Responsive websites are those that resize images and rearrange content to appear organized on both desktop and mobile devices. Responsive design is critical because in most instances 50% or more of your traffic comes from mobile devices. There are two approaches to responsive websites.
Dual Desktop and Mobile Optimized Pages -
You can always do a more thorough and creative presentation on a desktop computer. That's because you have a bigger canvas and usually a faster connection for speed.
You design a second mobile-friendly page for smaller devices to access when screen size and download speed is a bigger consideration. Code transparently directs visitors to the page that best suits their device and connection speed.
It's usually the best but the most expensive approach because you have to maintain and coordinate the information on two pages instead of one. Depending on what your website's purpose or goal you may not need a more comprehensive desktop presentation. There is no problem with duplicate content penalties if the pages are coded correctly.
Responsive Pages -
One page works work for all devices.
It's less expensive, but you may sacrifice content, and features that might otherwise be displayed on a desktop version only. But this is less of a consideration because you can implement code to selectivly show content based upon the screen resolution.
Most businesses use this approach because of cost considerations.
Beware of responsive designs that float icons over the copy as the screen becomes smaller. It looks " cool' but it obscures the content which isn't cool at all because it detracts from the website's usability.
Try it yourself...
On a Mobile Phone: simply rotate the phone from portrait to landscape mode and watch the images resize, and the layout adjust to accommodate the new screen size.
On a Windows Desktop: left click the Restore Down button at the top right corner of your browser. Adjust the width by dragging the right edge of the window and watch the images and the layout resize and or reposition to accommodate the window size.
My Recommendation Regarding Responsive Design
I sign a non-compete agreement designating that I will not sell any products or services sold on my client's site.
I sign an agreement stating that I will not accept competing clients. Some web marketing consultants boast that they are experts in a particular industry and that's a good thing if it's local SEO they're not representing competing companies in the same locality. But what if it's National SEO? Think about it. You would be getting paid by two or more people to accomplish the same goal. How do you ethically reconcile it if you're more successful with one client than another? In my mind, you can't because you violate you fiduciary obligation with the more successful client if you share the tactic and violate your fiduciary obligation to other clients if you don't share it.
I ask my clients to sign a non-compete agreement that they will not sell any product or service sold in my stores.
I bill once a month with payment due upon receipt. I accept cash, all major credit cards and PayPal.
I provide a detailed explanation work performed by date.
No Risk Full Cash Back Customer Satisfaction Guarantee.
I DO NOT SHARE OR SELL ANY INFORMATION.
I will sign whatever non-disclosure or non-compete agreements required.
Payment can be made by Check or Money Order for anyone not wanting to use their credit card under any circumstances over the Internet.
I will not constantly badger you with annoying junk emails.