The Key Difference Between Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Websites

It’s no surprise that everyone in the world is pretty much addicted to technology. Whether it’s obsessively refreshing their Instagram feed (guilty), checking the news, live streaming the game, or shopping for a new pair of shoes - all of it is done through some sort of device. We live in a digital age where if a business is not online, it basically doesn’t exist.


To drive the point home, let’s take a look at some stats about digital usage.


  • 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel)

  • 91% of mobile users say that access to content is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel)

  • Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates. (CMS Report)

  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (CMS Report)

  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company)

Does this surprise you even remotely? No, me either. But this just shows why now, more than ever, it is SO important to make sure you are 1. communicating to your audience online and 2. that your website provides the best experience for your audience regardless of what device they use.

This brings me to the point of this post - the difference between a mobile friendly website and responsive website. Yes, is a HUGE difference.


A mobile-friendly website is basically a website that can function on a mobile device. It doesn’t look any different than it does on a desktop and it generally offers a subpar experience for your audience. There’s a lot of zooming in, trying to click a link but clicking the wrong one, inability to really see the images, and a lot of scrolling left and right to read long paragraphs. Doesn’t sound too appealing right? No, it’s not and I’m sure you’ve experienced websites like that personally before. But while it’s better to have a mobile-friendly website than no website at all - in this digital age, it just doesn’t cut it. 


Being responsive is KEY when it comes to having a modern website. A responsive website is built so it can respond to any screen size a user may be on. If someone used their phone to view your website, it would look much different than if they viewed it on their desktop. The design and components of your website all remain the same but the layout adjusts to the screen size so it provides the best experience possible for users. Some examples of a responsive website on a mobile device could be clickable phone numbers that allow you to directly call, collapsable navigations, and text large enough so you don’t have to zoom in to read it. 

While having a responsive website isn’t always an option for some business owners, it’s important to know the difference between the two terms and when to properly use each one! Having a responsive website shows your audience that you are up on the times and want to provide them with the best experience possible when interacting with your brand. Since your website is your virtual home, don’t you want everyone who visits it to feel comfortable and stay awhile? Your answer should be a hard YES!

The good news is, most platforms offer responsive websites within their templates. For example, Squarespace and Showit are the two platforms that I use for my clients and all of their templates are built to be responsive. This is a great feature because you can build your website the way you see fit and they will take care of all the coding on the backend to make sure it’s responsive for all screen sizes.

I hope you’ve found this helpful and now understand why responsive websites are so important to your business! 

If you find yourself still scratching your head wondering what all of this means, aren’t sure if your website is responsive, or know that you need some help bringing your brand and website up to speed, I’ve got you covered. I’d love to chat with you about the services I offer and how I can help take away some of the confusion!

If nothing else, tell me one thing! What is your biggest pain point when it comes to your website?