The State of Mobile Websites

So apart from social-media enabling your website, one of the other must-have-things’ since 2010 is to mobile-enabled your website to allow it to be visible on smartphones and mobile devices.

As folks are using smartphones and tablets to view the internet, it makes sense to optimise the website so that it is visible on an array of devices.

This website received a very small percentage of visitors using smartphones and tablets, and so we’ve not taken it as priority to optimised our website for mobile devices. We’ll be making changes this year though, and mobile enabling our site.

If your business has a demographic of users that may be using smartphones or tablets to find and use your business, you need to consider mobile-enabling your website from the outset. Sites under the following scenarios should be set up as mobile enabled,

Websites that will be searched for locally away from home such as,

  • Fast Food Outlets
  • Restaurants
  • Pubs
  • Hotels
  • Vehicle repair garages
  • Chemists

In summary – if your business provides a service that may be needed on the go – your website needs to be mobile-enabled.

Many websites are viewed on tablets/smartphones as a preferred choice, such websites include the following,

  • Tablet/Smartphone related content, such as App reviews or App downloads
  • Websites with a demographic who have a preference for to use a tablet or smartphone – so for example a website target at teenagers or mums
  • A company portal for mobile workers

Now, mobile-enabling of your website comes in three different flavours,

  • A website with one design, normally a single narrow column that displays the same on all devices
  • Two separate and independent sites, one website for mobile and one website for computers
  • A responsive design that adapts itself to the width of the device

The first option – a single column website gives the same experience on both desktop and mobile devices but can be restrictive on the design options.

The second option – two separate independent websites effectively doubles the cost of your website project as content needs to be created and updated in two places.

The final option, a responsive design that adapts itself to the width of the cost benefit of only needing one website designed. The responsive design automatically reduces to down to three, two, then one column of information.

Your business, and circumstances will dictate whether you need a mobile-enabled website, and will also dictate which of flavour mobile-website you require.

If you are building your website from new – then please do mobile-enable your website from the outset. The additional cost of mobile-enabling at a later date could result in a complete website rebuild doubling the cost to you.

In our local area only 20% of pubs and restaurants have mobile-enabled websites. This caused us difficultly in route planning from one establishment to another. We have a blog post on our personal website with more details.

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