How a Responsive Website is Different than a Mobile Site or App

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How a Responsive Website is Different than a Mobile Site or App

These three things are often confused because they're all related to the "world of mobile," however it's important to understand that they're completely different. Each is a different approach to delivering content to your audience.

Let's look at each one in more detail, to better understand the differences:

  1. Responsive web design is a set of web development techniques that allows the website to "respond" to the size of device it's being viewed on.
  2. A mobile site is a separate, mobile version of your main website. It is built and maintained separate from the main website. Typically, because of the decreased amount of space available on mobile devices vs. a PC, a mobile site contains just a percentage of the main website's content (perhaps 20%) and the layout is done in way that is friendly for mobile viewing, e.g. large buttons, stacked content, etc.
  3. A mobile app is a mobile application (not a website) specifically designed to do a certain action or set of actions. It has to be downloaded and installed as an app on your tablet or smartphone in order to work. Typically speaking, the simpler an app is in terms of the actions users can take, the more effective it is.

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