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How is a Mobile Website Different from Others?

Posted January 26th, 2013 in Blog by AK Results

More and more often you are hearing about, or perhaps even experiencing for yourself, these new types of websites known as mobile websites.

Mobile websites are coded in HTML, hold content and images, and is accessed via the web.  You may be thinking, “These just sound like regular websites!”.  Actually, mobile websites normally work alongside a regular website, acting as a counterpart – a much smaller, faster loading, version with a simple layout that is easily navigated by fingers on a smartphone. The main purpose of mobile websites is to serve essential information to users on mobile devices, such as smart phones.

A mobile website is made up of HTML, holds content and images, and is accessed via the web. Sounds like a regular website, right?  Well actually a mobile website generally works in conjunction with a regular website, but as a counterpart is a much smaller version and has a simpler layout. A mobile website’s main function is to serve up essential information on smart phones.  Smart phones are those popular little devices that are actually rather advanced computers with multipurpose monitors built in.  IPhones, Blackberries, and Androids are some of the most popular Smart phones that can, among many other functions – surf the web.

 

You may be wondering why you need to have a mobile website, when you already have a regular website.  Well, most mobile devices have a small screen, and it is very difficult for your customers to navigate your regular website on such a screen.  Without a mobile website, instead of being shown the information they are looking for right away, your customers are forced to “pinch” are scroll just to be able to read the content. Not only that, the majority of smartphones are not capable of displaying webpages that use Flash or FLV videos! If your site is built is Flash, the majority of users won’t even be able to see it!

A mobile website is a ideally a scaled down version of the regular site in terms of size and content.  Mobile websites are generally under 300 pixels wide, compared to traditional websites which can be 800 pixels or more.  The navigation on a mobile website can be easily accessed using the thumb or finger, as the buttons normally span the whole width of the phone.

When people access your website on their mobile phone, they are generally on the move and mobile themselves.  When you are browsing the web on your phone, you are generally surfing with a specific purpose in mind: finding a businesses’ phone number, location, hours of operation, e-mail address; the services the offer, product availability, or contact names. In this respect, mobile websites serve their purpose – they are focused on making this vital information easy for your customers to access.

In most cases, the mobile website is setup as a subdomain of the main website.  Its URL is normally something like m.yourdomain.com, but just setting up the subdomain is not enough – you need to redirect smart phone users to the mobile website, otherwise they will still see the normal one! After that, it is best to put a link from the mobile website to the full one, so that users have the option of going to the company’s main website. It is not advisable to force smart phone traffic to stay on the mobile version; they should still have the choice of viewing the full website.

These are just a few of the major differences between a mobile website and a regular website, and I believe that in the coming months and years you will find that mobile websites will become a standard feature due to the phenomenal growth of smart phone usage and technology.

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