Having a Mobile Website is Only Half the Battle

- January 25, 2011

You have stepped up to the plate and made the (smart) decision to create a mobile friendly version of your website. That is great news, especially because the number of mobile users continues to rise and you ought to ensure that your website can accommodate this growing market segment. So, now all you have left to do is design the mobile site and you’re done, right? WRONG!  Just when you think you have all of your bases are covered, you don’t. There are a few important factors to consider before building out your mobile site.

For starters, there are many different smartphones available for people to choose from. You might be asking yourself, what exactly is a smartphone? According to Wikipedia, “a smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary basic feature phone. Smartphones may be thought of as handheld computers integrated within a mobile phone.” Examples of the most commonly used smartphones are:  iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc. Now you might be asking yourself, does it really matter which device a visitor uses to access my website? Won’t having a mobile version make for a positive user experience for every smartphone user? The answer is probably not, reason being, not all smartphones will render the same. This is why it’s hugely important to identify which devices your visitors are using to view your website. Having this knowledge will afford you the ability to tailor to the vast majority of your mobile audience. For example, when creating mobile websites for clients, our Design and Development teams utilize simulator testing, which will actually “simulate” how the site will render on each device. In addition, they will create custom versions to support the most popular devices accessing your site, as well as install JavaScript, which will detect which device is being used, then display the appropriate version.

Now, you might be asking yourself, how do I figure out which devices my visitors are using? This information can be easily found in your analytics program. If you utilize Google Analytics, click on Visitors (on the left navigation) then click on Mobile and finally, Mobile Devices. The results may astound you! Remember: having a mobile site is only half the battle; it should be optimized properly for your mobile audience, whatever that audience might be.

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