Mobile Sites clarification of options!

Just to clarify on our mobile article last month what’s the difference between duplicate, adaptive and responsive mobile sites?

Essentially there are 3 mobile site options at the present

To demonstrate the differences, think of your website as being a balloon fitting into a box (the browser size)

1) Responsive

A responsive web design is one that it will fluidly change and respond to fit any screen or device size. It will fit anything in between small and large screens.

Consider your balloon – in this case you can change the size of the balloon by inflating or deflating it to any size you like to fit any size of box you happen to have.

There are 70 examples of fully responsive designs at

Open one of these and then change your browser window and see how the displayed website changes dynamically as you resize. (see – you can drag the screen margins to resize further and see what happens. No offense meant by using the “dummies” article!)

2) Adaptive

The definition of an adaptive design is that it will change to fit a predetermined set of screen and device sizes. But probably only for 2 (or just possibly 3) different predetermined screen options.

In this case you have only one balloon but it can either be big or small depending what box it needs to fit – a big or small one.

3) Dual sites for Mobile and Desktop

This is where you actually have 2 different websites – which actual site will display depends on what size browser screen is automatically detected.

In this case you have two totally different balloons, one to fit a big box and one to fit a small box.

This means maintaining two different sites – if your rates or information changes you need to update it in 2 places. You may have 2 different CMS (Content Management System) logins for maintaining these.

Duda Mobile lets you make a mobile copy of your site quite cheaply and easily. You can do it yourself using their converter and editor. Or we can assist you with it. It works well for most sites though some back-end booking systems can be a challenge.

Try Duda Mobile here. Free and easy.


Both “adaptive” and “responsive” use the same back-end website design (code) but display it differently according to what browser is detected.

Dual sites have different coding and require separate maintenance on information.

We believe “Responsive” is what developers should be aiming to offer to all clients from now on.

Why? Because a responsive site will change fluidly for any size browser at all – remember we are talking from desktops to tablets to mobiles with small screens and anything in between. With smart TVs and many other innovations from many different manufacturers, there could be a whole range of different browser sizes to consider in a short time.

Responsive design theoretically covers all the bases at the moment. We think a mobile site should now be a standard inclusion with any site redevelopment.

At the moment most mobile sites are actually dual sites. But let’s be clear – any of these options is better than no mobile website!

If you don’t already have a mobile website, you should be getting onto this as soon as possible – don’t wait until your next site redevelopment.