Mobile-optimized versus Responsive Web Design: Which one do i need?

If you’re browsing this website right now there’s a good chance you’re doing so from a mobile device…

….It’s also likely you’ve stumbled upon the above terms at some point – either when reading a tech article or when sourcing web designers for you next project. 

I keep seeing the word Responsive these days. So what exactly are the differences? And what option is the best fit for your needs? I’ll uncover the discrepancies between the two and hopefully lead you down a fruitful path going forward with your project!

The 411 on Responsive Design

Responsive design was really popular in the early 2010s around the time the iPad was released. People were concerned how their websites would adapt to both that and the iPhone released a few years prior. It was the buzzword at the time, and everyone in web development was making it a part of their lingo. 

I was working at a marketing agency that same time, and would work on the visual design and layout of websites in Photoshop, and after approval the design would be sent to the developer to code and that’s how websites were made “responsive” using flexible images, CSS3 other programming languages.

But, well, this process is unnecessary now as most boutique design agencies whose clientele are small businesses, like mine, and have one creative talent who will also do the back-end work, which I’ll touch on later in this post. 

Responsive design was popular then, but they soon found it was taking an obscene time to load so HTML5 and CSS3 were out. The drawbacks of Responsive cause most web designers to seek a different approach. For one: Google ranks mobile-optimized sites higher, so you’d want to be up to speed to increase your chances of rising the ranks.

…as much as 62% of web traffic is coming straight from mobile devices as of 2022

Why I love Showit 

Trust me when i say this platform is the real deal! If you ever wanted an option that could deliver a design you want, this is the option to choose. 

In the past many designers may have understandably run into issues coding some aspects of a site on other platforms to get it looking how you needed it to. That is taken out of the equation with Showit – no coding knowledge is required! 

Another feature I like is you can preview the site live before publishing, so you can review transitions, hover states, and more effects with me before going live. This cuts out a Web Developer from the web design process, ensuring the timeline is kept short with less back and forth. 

And believe me…In the past I’ve seen firsthand (when working with business owners on print marketing) how difficult it might be for them to hand over the reigns of their biggest marketing tool to a marketing agency, who may not get changes to you right away, or like the above, need extra coding skills to get your website functioning how you need it, so the added cost falls on your shoulders. 

I worked with a successful salon owner specifically who was at her wits-end, and I felt so bad and wished I could rescue her sooner had I known about Showit then! 

Part of my mission is as a website designer is to help small business owners take control and be able to update their site with ease. 

Want to add custom fonts? Upload new brand photography? This builder will allow complete freedom to do that. 


As you can see, every website template in my shop comes with a mobile-optimized version ready to go to ensure you’re receiving the best design & user experience for both viewing audiences. These are intentionally-designed and art directed so you can chose matching marketing collateral as well for a holistic branding experience.

Since the mobile and desktop views are side-by-side in Showit, I’m able to easily design and make them cohesive, but can also make them stand apart from one another. Want exclusive content for only your mobile website? Or vice versa? Want to hide some parts for mobile, but keep them on desktop? The possibilities for controlling each are a major benefit of using this innovative platform. 

One hallmark feature of a mobile-optimized website is multiple screens instead of scrolling. Nobody loves to endlessly scroll as part of the browsing experience, so in Showit for many service-based businesses this is usually played out with testimonials, product packages, faqs, and the booking process contained in multiple screens (another feature available in several of my themes). Smaller images and larger buttons are also key features!

Customer support

While Showit is a subscription-based platform and does include a monthly cost, this is a competitive fee which also includes top-notch customer support whenever you need it! Every interaction I had with Showit’s support team was positive, so I know they’ll take care of you after your website is handed off. 

I hope this puts to rest the ‘Responsive Design versus Mobile-Optimized’ question on many customers minds who are new to the scene and simply wish to have a website work across all channels the way it’s supposed to. Having the right foundation from the start will aide in allowing you to share your gifts and talents, and hopefully, get back to business! 

If you’re ready to convert browsers into customers, shop my growing collection of customizable Showit Templates right here

February 12th, 2023


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owner & creative director of
by stephanie design 

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By Stephanie Hamilton