What Is the First Step to Take When Building a Mobile Website?
Why you should plan on building a mobile website
If you haven’t already made your website mobile friendly, it is pretty much essential that you do. Mobile websites are not a fad. Here are 5 reasons why you must make a mobile website:
- Mobile friendly websites rank higher: Google’s algorithm for generating search results includes the mobile friendliness of websites, meaning your site will rank lower in search results if it isn’t mobile optimized.
- Mobile online activity exceeds desktop activity: Smartphone and tablet usage combined make up 55 percent of the average person’s online activity, with laptops and desktops making up the other 45 percent.
- Around half of all online traffic has a mobile source: In 2012 not quite 25 percent of online traffic was from a mobile device. Online mobile usage is increasing rapidly.
- Mobile friendly sites mean more local customers: Searches for services from mobile devices are made when potential customers have reached a decision to procure the service and a bigger percentage of these searches result in a customer visiting the store searched.
- Smartphone use is increasing: The percentage of smartphone users by Americans is steadily going up. In many countries computers are passed over in favor of a smartphone.
The first step in building a mobile website
The first thing you need to do when building a mobile website is to understand your audience. This is going to determine the approach you will use when it comes to designing and building a mobile site. Some of the things you need to know about your audience are:
- What else the user is doing when they visit your site: Mobile users tend to be on the go and chances are they will be involved in doing something else at the same time
- Where the user is accessing your site from: They may be at work, at school, out with friends or somewhere else.
- Why the user is visiting your site: It is very important to know what the user wants from your site. What is their focus?
Basically you are developing a profile of who your audience is which will dictate the approach you will take when it comes to designing and building a mobile website.
Different approaches to developing a mobile website design
The approach you take to developing your mobile website will depend on your audience and their needs. There are three basic approaches that you may consider:
- Responsive website: One URL is used to serve the same HTML to both mobile and desktop devices and the website responds to the size of a user’s browser by adjusting the pieces of the site to fit in the space available using CSS. This is the method recommended by Google and is the easiest approach to implement. If you will be providing the same basic content to mobile users this is a good way to go.
- Dynamic serving/Adaptive website: One URL is used to serve different HTML and CSS to the user depending on the device size the site detects. It there are important pages on your site that can’t be resized such as some type of forms but mobile users search in much the same way as your desktop users this may be the way to go although it is much more work.
- Separate mobile URLs: Every desktop URL has an equivalent mobile optimized URL. This is a approach you may consider if mobile users search using completely different keywords than those using desktop computers.
If you are the type of person who prefers to do things yourself and your requirements aren’t too technical, you may want to consider using a free mobile website builder. In addition, you are free to look through the information about trendy bugs.
There are a number of options available online and once you have determined which approach you will use, you can then choose the mobile website builder that will work best for you.