The mobile web experience represents the web designers’ new frontier today. Recent statistics show that 70% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone and these figures will only continue increasing in the years to come. Designing websites for the traditional desktop browser alone is no longer considered enough to set a standard in the industry. Nowadays, almost every website can benefit from a mobile version. The standard mobile website should accommodate the smaller screen resolution of mobile web browsers and serve as a simplified version of your regular site. However, in order to “go where no one has gone before”, building custom mobile websites capable of providing a richer mobile browsing experience while retaining the full functionality of the classic website has become a necessity and mobile Internet usage poses a whole new set of challenges to be dealt with by web designers worldwide.
With a large variety of mobile devices available on today’s market, important decisions must be reached, such as which devices the mobile websites should support and what screen resolutions to target. And these are only two of the many questions to be answered in this field. Here are several types of websites which benefit more than others from having a mobile version integrated together with the classic desktop one:
- Local businesses benefit significantly from having a mobile website, as this gives them another efficient and customer friendly way to communicate.
- E-Commerce sites can reach customers as easily as possible and make their lives buying your products, as easy as possible.
- News-driven and blog sites allow easier access to up-to-date information to their audiences, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
There are some requirements to consider with a mobile website:
- Smaller size web pages. Advanced mobile devices have the ability to display any web page in its real desktop view, but this is not the case with the average mobile phone. Hence, for swift operation on any kind of mobile device, it is a must that a mobile site is written in code that makes the overall page small.
- Faster loading time. Having a smaller sized page certainly makes a mobile site load quicker. While most major carriers are moving to 4G speed, some users are still accessing the internet on slower speeds like EDGE and GPRS.
- Content adaptability. Not all mobile device browsers behave in the same way and it is very important to make sure your content works on one mobile device without breaking another.
- Ease of use. It’s not enough to have a mobile site — it should also be attractive and easy to use. This site should be less cluttered and should have all the links to key services in an easy to reach way.
Mobile sites are very often just a scaled-down version of the classic desktop website. These can be designed from that simple one page with the company’s brand and contact information to the full-scale and functionality applications like Facebook, that are designed specifically for mobile devices. However, in almost all instances content is extremely scaled back to suit the delivery method. The question is no longer whether or not a business should have a mobile website. The main challenge is now represented by how the classic business website should be reduced to the scale of the mobile phone screen in order to retain and provide the full experience of the main site with full capabilities such as browsing and purchasing products.
But what about Google? It’s important for you to know that Google has its own separate index for mobile sites (this means that you have to add your site to the mobile index just like you added your conventional site to Google’s traditional site index). So, if you create a mobile version of your website you stand a significantly greater chance of showing up higher in search rankings. We actually wonder if there is still anyone out there thinking that the mobile website will remain merely just a quick way to contact the company?
As mobile devices and tablet computers proliferate, mobile websites are becoming an important feature for companies that maintain an internet presence. While mobile hardware and operating systems continue to improve, these devices are not yet on a level playing field with desktop computers. Lower screen resolution, faster loading time, content adaptability, and ease of use dictate a specific approach to succeeding in a mobile environment. Therefore, some new concepts to be explored in view of integration with mobile sites are relating to how users will interact with the website, how they’ll use search functions and what the company’s goals will be in respect to enriching their mobile experience.
Displayed above are several examples of mobile websites that have taken these challenges head on. They are easy to navigate and elegant, while effectively promoting the company’s brand products and business goals.
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