The terms mobile-friendly and mobile responsive have been used interchangeably by many individuals when discussing the functionality of new website designs. Now that Google’s search engine favors websites that accommodate mobile devices, clients are turning to web developers to ensure their website is user-friendly across all platforms.

However, it’s important for clients to know that mobile-friendly and mobile responsive aren’t the same. There are multiple ways to adapt your website to various mobile platforms. While the objective remains the same, the path each method takes to get there is different. Those differences affect several aspects of your website, including SEO ranking, user experience, and security.

So what distinguishes the term mobile-friendly from mobile responsiveness?

More importantly, which is better?


Mobile-friendly is a term that web developers use for a website that slims down its desktop format to fit mobile devices, such as a smartphone or tablet. It isn’t always the most aesthetic, but it centers on functionality, ensuring that visitors to your website will be able to read, navigate, and interact with your pages from any device, even if it’s simply a slimmed-down version of its desktop counterpart.

When it comes to mobile design, using a mobile-friendly strategy is considered a minimum effort. It gets the job done, but because mobile-friendly designs are simply a minimized version of your current web design, it doesn’t necessarily make for a positive user experience. In fact, it treats the mobile display as a secondary option.

With today’s society depending on mobile devices as their primary online experience, it’s important to align the caliber of your website’s mobile design with its desktop counterpart.


A mobile responsive design strategy uses a more intricate, intuitive design that puts your mobile design before the desktop experience. The key feature of this design is that it instantly adapts to whatever device it’s pulled up on so that it fits to scale. This flexibility leads to a streamlined experience for your users, so you never have to worry about the look and feel of your website from one device to another. This is especially important for companies who:

  • Have an e-commerce platform
  • Draw traffic through blogs
  • Have a customer base accustomed to mobile browsing

Considering the average daily mobile usage surpassed daily desktop usage in 2014, we think it’s safe to say that most companies fall into that third category. Knowing this, isn’t it time your website put mobile experience first?


There’s a quick, easy way to find out! Google has a free, online tool that helps users determine just how well their website works outside of a desktop computer. Simply click here and type in your website address. Within seconds, Google Developers will spit out a report determining whether or not your page is mobile-friendly.

If your website isn’t catering to mobile devices, or if you would like to update your website design to become mobile responsive, Vectra Digital is here to help. We deliver premier web design and development services to small businesses and corporations alike. We help keep our clients up-to-date on the latest SEO changes and security updates to ensure you remain at the forefront of the internet revolution.

Have a question? Maybe you’re ready to initiate the process of making your website mobile responsive? Call us at 239-234-2566!