Users of smartphones are a huge segment of the Internet audience, which must be reckoned with. There are more than 5 billion unique mobile users in the world and their number annually increases on average by 4%. Smartphones have already become an integral part of Internet trading and for the majority of the world’s population are indispensable helpers in information search. And in order not to lose potential customers from among the owners of telephones, any online entrepreneur strives to provide them with all the necessary amenities on the site.
On a not mobile-friendly web resource any smartphone user will see either a reduced copy of the desktop extension or an empty screen with an inscription like “sorry, but our site is too cool for your device”, which is unlikely to cause him enthusiasm.
To ensure that the pages are correctly displayed on phones and tablets, adaptive layout or a mobile version of the site is used. In both cases, the user sees only the basic information and functionality on the site. Pages are set up so that a visitor with a small screen conveniently displayed a structure with all the necessary elements.
Development of a mobile version site means creating a subdomain or directory on the server. As a rule, it is simplified and differs in structure and functional elements from the site for the PC. Only the key functions, basic information, and also the style of visual design are preserved, so the visitor does not have a feeling that he has fallen into another resource.
On a site with adaptive layout the user is not redirected to a subdomain, the page structure simply adapts to the size of its screen. The main elements are displayed here, and all additional options and information are hidden, but are available in separate interfaces: PopUp-windows, drop-down blocks, sidebar, etc.
Each of the options has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at the main ones.
Let’s start with the criterion, about which many think first. Since the mobile version implies the creation of a separate site intended for smartphone users, additional costs are incurred to develop and maintain it. In fact, you order two resources at once, and you will have to pay accordingly.
Adaptive layout changes the design of one site depending on the size of the user’s screen. Additional costs will go only to the services of a designer and layout maker. Because it will cost less, and it will take less time to create it.
Convenience for users
The convenience of the resource largely depends on the skills of designers and developers who created it, rather than on the type of optimization for a smartphone. But some differences can still be distinguished.
For example, download speed. It is generally accepted that mobile versions have the advantage of speed. They are easier due to less data being sent, which reduces download time. And thanks to a separate domain, the extension frees the main resource from requests coming from smartphones. On the site with the adapter, the full amount of data is loaded as for the desktop version, which can adversely affect the speed.
In fact, everything here depends on optimization of the resource, server operation and, of course, on the data transfer speed of the user. And although we can not influence the last factor, but optimizing the volume of pages and choosing a quality hosting minimize download time.
How does it affect the progress in search engines
Correct display on the screens of all types of devices is an important criterion that is considered by search engines. And if earlier it was believed that for this purpose the mobile version is better suited, now both methods are equally good for search engines.
But as we said before, a mobile version requires a separate subdomain or directory. That is, as a rule, pages with similar content are created, which can lead to duplication of content and the fall of its uniqueness. Consequence – the reduction of positions and sales. Of course, experienced SEO experts are able to cope with such problems, and know a lot of tricks to preserve the uniqueness of content. But they just will not say “thanks” for additional complications. In addition, more work requires more payment.
Adaptive layout of such difficulties does not cause. Here one site – one address, and therefore “misunderstanding” from the search engines is not threatened.
If you need to make changes that will be displayed only on phones, then on the mobile version it’s easier, because the work on the subdomain will not affect the main resource. But any improvements, that are necessary for both versions of the site, will have to be performed twice: on the main site and the subdomain.
In fact it is necessary to contain at once two resources, and it concerns not only improvements in structure which spend not so often. Also you need update the content regularly, and for the phone it should be optimized to ensure ease of perception.
On smartphones adaptive and phone version are displayed equally well, because this is their main task. But with adaptive layout, the expansion of the tablet is taken into account, where more useful information or additional elements are placed. But the mobile version on the tablet is displayed exactly the same as on the phone, only stretched across the width of the screen.
Therefore, the advantage behind adaptive layout, because it helps to rationally use all available screen area of any device.
As a rule, mobile versions have a simpler structure, they are easier to navigate, and the necessary functions are always at hand. But in this there is a significant drawback. After all, to ensure the simplicity of such a page, you should not include most of the elements and information of the main site.
So, it is possible to distinguish such basic pros and cons of each direction:
- low cost;
- suitable for all types of devices;
- convenient for promotion;
- contains more information, which affects the conversion.
- often does not have a sufficiently high download speed.
- high speed of loading;
- easy to use, it’s easy to find the information you need (if it is available);
- high price;
- requires more time to develop;
- there is no separate solution for tablet screens;
- causes difficulties at the stage of website promotion;
- doubles the expenditure of labor and time to support and expand the functionality.
Nowadays adaptive layout is used much more often. It is universal and has a relatively large number of advantages. Adaptive layout is developing and experienced developers have already learned to eliminate most of its flaws, or even turn into advantages.
Mobile versions have already lost their relevance. Because of the high price and many difficulties in their work, they are used less and less. Now they are suitable only for highly loaded resources, where due to the high density of traffic, you have to use any available means to avoid losing speed.
We hope that this information was useful to you. You can always contact us for advice, and get an answer to any questions of interest. And if you want to order a site adapted for mobile – we are always at your service. Our specialists will create a modern resource, convenient for all kinds of devices.