My post on Responsive Design and Agile created a lot of interest so I thought I’d search out another angle. Responsive Design vs Server Side solutions has a one-sided (after all it is promoting Mobile Joomla) look at why you might want to choose server-side solutions rather than client-side responsive design.
The article explains how the top internet brands (Google, Facebook and Yahoo) use server-side solutions for speed. Sites are getting larger, 3G connections are typically 40% slower than the desktop and mobile data suffers more latency. Web site conversion rate falls off 50% when a page takes more than 6 secs to load. People are more impatient on mobile than they are on the desktop. The article also quantifies the impact of delays on mobile commerce performance.
Taking a more pragmatic stance, I suppose the learning from this is to assess how large a download your pages are likely to be. If you have a site with complex pages containing heavy content, you might want to avoid responsive design. Conversely, if you have a typical publishing-centric site (see my previous article) then responsive design might be suitable. In fact, the best uses I have seen for responsive design are within some of the latest Wordpress templates.