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What is the best mobile solution for your law firm's website? Responsive design vs. separate mobile site


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First of all, I'm not going to write anything here about how important it is to have a mobile-ready website for your firm. Everyone knows how ubiquitous smart phones are, and how many people use them to visit websites (Pew Research said in in a 2012 study that 50% of all adults use their phones to browse online, and in 2013 I'm guessing it'll be higher). So the question becomes, what does your firm do in order to accommodate this new and generally highly educated stream of viewers?

Business Edge strongly believes that the best solution for your law firm is not these "responsive designs" that you may have heard about (or lectured about from a saleperson!), but rather a separate website. For some people, this brings up the issue of "Wait a minute, I don't want to maintain ANOTHER website!" This is a reasonable concern of course, and I've actually seen some firm does this - they create a separate website with a different set of information, requiring the firm to either a) pay someone to maintain a second site, b) have someone internally maintain a second site, or c) allow the mobile site to gradually become out of date.

Business Edge is one of very few vendors who offer a standard site, a mobile site, and a legal-based content management system all in one in its proposals to prospective clients. These three products will work together to provide your firm with ONE PLACE to update all the content for your standard site, your mobile site, and also any blogs you might have now or in the future.

I highly recommend staying away from these "responsive design" vendors: all this does is increase the cost of development, nothing more. Good design will always be viewable on medium-sized devices like tablets, but smaller devices should keep the user in mind: this user is generally sitting in a chair (hopefully not driving!) and does not want a scaled-down website, they want content pure and simple, and designing a separate small-scale mobile website is the best way to do this.

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