If you are a business and you want to reach your maximum audience, then you will be required to have a "Responsive" website that is human readable on all device platforms. Of course, no web master can possible make a website compatible to every browser of every age, they can at least have the site viewable on modern devices like tablets, phones, laptops, and desktop computers.
A responsive website is a website that changes its view based on what type of browser size and device type. For example, if you visit a particular website on your phone and then look at the same site on your desktop computer, you should be able to navigate and read that website on either device. This means that the website "Responded" to the device and browser type.
Websites that respond to the device type are better in every way than sites that navigate the visitor to a sub-domain mobile site. If you create a sub-domain and create a separate site for mobile devices, that means you have 2 websites to edit instead of one. Another reason to have a responsive site is for Google searchability. Google frowns upon duplicate content. Having a separate site is a potential Google disaster on duplicate content. It is best for the user who edits the site and for the SEO of the website to have the website Responsive in the first place.
In many cases its not terribly difficult to convert a website to be responsive. Of course there are those "Table Based" web designs that nothing can be done for. If its a WordPress site, it is as easy as choosing a more modern theme. A static HTML website can be converted easily using bootstrap and revamping the CSS code. Sometimes, creating a whole new site is easier than fixing the current one.
Many Web Agencies separate the mobile design from the main website design. This is an outdated practice that was acceptable at one time; however, this passed away with the dawn of mobile popularity. If you should encounter this with a web agency in this day and age of 2014, be assured that this is a tall tale sign that the web agency you are dealing with is not with the current times. A website should be all in one mobile and responsive by default. Otherwise you are getting an outdated, non competitive, and second rate website.
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