Tag Archives: mobile

Why go mobile? and what does mobile mean?

You hear a lot of buzz words when people talk about mobile. Responsive, mobile apps… there is a lot of confusion, and it is unfortunate that this leads to a lot of businesses ending up with something that won’t meet their needs.

One thing that all of these options have in common is that when someone goes looking for their website using a phone or tablet (aka “mobile device”) some version of their site should come up that is appropriate for the size of their screen. This means no more of the “postage stamp” look needing to be zoomed in on or, worse, the exploded view of a tiny corner of the site.

There are really three different types of mobile to consider for websites, each appropriate for different needs and circumstances.

One buzz word is “responsive.” This is a type of website designed to scale in size depending upon the size of the viewer’s screen. A well written one can look good on everything from an oversized wall monitor to a smart phone. This is great, but not for everyone. Someone browsing with their phone is going to be unhappy when a site that is heavy on large images bogs down their browser and sucks up their media allowance. The context and intent of the viewer needs to be taken into account. Someone looking for an address or hours could care less about a massive shopping cart.

The second option is a mobile website plugin that reconfigures the content of the despot site. This is effectively the same as a responsive site, but can be an easy solution for some WordPress sites.

The third is a standalone site that presents only the content that is appropriate for someone browsing on the go. This can be a great solution when the site is big and complicated, or the searchers are local and looking for a storefront business. It also offers the twist of hooking an editable WordPress mobile site to a static desktop site that the business owner needs help with updating.

Next week’s Tip will address the differences between a mobile website and a mobile app.

To your business success!

Planning for Mobile

What viewing platform(s) will your site be viewed on most frequently? It used to be mostly a Mac vs PC or Internet Explorer vs Firefox sort of question (not to mention the issue of which versions!) but mobile has become increasingly important in the world of internet browsing. While this is a part of knowing about your target audience, it is also a factor that is vital to consider when planning for the future. Many features on static websites are terrible for mobile and will drive users away.

Apple made the decision to give no support to Flash on it’s mobile devices. This now means that if you have a Flash-based website it is like hanging out a “closed for business” sign to anyone on an iPhone or iPad. Similarly, the majority of websites online today were not built to be mobile-friendly. Mobile search has now surpassed desktop search, with the numbers climbing fast. It is rapidly becoming essential for any business who wishes to remain competitive that they have a mobile-friendly version of their website ready to hang out the welcome mat.

A few other things to consider for mobile—
⁃ If you have lots of large image files or videos on your site, make sure they have been optimized so that they will load quickly and not bog down someone’s smartphone browser.
⁃ Avoid the use of popups.
⁃ Don’t have links opening new windows—or if you must, post a warning that this will happen.

To your business success!