Mobile-friendly and responsive, designed for smaller devices
Having a mobile website is becoming increasingly important for businesses as many customers use mobile devices to locate them online. A mobile website will display a mobile friendly or mobile optimized version of a website to visitors based on their screen size. Giving your visitors the power to choose which version of the website to view is important to user accessibility and being user-friendly. Most mobile websites will work on any mobile device operating system including, but not limited to, iOS, Android and BlackBerry.
What are the immediate benefits of having a mobile website?
The largest benefit is the opportunity of serving up a mobile optimized website to your visitor showing that you took the extra steps to ensure their experience on your website is easy, convenient and enjoyable. This allows for a greater opportunity to close a sale or create a lead from the mobile visitor.
What is the difference between a mobile website and a responsive website?
A mobile website is a dedicated website where mobile users are automatically redirected to. For example, a normal web address would be: http://www.example.com. Whereas, a mobile website would be http://m.example.com or http://mobile.example.com. By replacing the “www” with “m” or “mobile” we are effectively creating a completely separate website. The desktop version (www version) of your website automatically detects a mobile user and will redirect them to the “m” or “mobile” version automatically. A mobile website has a defined screen size which typically is made for mobile devices only – mostly excluding tablets.
A responsive website is a website that refers to the type of design the website implements. A responsive website allows for optimal viewing on all screen sizes whether the visitor is on a large desktop, a laptop, a tablet or a mobile device. A website designed to be responsive adapts the size of elements on the page into relative units such as percentages rather than absolute numbers and grids. This allows the website to automatically adapt to the users screen size.
What is the process to creating a successful mobile website?
Creating a successful mobile website involves giving the mobile user easy access to contact the business through their device. Allowing the visitor to place a phone call by clicking an icon, see driving directions by using their GPS location or sending an email using their default mail client are all examples of how to give the visitor easy access to reach the business.
Will I be able to manage the content of my mobile website?
Yes, managing your mobile website will be just as easy as managing your existing website. In some cases, mobile websites can be served up to your visitors using a different WordPress theme. This means that the website content is exactly the same as your normal website, but the layout and design of your mobile site is reduced for smaller screen sizes.
Will visitors be able to switch to the normal desktop version of my site?
Yes, by default mobile websites should offer your visitor the option to switch back to a non-mobile version of your website. This is important for accessibility reasons as some mobile users prefer to not use mobile websites and instead use the full HTML browser in their smart phone.
Does a mobile website require a .mobi domain name?
No, having a .mobi domain name registered is not required in order to have a mobile optimized website. .Mobi domain names were originally created to convey to the visitor they were viewing a mobile optimized website, but many websites choose to do a redirect to a sub-domain instead.