Is your web site mobile ready?
There was a time when you could only browse web sites from your PC. Now you can check your email and surf the web from hot new gadgets like the Blackberry, Motorola Q and the IPhone.
In November 2008, a mobile market study reported that almost 19% of U.S. mobile users now use a Smartphone and that 49% plan to purchase one within two years.
Now the Internet is accessible from almost anywhere. It is not surprising that almost 40% of Smartphone owners use their phones to search the Internet, especially for local products, services, and directions. However, a web site designed for a high resolution PC screen is very difficult to read on a tiny phone or PDA screen. The fonts are usually unreadably small, and the viewer has to scroll the screen in two directions to find what they are looking for.
The good news is you can
do things to prepare for the new wave of browsing public.
Phones and PDAs also have slower data speeds, so graphically intensive sites may take over a minute to load, which most people will not wait for.
This is where the importance of browser and system compatibility really counts. Search engines are now also screening sites based on phone friendliness. If you search Google simultaneously on your PC and phone, you will see different results on the phone, because mobile-accessible sites get priority.
The good news is you can do things to prepare for the new wave of browsing public. Depending on the complexity and coding of your current site, you can have a second mobile-friendly version created that will detect if the visitor is viewing with a normal PC or a mobile browser. If the visitor is on a mobile, they will be directed to the mobile version of the site. This is what many corporate sites do.
The second option is to have a whole new separate mobile-friendly site created and hosted under a new .mobi domain name.
Of the two, the second choice would probably be the more efficient, as the searches should treat your site more seriously because of the .mobi domain.
If your site is a content managed site (one you can update yourself), like our WebUpdate range of sites, your developer can recode it to detect the visitor's browser and display the content under a more compact template, as our sites do.
Because we believe that this is a crucial consideration for our clients' sites to be successful, our new WebUpdate4.5 sites have detection and alternate content display as a standard feature. Also, with our built-in visitor tracking system, you can immediately see how many visitors are viewing the mobile content.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level, now is the time to learn about the many newer web technologies, such as our own WebUpdate4.5 system.
Our sites include many advanced features designed to give your business the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design,
the award winning web and multimedia design agency in Chesapeake.
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