I have been trying to decide (for some time now) whether to redesign an old CMS website of ours that was built in 2006. It still uses tables and is not mobile friendly.

However we have tested the display and functionality on multiple devices and it works fine. It's not responsive either, but to be honest I like my site to appear the same across all devices.

I few weeks ago I hired a freelancer to make the site mobile friendly and responsive. It was a nightmare. Not because the developer was unskilled, but because there were so many files that needed to be changed. And it also changed the desktop display to a small degree and caused on-going issues that needed to be addressed. In the end it appeared to be a task that would take months and the cost would be very high. So we dropped the idea and went back to the original development.

The website is fairly complex eCommerce site with many scripts. So it is also a concern that making such a big change will effect the functionality.

Plus our users really need to have a laptop or desktop to get the full experience of the site. I can do everything from my Droid, but it's just not as easy as working from a regular computer. BTW I find this same experience accessing big sites (that are mobile friendly) on my phone.

While our site and can accessed from pretty much all devices, our target audience is desktop/laptop users.

My only real motivation in going with mobile friendly was for SEO benefits now that Google ranks non-mobile friendly sites them lower. Plus I don't like feeling left in the dark ages, even though our code is up to date and meets must recommendations from validator.w3.org. And our website works great and gets a decent amount of traffic.

So I have 2 questions:

Would the SEO benefit be worth it? Meaning would I really see an increase in ranking due to changing the site to mobile friendly to make this whole ordeal a wise use of money and time? Or should I instead focus on creating a mobile app? This way users can download the app and performer must functions through the app if they prefer. *And one thought.. If I create a mobile friendly splash page that would serve as the index (home page) would this remove the dreaded 'not mobile friendly' from Google. I did a test on the site and it did work. But would it really make a difference as the entire site is not mobile friendly? My goal is just to remove the ranking penalty from Google.

I know that everyone is moving to mobile devices so logic dictates that I need to keep up with that, but I want to know that it is a wise choice and this means a decent ROI.

I'm leaning toward mobile app. But I would love to hear over opinions.

Thank you for your time.

  • It appears you also asked this over at Stack Overflow here. As explained there, opinion-based questions are considered off-topic since they don't fit well with the format of these sites (i.e., voting & accepting the best answer, which is difficult to do with opinions). This site is also focused more on operating websites than development. Users are free to offer their opinions in comments below however. – dan Jun 14 '17 at 5:17

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