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Mobile Friendly Vs Mobile Responsive Websites: What’s The Difference?

Nowadays just having a website is no longer enough to remain on the cutting edge of competitiveness. The vastness and potential of the World Wide Web and online markets for various industries is ever-expanding, and continually transforming in sophistication. One area of significant advancement lies in the types of hardware that allow users access to the internet and its ocean of information.

Greg Baleson

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Understanding the need for mobile responsive web build

Today, unlike our predecessors, we no longer depend on bulky desktop personal computers, which not too long ago were revered as the epitome of technological breakthrough.

Now Smartphones, tablets, iPhones, iPads and devices of increasing portability and convenience continue to revolutionise the industry. Hence the need for greater and greater flexibility of typical website builds to align with viewing on smaller devices of varying sizes and operating systems from various manufactures including Android and Apple.

See Figure 1 below for a comparison on mobile versus desktop access to the internet, in this case just looking at the US market as a benchmark.

Related: Breeze Website Designers’ Bongani Gosa On Learning From Mistakes

Internet usage

Figure 1

Meeting the need: Mobile Responsive Web Solutions

Based on the above-mentioned advancement in devices and internet accessibility, the market responded with two primary alternatives: A Mobile version of a website and Responsive design and development.

Strictly speaking the responsive web build arose from the limitations of the mobile website, in an attempt to address such.

However, today there are various websites with separate mobile versions, while others have upgraded their existing websites with responsive features and applicable scripting. Still many haven’t made any shift at all, although they are likely to do so in the foreseeable future.

Mobile Friendly and Mobile Responsive differences

Most people often use the terms “mobile friendly” and “mobile responsive” website design or website build interchangeably. However, if one was to gain an intricate understanding on the subject, it’ll become apparent that there are in fact technical differences.

It is thus crucial to understand these differences as well as the advantages and features of the two options. For this purpose the following comparisons have been compiled:

Mobile Friendly Website

This is essentially a unique version of the base website, with a separate domain address or name. It is a duplicate version even though the content itself will vary.

  • Requires duplication of content updates or development, due to the existence of two independent platforms.
  • The mobile website as mentioned will have a unique address. Companies generally distinguish their mobile versions with m.companyname.com.
  • Based on the above the domain protection can be compromised with this option. In other words the domain can be diluted and organic search engine optimisation or traffic adversely affected. This adds to website management because you have to maintain two separate platforms of content.
  • This offers a personalised and tailored viewing and navigation experience for users. The server will execute the optimised page or version based on which device is detected.
  • Link equity and link building will be diluted as shares from mobile technology will be independent of those shared by desktop browsers or the primary website. This adversely affects SEO, or curtails its efforts.
  • Mobile technology is continually changing. As this advances so too will the need for ongoing maintenance of websites, especially where they are customised to specific devices. So while the mobile option offers a uniquely tailored avenue for specific devices, the questions of maintenance and relevance arise. Keeping the mobile site up-to-date, and in congruency to latest phones and browsers, will call for higher maintenance and more resources.
  • On the basic premise of efficiency or output / result per unit resource, efficiency is diluted somewhat due to the separate websites and adjusted content.
  • Both websites will have to be optimised for search purposes. This calls for separate SEO strategies or duplication of techniques to accommodate the desktop and mobile versions adequately.
  • With regards to content, one of the signature characteristics of the mobile website, is the fact that it is built on less content. Since there are 2 versions of the base website or online representation, the desktop version will be content-heavy or more intensive. On the other hand the copy or copywritten content as well as images will be reduced wherever possible or necessary in the creation of the mobile website.
  • Visually the mobile website is “bold” with big buttons, easy functionality for mobile users – such as click-to-call options that make sense in such cases – and content is kept to a minimal.

Related: How To Secure Your SME Website

Mobile Responsive Website

This refers to a singular website which can adapt in format and presentation to suite different viewing devices. This can be an adaptation of an existing website or, if deemed necessary, a complete new build to replace the old unresponsive site. The domain remains the same.

  • All updates and back-end development are made seamlessly to the same, individual platform.
  • Domain name or URL will be the same on the desktop, smart or any mobile device.
  • Domain is protected as organic web traffic will not be redirected to another link or version. Search engines like Google therefore favour responsive options as a single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoids any complicated and time-consuming redirects, and simplifies sharing of web addresses.
  • In responsive design, the device facilitates optimum user experience by automatically adjusting to suite the device’s screen size and orientation – whether portrait or landscape. This takes place seamlessly, making it an intelligent, efficient and adaptive option.
  • Responsive design entails scripting new code and adjusting existing code on the back-end or server-level of your website. This preserves the inherent link equity, meaning that all shares and backlinks will be credited to the primary website. This means all web traffic, from all browsing devices will be attributed to the authority of the base site – which is fantastic for search purposes.
  • Responsive technology is as the name suggests: Adaptive and futuristic or forward-thinking. Essentially, it is largely pre-emptive and caters to next month’s or the following years devices quite comfortably. Although maintenance as a formality is necessary to sustain and enhance the standards of any website, the demands are far less in this case. This saves in time and development costs giving an overall better ROI.
  • Considered a more intelligent and efficient model for new-age-relevant websites – due to the “simplicity in sophistication” so to say.
  • Optimisation for web traffic or relevant SEO strategy will only apply to the single, primary website.
  • In this approach, large images will either automatically compact or disappear where unnecessary on the smaller screen. However, what is advantageous is that essential content, articles and other features or elements will adapt by neatly ‘stacking’ and / or arranging themselves in such a way to accommodate the specifications of the browser and device.
  • Still visually built for simplicity and mobile-friendliness on any device or orientation, the responsive look makes navigation easier, but doesn’t lose content. As mentioned the same content will intuitively adapt for optimum viewing experience.

Related: A Few Things You Might Not Think Of When Creating Your First Business Website

This article has highlighted the main characteristics, core features and differences between what has become known as the “mobile friendly” website, versus the “mobile responsive” website.

We trust that you’ve found this review useful, but be sure to look out for forthcoming articles on the topic. Feel free to comment, we’d love to have feedback and hear your thoughts on the subject.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alan

    May 19, 2016 at 11:51

    Thanks for a good article. I also advise clients to look at the each touch point or step in the user journey. User’s / customer’s journeys are different for these environments.

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Get The Edge This Winter

Five short courses from WITS kicking off in July will give you the competitive edge.

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From Gauteng’s most trusted provider of the best learning experiences, come five WITS-curated courses starting in July 2019. Use the longer, colder days to curl up with a “good book” and emerge from winter with a new edge.

There are three online short courses offered via the WITS Digital Campus, starting 15 July.

Managing Labour Relations

This 10 week course will equip you with sound knowledge of South Africa’s complex labour landscape and an understanding of your legal rights as an employee or employer.

You will also learn skills for navigating employer / employee relationships successfully, and get tools for managing disputes effectively. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Logistics and Supply Chain Management Practice

This 10 week course is packed with practical and theoretical information to help retail managers, supply chain supervisors, stock controllers and even CEOs drive efficiencies in the value chain.

It covers everything from improving exporting transportation, warehousing, order processing and procurement to financial management and managing waste. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Applied Digital Marketing

We operate in an increasingly digital world and traditional marketing must include digital aspects and channels to be relevant.

This 10 week course will teach you to think digital, talk digital and deliver effective digital campaigns to elevate marketing and brand-building initiatives. You will learn to conceptualise and implement successful digital marketing strategies that drive customer acquisition, optimise your digital footprint and deliver business results.

There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.

Related: Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

Comprehensive onsite courses in July include:

Real Estate Investment Analysis

This intensive five day course is for people who have been introduced to the real estate discipline at NQF 4 and NQF 5 levels. It is designed to provide higher level, more focused training as well as tools for analysing different types of real estate investments at the individual asset level, and measuring investment performance.

The course will benefit property practitioners who do not have property degrees; past graduates of SAPOA programmes in different aspects of the real estate business and people from different disciplinary backgrounds considering entering the profession.  The course takes place over five days from 1 to 5 July 2019.

Advanced Performance Management

Presented by the School of Accountancy together with Wits Enterprise, this course is designed to prepare students for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Professional level exams.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use strategic planning and control models to plan and monitor organisational performance
  • Assess and identify key external influences on organisational performance
  • Apply strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organisational performance
  • Advise on business performance evaluation as well as recognize vulnerability to corporate failure

The course will run from 15 July to 22 October 2019.

For more information on registering for any of these courses, criteria for registering, and costs, visit.

Related: The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll

This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.

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Accounting & Payroll

The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll

One of an organisation’s biggest overheads is that of salaries and wages. And yet, if these are not processed on time, it can negatively impact staff morale and create the impression that the company is not financially stable.

CRS HR And Payroll Solutions

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For a small business, payroll is normally the responsibility of an accountant or bookkeeper, but even administrators can sometimes be roped in to do the job, even though they have no expertise in the matter. This is where the value of outsourcing your payroll comes in.

When should you outsource?

  • If you want to grow your business but are not aware of ongoing legislative changes that could pose a risk to your company, then it is better to get professionals to assist.
  • Accountants and bookkeepers are not specialists and do not keep up with the compliance environment. If you outsource your payroll, you enable them to focus their core duties and not get bogged down by legislative complexities.

How to choose an outsourced service provider

Understandably, payroll is a sensitive subject dealing with highly confidential information.

This is often the last thing a small business owner wants to outsource. It is therefore vital that the company does its homework and researches the potential outsourcing partner thoroughly.

Instead of going with the first available service provider or the cheapest one, here are some questions to ask:

  • Is the service provider a one-man band and, if so, what backup resources are available?
  • Is the service provider a recognised payroll provider belonging to a professional body?
  • Do they have the necessary training and skills on payroll?
  • What does the service provider do to ensure it stays up to date with legislation?
  • How secure is the payroll data and can the service provider take on historic data?
  • How easy is it to recover your payroll data in the event of a disaster?
  • What value-adds can the service provider offer? These can include anything from leave management and third-party payments, to employee self-service, time and attendance management, and any other related human resource service.
  • Can they process salaries and/or wages hourly, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly?
  • Can the service provider accommodate your growth requirements if you open new branches?
  • Is the service provider able to assist with payrolls in other African countries, manage their currencies, and deal with their regulatory environments?
  • What processes are in place to ensure the timeous processing of payrolls?

The advantages of outsourcing your payroll

One of the most obvious benefits of going the outsourcing route is freeing up your resources to focus on your core strategic objectives. This ensures you provide quality of service and control costs while an experienced partner takes care of your payroll.

Here are a few other benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs.
  • Statutory compliance and consistent service delivery.
  • Access to the latest technology, as well as skilled and dedicated payroll resources.
  • Access to a secure, risk-free and confidential payroll environment.
  • Increased flexibility and responsiveness.
  • Streamlined internal processes and procedures.

This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.

Related: Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

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Thinking of Immigrating to America from SA? Now Is The Time

More South Africans are looking to get their Green Cards with the EB-5 visa. Here’s why – and how you can use this opportunity too.

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South Africans are surging towards the popular United States EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa programme ahead of possible price increases that will likely place the EB-5 visa programme out of reach for many, other than for the uber-rich.

NES Financial, the leading EB-5 financial brokerage in the US, has estimated a 600% increase in EB-5 petition filings from South Africans this fiscal year from three years ago.

Increasing applications for the US Investor Visa

Bernard Wolfsdorf, a US EB-5 lawyer and former South African, has filed more South African cases in the past year than he has processed in the past ten years.

“I think it’s the fact that the investment amount could soon increase soon from $500 000 to $1,8 million that is driving many South Africans,” he says.

However, Wolfsdorf, Past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, speculates that there are other factors, such as the stable US economy, excellent business environment, and outstanding educational opportunities that are enticing many South Africans to invest in the U.S.

“The currency swing has convinced many South Africans I speak to that foreign investment in the US makes sense,” he adds.

Assisting with understanding your US immigration options

The Tier 1 top ranked US immigration law firm, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP has now set up a South African focused website and is regularly sending experienced lawyers to meet with South Africans and explain their immigration options.

“While on the one hand I am sad that many South Africans are choosing to leave, my hope is that, with global investment, many will continue to run and expand their South African companies and that the foreign investment will benefit South African trade and exports and create jobs locally,” says Wolfsdorf.

Other countries, such as China and Korea have many immigrants and they continue to drive trade with their ‘mother’ countries. “I expect to see many South African immigrants continue to develop trade and commerce with the US as this huge influx continues,” he says.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative confirms that US goods and services trade with South Africa totaled an estimated $18,9 billion in 2018. Exports were $8,4 billion; imports were $10,5 billion, creating a trade deficit with South Africa of $2,1 billion in 2018.

Some of the top imports from South Africa into the US include precious metal and stone; iron and steel; vehicles; and agricultural products like tree nuts and fresh fruit. However, the strong dollar greatly benefits trade and prices for many South African goods are high.

Why South Africans are immigrating to the US and not Australia

Other factors leading South Africans to choose the US is the fact that Australia and the United Kingdom have been less welcoming to immigrants recently, so while the US has been in third place as a choice, this is likely to soon change soon.

“In fact, Australia is becoming less and less friendly to immigrants on a personal level, with many Australians believing it’s time for its liberal immigration policies to end,” says Wolfsdorf.

“The country is implementing visa crackdown measures to limit work visas and ensure that foreign workers have the right skills and occupational licenses to conduct business. Additionally, with Brexit causing uncertainty, many South Africans have decided to look towards America for a Plan B.”

Joseph Barnett, a partner of the law firm who specializes in EB-5, is currently making his second trip to South Africa in the past six months.

“I really enjoy meeting with South Africans on my previous trip,” he says. “They are friendly, hospitable and hardworking. I’m sure this is the main reason most South Africans seem to do so well in the US.”

Why consider the EB-5 Visa

“The EB-5 Visa remains popular because there is no US employer sponsorship requirement, no education requirement, travel throughout the visa process is relatively simple, and because South Africans can choose to live wherever they desire once obtaining the green card,” the attorney adds.

“In short, the opportunity to live the American dream is open to anyone able to invest $500 000.”

South Africans should be aware that regulations first proposed in 2017 have now reached the final stage of the rulemaking process, review by the US Office of Management and Budget, before being finalized.  The time to act is now.

For more information on how you can begin your US EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa process, visit Eb5greencard.co.za

This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.

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