Business owners know the importance of having a good-looking website. I’m sure you spent a good amount of time and money developing your site. So is it worth your time and the cost to create a mobile version of it? Do you need to optimize your website for mobile browsers?
Well, to answer those questions, here are some things that you may not know about browsing regular sites on mobile devices…
- Videos do not auto-play or sometimes not even play at all on a lot of mobile devices.
- Mobile devices have different orientations - they have both portrait and landscape views - your site may not look right in either one or both of these.
- Multi-column websites do not look good in mobile phones.
- Graphs and tables do not look good on a mobile device.
- Hover-over effects or drop-down menus do not work on most mobile devices.
- Mobile sites are “lightweight” and very accessible and use very little bandwidth.
- Mobile users outnumber PC users, 4 to 1 and most websites won’t work well on a mobile phone. Don’t frustrate and turn away your largest growing visitor group with a hard to read site!
Mobile sites need to be built specifically with mobile users in mind. So there’s different content you need show up front to a mobile visitor than you would to a non-mobile visitor.
Mobile users are looking for very quick information and then just want to get on with their day. They may need a phone number or an address, for example, they are not looking to read articles or lengthy sales letters. You have to market to their situation, to their immediate needs – they are looking for quick answers whilst they are on-the-go.
Wouldn’t it be great if a customer was out-and-about and was looking for the service that you offer or the product that you offer and they were able to search and find a site like one of these we have featured here (you can view more in our gallery), where they could just tap to call you or find directions to your business via a mobile website that is really easy to use on their mobile device.
As an example, here are some screenshots of a local catering website both on a regular desktop computer and then on a mobile device…
Ideally your website should actually be two sites in one – you should have your regular “desktop/laptop” site and an alternative mobile site. The sites should then be connected by a simple script composed of a couple lines of code that detects the user’s browser and forwards them accordingly.
What this means is that if the user is on an Android browser (from an iPhone, an iPod or an iPad), they are redirected automatically to the mobile site, whereas if the user is on Firefox, on their regular computer, they are not redirected at all, they are just taken directly to the regular “desktop/laptop” site.
There are many other kinds of scripts available, both free versions and paid versions, that are designed to “squish” up a regular type site into a more mobile friendly version so that it will fit on a mobile device, but these are not recommended as they have a lot of disadvantages.
First of all, they are very difficult to navigate (caused by the multiple columns and having multi-columns on a mobile website is a big no-no).
Secondly, they are very slow to load on a mobile device – Also, if a user does not have an unlimited mobile data plan with their phone then they will be paying a LOT to just access the site.
If you are loading data on your 3G device, a regular website will take a long time to load and use up a lot of bandwidth and could very easily increase the user’s monthly mobile phone bill substantially. If the site is not “lightweight” in terms of code and graphics, the user won’t be too happy!
But all this misses the point – mobile users have different needs.
People who use mobile devices are usually on the go. They may be in their car and they want information about a business immediately, such as directions, or a phone number. They don’t want to wait while a complex site takes time to load, and they don’t want to have to do a lot of “horizontal navigation” to find the information they are looking for.
Another really important fact to remember is that most mobile devices, including all Apple products, such as iPhones, iPods and iPads DO NOT read flash-based content.
It’s impossible for them to do so. Flash is a whole new language all of its own and Apple devices cannot read it. Therefore if your website has flash-based content on it, the result is that on an Apple device there will either be areas of blank space or there will be a completely blank screen where the website should be! That is not what you want!
Here are some screenshots of what flash-based websites look like on an Apple mobile device…
As you can see, some are just blank screens and some just show the background – neither are what you want when someone’s trying to look up your website on a mobile device!
A mobile optimized site makes for an easier and faster mobile browsing experience. Here are some examples below…
The majority of websites today are not mobile-friendly. That’s a real shame because a lot of people today are relying on their mobile devices (iPads, mobile phones, etc.) to access the web.
Going mobile-friendly will make sure that your business won’t lose a potential customer just because your site takes a long time to load or shows a blank screen, like the ones shown above when viewed on a mobile device.
At Mobile Storm we believe that a mobile website must be fluid and dynamic switching easily between portrait and landscape views and looking great in both views.
We now have an incredible tool-set that no-one else has to make these mobile friendly websites. Contact us today to find out more about our mobile site generation and what your website could look like in a mobile-device-format when it is highly optimized for mobile viewing.
To get a free quote and free sample screenshot of what your mobile site COULD/SHOULD look like, you can either fill out the form at the top of the right hand column or if you prefer, you can contact us at the number below…