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Should You Create a Mobile Version of Your Website?

Mobile internet browsing and usage is growing at an alarming rate, with that in mind, should you optimise your website for mobile visitors?

Chances are if you walk through your local town centre today, you’ll see somebody accessing the internet on their smart phone. It’s almost become a second nature.

Gone are the days of simple WAP access, people are now using their phones to browse their favourite websites and even shop online. In fact, it’s reported that netbook sales are down 40% so is this a sign that smartphones and tablets are overtaking PC’s as peoples preferred browsing method?

So should you create a mobile version of your website? In short, yes, and here’s some reasons why.

Mobile internet use is growing rapidly

According to some figures mobile internet access is now at 8.09% of all UK website traffic (up from 0.02% in 2009) so whether you like it or not, people are going to access your website from a mobile browser.

It’s not that difficult to create a mobile version

Of course it depends on how your website was built in the first place, but if it’s not archaic then usually incorporating what’s needed to make your website mobile friendly isn’t too difficult and doesn’t require starting from scratch.

Most websites don’t work well on mobiles

The fact is, the majority of websites don’t well on mobiles, in fact some of them are impossible to use, so it’s a great way to steal a competitive advantage and get in early ahead of others in your industry. That said, if you run WordPress or another blogging platform, there are plugins that can make your site ‘mobile friendly’.
Google's mobile website being used on an iPhone

Mobile users have different intent

When people use the internet on their phones, they usually have a different intent to a user sat at a PC. It’s usually on the move, and they don’t have much time, meaning they’re looking for something to solve a problem fast. If you do a quick search on mobile conversion rates for ecommerce you’ll find they’re very high. So if you design your site to cater for those needs you’re onto a winner.

It’s way more important than having an app

Since mobile apps became the latest novelty, many businesses have wasted good time and money on developing their own mobile application, of course these apps have their uses, but for the majority of businesses they are a waste of money and wallow at the bottom of the app store.

A mobile website doesn’t require separate development for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and doesn’t need promoting via an app store so is clearly a better choice for getting a return on investment.

Mobile browsing is still very new

Even though lot’s of people are browsing the internet via mobiles, it’s still a relatively new concept, and one that realistically can only every grow upwards due to how technology is advancing. Historically early adopters are the ones that reap the reward, so why wait till everyone else is a step ahead of you?

What about you?

How many of you have optimised your site for mobiles or considered it? Do you think it’s more important for blogs to or ecommerce sites to opimise for mobile? Or is it equally important for both?

0 replies on “Should You Create a Mobile Version of Your Website?”

Creating a mobile version of a website has become very important in today’s world. This is owed to the advancement in mobile technologies over the past few years. Now, most of the popular sites either have one or are working on making an effective mobile website. To make a successful mobile website, these extra tips might be useful:
> Keep everything to a minimum
> Communicate through color
> Test browser associations for optimal user experience
> Avoid flash or Java

It is true how mobile internet use has rapidly grown today. And yes, I think it would be very functional and helpful to create a mobile version of your website. It would make an impression of how you are trying your best to reach out and connect with your clients who are always on the go.

It’s increasingly imperative to develop a mobile version of every site as mobile computing seems to be the wave of the future. Until my first experience with a mobile internet device, I used to assume that sites would automatically be scaled down optimally for them but that was not the case and made browsing very difficult. Nowadays, I avoid a lot of sites for lack of proper mobile computing.

-Jean

Quick question Jeff, do you think your mobile site should very closely resemble your actual site, or have its own twist?

Thanks for the comment, welcome to the community!
Christopher – Admin Team

@Christopher – Thanks for your reply.

I would say it depends upon your industry. A service industry mobile website, would have different functionality than a product based mobile website.

For the most part, it’s my opinion people are searching for an answer to a problem, like needing a plumber for a leaking pipe. That plumber’s website would need an easy way to “choose your problem” and quickly click to call, or text someone for an immediate response. I’d have as little fluff as possible.

Now it is important to have a mobile version of the site as I agree with you that more and more people use their smartphones to browse Internet from anywhere they stay. Every site that wants to be active and get some benefit already has a mobile version site.

I actually think the need for mobile sites for most type of businesses is going down. This is because the quality of phone browsers is increasing rapidly. For standard sites, I think a mobile version isn’t necessary.

That being said, I think it is always nice to have a mobile version of a website that appeals better to that crowd. And if the website is a service related website like ordering pizza, a mobile website will make a huge difference in business. If the site fits their need and does it quick, it will give a better chance of closing the sale and repeating customers.

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