What's the difference between mobile friendly and mobile responsive?

January 9, 2018

Nowadays developing websites for mobile devices is a must and for a lot of people the label ‘mobile friendly’ and ‘mobile responsive’ mean the same thing. And they kinda do. One is the outcome and the other is the process. Let me explain.

According to Google, mobile friendly can be defined as, usable on a mobile device (e.g. the site doesn't slow down the phone, doesn't scroll horizontally in a vertical orientation, doesn't use unavailable plugins like Flash). It's designed for the form factor of the device and its display. ( So mobile friendly is the outcome you want to achieve with your website. If you don’t know if your website is mobile friendly you can check this tool, Mobile Friendly Test. Now let me explain the best approach to a mobile friendly website.

mobile friendly, mobile responsive websites
Not mobile friendly
responsive web design, mobile friendly
Mobile friendly

Mobile responsive or responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to website design that delivers the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the device -- desktop, laptop, tablet, phone -- but can show the display differently based on the screen size. This is BitBranding’s recommended approach. Back in the day there were other options such as creating a completely different version of your site just for phones. This has been replaced with RWD because of the emergence of multiple sized mobile devices and tablets.

In the United States, average time spent using the internet on mobile devices per day is 3.1 hours compared to 2.2 on desktop and tablets. ( This number has increased year over year. The implications are clear -- if you’re not able to reach your audience through mobile devices you’re not providing a satisfactory experience and you will lose customers to competition that are equipped with mobile friendly websites.

mobile usage graph
Internet Trends 2017 - Code Conference by Mary Meeker | Kleiner Perkins

Now you’re probably asking yourself how do I get my website to be mobile friendly using responsive web design? Well there are many options out there and nowadays website builders like, SquareSpace and Webflow, allow you to create these but if you’re looking for a professional to help you with a mobile friendly website then we can help you out. Simply click on the link below to get started.

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Christian Pinon
Creative Director
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