobile market, then why to go for responsive ones? Another thing, if your website is static and simple with just a few pages and simple navigation, then don’t go for responsive thing.

Though responsive design costs higher, but investments will be much higher. Mobile-friendly sites prove to be really frustrating for user at times and hence, increase bounce rates. A higher bounce rate could be either because of the information, user isn’t getting or the user is having a hard time accessing the site. Eventually, it will impact on your conversion rates.

If you are still not convinced, then take a look at these hard facts:

  • Since 2010, mobile traffic has increased by 192.5%
  • 4 out of 5 consumers shop via smartphones
  • 70 percent of searches via mobile lead to an online action within hours
  • 90 percent users use online resources to search for products and services before purchasing.

The mobile market is huge which is growing at a high rate exponentially. So, if you still haven’t tapped into it, then it is the best time to do so. There is always someone looking for interesting business offers through mobile device.