In our first post we looked at some statistics that show mobile web is growing faster than we can imagine and we began thinking about designing a mobile website for our business. In the second post we began analysis of mobile users and determined our target market. We also studied the mobile devices themselves and reviewed some of their limitations. Now we need to start planning our approach to mobile web. Your business has four choices to tackling the mobile phenomena:
- You can do nothing and let mobile users scroll their way around sites designed for PC viewing. With the iPhone's pinch and drag technology it is certainly possible to view normal PC desktop websites. However, navigation can sometimes be tricky with this approach.
- You can streamline your current desktop website by removing images and styling and making them more manageable for mobile devices. This is a compromise method somewhere in between desktop and mobile.
- You can use style sheets, a tool that allows web developers to create different versions of a website. Your website content doesn't change in this scheme but images and layout can.
- You can create an entirely different second site, optimized for mobile users.
We believe the first three approaches have serious limitations. Our best choice is to go with option number four and create separate site optimized for mobile. Be aware though, there's some bad advice out there that recommends getting a new top level domain for your mobile website such as yourbusiness.mobi or creating a subdomain such as mobile.yourbusiness.com. This breaks the theory of device independence of the web. For example, what if you were viewing anotherbusiness.mobi on your mobile device and thought it was a cool website that you needed to explore further when you had more time? You e-mail yourself the link. You find some time in the evening at home so you sit at your desktop to look at that site you found earlier. When browsing from your desktop you notice everything looks tiny. That's because you're viewing the .mobi link. Sure, there are fancy things that web developers can do to redirect back and forth depending on what device the user is using, but we can do this without changing domain names. Let's just stick with the great domain that you already have for your business. Now it's time to let us help you with the design and coding phase of your new mobile website. Then let's launch it! Wait… you're not sure you're ready yet? Maybe you should wait until you're sure that everybody is using the mobile web. Maybe you should wait until technology overcomes some of its current limitations. Is building a mobile website for your business really worth the investment? Do you remember what happened with the early web? Many were asking the same questions then as they are about mobile now. Believe me, this mobile train is leaving the station whether you're on it or not. Most desktop websites aren't accessible, or usable for that matter, on mobile devices. It's important to remember that mobile users don't buy what they can't find. The time to go mobile is now! You can find more statistics from the Pew Research Center. Call us at Rock, Paper, Scissors to help you with your mobile website today! 678-442-1825.