Mobile Website Design vs. Full Sites: 4 Ways They Differ

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A mobile website design is vital to companies whose main goal is to reach all potential users of the WorldWideWeb.

It has become a necessity in today’s generation of extensive mobile use, which debunks arguments of it being merely a fad. Instead, analysts believe that the future of the internet will be tremendously dominated by mobile browsing.

What is a mobile website design?

A mobile website design, otherwise known as responsive design or adaptive design, pertains to websites that are structured and designed to provide an optimized and mobile-friendly user experience. It is a process where developers incorporate strategies to web development initiatives to ensure that the full version of a website is rendered and customized to suit the requirements of mobile interfaces and consoles.

With all the tangible benefits users gain with the use of mobile interfaces, it is not surprising to see mobile consoles toppling desktops and PCs in terms of popularity and use in the coming years. The always-on service of a mobile phone allows potential customers to access a breadth of products and services anytime, anywhere.

Day in and day out, you will see people logged in continuously on Facebook, posting status updates, sharing information, and chatting with friends through their mobile devices. Because they want to get the latest updates from friends, family, celebrities, and news, most people decide that being online 24/7 is the way to go. It is essential that companies invest time, money, and efforts in making their site as mobile-friendly as possible. With an optimized mobile website design, companies increase their chances of landing a sale every time a person uses his smartphone, tablet or laptop.

responsive website

Spotting the Difference between Full Sites and Mobile Sites

Despite this wide adoption to mobile browsing, many companies still fail to develop a mobile website design. It is because they have the misconception that full sites and mobile sites are the same. They are making a big mistake since mobile interfaces and PCs differ in more ways than one. In an attempt to provide users with a better understanding of full websites and mobile websites, we have decided to compare them using the following metrics:

Screen Size:

This is one of the first things one probably notices when comparing full sites and mobile websites. A full site is designed by developers with 19 to 24-inch diagonal monitors in mind. Tablet and smartphone monitors are smaller than desktop monitors are; with diagonal measurements ranging from 4- to 10-inches.

Different sizes of mobile website design


Because mobile devices are relatively smaller than desktop monitors are, you need to finger-zoom in and out to make content readable and mobile-friendly. Full websites designed for desktop specifications are accessed using a cursor that hovers and clicks when a mouse, a touch pad, or pen stylus are used to navigate sites. In mobile websites, there are no hover screens or scrolling options.

With desktops, cursors or pointers are used to select content. Mobile devices are meant to be navigated using digits via a finger-tapping mechanism. Compared to mouse cursors, finger tapping can be quite annoying to use to access small buttons and tabs that full websites have when viewed on mobile devices. If sites are not converted for mobile access, the user experience can be quite frustrating since the tapping mechanism is less precise than mouse clicking.

To solve this problem of fat-finger browsing, web developers need to create a mobile website design where interface elements are enlarged for ease of use.

responsive navigation for windows

Orientation, Rendering, and Content:

Web developers need to simplify and condense content since the mobile webpage will look too cramped if sidebars, unnecessary tabs, and content are not reduced or removed altogether. Mobile websites should have less information than full sites, meaning texts should be cut into brief and concise versions. Web developers and copywriters also face a unique challenge of simplifying features, copies, and word count without removing essential selections.

The common approach of web developers is to make the design and layout more suited to the space limitations of a mobile platform. As such, they need to collapse a full website content into expandable widgets. Developers also need to remove heavy graphics, unnecessary embedded applications, advertisements, sponsored links, and scripts to make it simple and condensed which is a requirement to properly browse content using mobile means.

content website

Speed of Access:

Since PCs run on high-speed internet, web pages and requests are processed faster compared to content on mobile websites. Mobile websites are accessed by the user using a wireless internet connection, 3G, GSM, or LTE connections that are comparable to dial-up internet access speed.
When creating a mobile website, you should design for real, everyday people. The bottom line is, companies need to tailor-fit their mobile websites to meet the desired structure, functionality, content, and security enablement that mobile users need and want.

Internet Speed for Different Mobile Devices

All in all, it`s obvious that the future of the internet is strong related to mobile. We`re witnessing an incredible boom development of technology and who knows what the next day may bring to us? We shall wait and see!

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Madalin Tudose

A web developer with a crush on SEO. Having my skin in the game of website development and digital marketing for more than 10 years already, you might consider me an expert. At least this is what people call me. Honestly, I HATE that term. I prefer to describe myself as a person who takes action and risks. I test every hypothesis, document every step of the process, and implement what works.