Responsive vs Mobile websites, which is best for your real estate agency?
A) Responsive websites
Responsive websites are designed and optimized for a multitude of devices with different screen sizes; they automatically adjust the layout of their content to the available screen size. One site is programmed to cater for all devices. Responsive websites are the latest trend in web design and are seen as an evolution of the older more traditional desktop & mobile websites. Google also recommend it as the best approach to follow.
B) A combination of mobile and traditional desktop websites
You essentially run a full desktop website and compliment this with a mobile website to cater for instances where your clients want to access your website through their mobile phones (Because your desktop website will effectively not fit into a mobile size screen). You run two websites and need to decide which one (desktop or mobile) you want to display for visitors depending on their device.
Responsive websites is an evolution of mobile websites
Back in the day, when we all just had PC’s, you only required one desktop website to cater for everyone. However, the mobile phone with web browsing technology changed everything, and businesses started to cater for the mobile phone experience. More than 6 years ago, Entegral was one of the first service providers to introduce mobile websites for estate agents, and in 2011 we reported that very few agencies still had mobile websites. With mobile phones having relatively small screen resolutions, we strongly promoted mobile websites:
Along came the influx of tablets, phablets, smart TV’s – all in different screen sizes…web developers were expected to cater for all of these and magically make websites fit in. This was terrible for the original dual desktop and mobile model. Why? Because in most cases you sacrificed functionality with mobile, and where do you draw the line to decide which of your desktop or mobile websites needs to be displayed first on a particular device?
Responsive websites to the rescue!
Entegral soon realized that we had to address this problem. Luckily there was a solution with a different approach to web development, called responsive web design. It required a lot of time and energy to be invested in the correct resources, people and in many cases, the complete redevelopment of frameworks. We had to take a step back, in order to make progress. Soon many of our clients were the first real estate agencies to showcase their responsive websites, including Realnet and PropertyCoZa, who became the first real estate franchises in Southern Africa, to boast responsive websites. Incidentally they were also among the first to adopt mobile websites among the franchises.
But what about search engine optimization (SEO), speed, user experience and cost?
- Google recommends responsive websites for better SEO – Google
- The Web in 2016: Long live responsive design – The Next Web
- Now Is The Time For Responsive Design – Forbes
- 10 Reasons Why Having a Responsive Website is a Great Investment
- What Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Means to You and Your Website