Mobile (or responsive) Websites
If your website hasn’t had a re-design in the last couple of years, then it’s unlikely it’s been designed to work very well on a mobile phone.
In the early stages of the mobile web, many companies commissioned a separate mobile website to be built in addition to the existing ‘desktop’ version. The website would detect when a user was trying to access it from a smaller screen device and redirect them appropriately to the mobile site. This was was often a much more basic, cut-down version of the desktop website. This was all very well and meant you could deliver an optimised version for each platform, but at a considerable financial cost. Ultimately, the client would be paying for 2 sites to be built and be maintained…but then along came…
Responsive design (or a responsive website) is an industry term meaning that the design layout responds to the screen it is being viewed on. This doesn’t just mean that the page simply shrinks down to fit the screen (as most smartphones do, making it completely impossible to read and navigate without continual panning and zooming). Most users get very bored of doing this, very quickly. Instead a responsive design will change the layout and adapt to the screen size. Not only is it great for mobile phones but with the diversity of internet enabled devices now on the market, it will easily adapt to much larger sizes as well such as widescreens, making sure your website is future-proof.
Lastly and most importantly, the content of the site (text, images etc) is the same regardless of what device you are viewing it on, meaning that there is only ever one site to maintain and keep up to date.