Mobile Web – Are You On Board? (Part 2)

Back in December, we talked about this big metaphorical ship known as the “Mobile Web”. Since then, have you purchased your ticket and jumped on board? A common reason to not take the plunge is the concern of how much it costs to have a mobile website created and maintained on top of a desktop based web site, and some may not see any reason in having two versions of the same site. I want to give a little more encouragement for you to join many businesses world-wide who are taking a step into the future and taking advantage of mobility.

Mobile websites come in three different forms:

  1. Full mobile version of the desktop based site
  2. Mobile website for main pages in the website. Other pages will be viewed as desktop
  3. Mobile splash page just to introduce your company to the mobile world.

There is a reason why I ordered these this way. The first option is both most beneficial and most costly, with the last item listed being the least effective and costs the least. Don’t get me wrong, a mobile splash page can still make a world of a difference compared to sticking with your desktop based web site. That being said, if you are curious of the benefits of having a mobile optimized web page but are still weary of the cost. Give the third option a shot, see the true benefits that mobile will provide for your company. As you see the number of page hits increase, you can always re-visit this decision and upgrade from there.

Maybe your point of caution is not the cost of the second website, but having to maintain two different websites. That can be a very daunting task and takes up precious time that could be used on other items for your company. Well, you’re in luck! Mobile websites can be integrated into your current website. Essentially a mobile website is just a different design for the web site and therefore can use the same content as the main site just with a different look if it’s on a mobile page.

But wait, There’s More!

Ever hear of the term “responsive design”? It is a way to build a website where the design responds to the size of the web browser. As the browser window gets larger or smaller, elements will re-size and re-position so that the page continues to look crisp and clean. Still not sure about what I’m talking about? Here are some easy steps you can follow for a live demo of responsive design:

  1. Go to tkg.com
  2. Make sure your web browser is not maximized and filling up the whole screen
  3. Grab a hold of the side or corner of the web browser and start moving it around
  4. Watch as the page re-arranges and re-sizes to where it needs to be to fit the window

See how nifty that is? That is the true direction that this ship is sailing in. It is the way of the future. And the best part about it is that it does not rely on whether you are on a mobile device or not, only the size of the browser. It is a completely device and browser indifferent way of creating a web site that looks great no matter what.

What is not permitted on the Mobile Web?

Another thing to take into consideration is that just because your current website works on a desktop does not mean it will work on a mobile device. The big red flag is Adobe Flash. Mobile devices, especially Apple products, do not allow the use of Flash. So if your current site relies on Flash, it will not work on a mobile device. Not only will it not work, but for the few devices that it will work on, it uses a much larger file size than almost any other format for a web page. There are are other more elegant, mobile friendly ways to handle any functionality that flash may provide.

Change your mind yet?

Hopefully by now you see the true value of considering Mobile as part of your online strategy. If you are truly considering the true benefits that a mobile based website can do for your business, you are in luck. I know a fantastic group of people who know a lot about mobile and will always put your company’s goals first. Check out their page on mobile websites, to leave them a message or even request a quote and see just where this ship is sailing!

As one of our web application developers, it’s no surprise that Tyler loves programming, online gaming, and developing mobile apps. Here on the blog, he’ll clue you in to what’s up on the app front.

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