Whether you’re just setting up your first website or you’ve been a webmaster for years, you need to make sure you are able to get your content out in front of as many people as possible. Today more than ever, that means having a mobile ready website. There is really no denying the fact that mobile traffic is growing at an astounding rate, and if your site doesn’t look good to these browsers, they won’t be staying on your site very long.
Reasons why Mobile Ready Sites are Essential
According to a recent Comscore Study, there are 143 million internet enabled smart phones and 71 million tablets in the United States alone. The vast majority of these devices are used to browse the web on a regular basis. In fact, a growing number of people are using these mobile devices as their exclusive way to get online.
In addition, surveys have shown that when someone visits a site on their mobile device and it doesn’t look or function properly, they most likely won’t go back to the site from their PC. In fact, it is much more common for people to enjoy a good looking site on their mobile device, and then move to a PC to complete an activity than it is to have someone go from bad mobile experience to a PC.
If you are using your website for business reasons, according to Search Engine Journal it is estimated that by next year there will be approximately $400 billion in revenue generated through mobile websites. This is up from just $139 Billion in 2012. That growth is expected to continue for quite some time, showing that any business that is hoping to capitalize from digital marketing absolutely must be thinking about the mobile experience.
Types of Mobile Ready Sites
If you want to make sure your website looks great on mobile devices, you have two main options to choose from. You can either have a separate site that is made specifically for mobile devices, or you can have what is called a responsive design that is made to look great on both mobile and desktop displays.
Separate Mobile Site
If you opt for having a separate mobile version of the site, you will essentially have two sites loaded on your web hosting with some code that will quickly determine what type of device is attempting to access your site, and then display the proper version. You often see this option when you look at a site and it has M.Sitename.com or Sitename.com/mobile/. While it may seem more complicated, it is actually a fairly simple process.
In many cases, a desktop version of a site will actually come with a mobile version as well. This way you just upload all the files and it pretty much takes care of itself. Whenever you add content to your site, it will automatically be formatted and displayed on both the main desktop and the mobile version of your page. This makes it quite easy.
Of course, you will have some additional configuration options based specifically on the mobile version of the page. If you are using a WordPress platform, for example, you will likely have a category for choosing things like the color scheme and other factors.
Responsive Web Design
The other option, which is growing in popularity recently, is to have what is known as a responsive design. These pages look and function almost identically whether you are on a mobile device or a traditional desktop. The important point is that the page was designed specifically to look and function great on any device.
There will be some differences, of course, but nothing that the typical webmaster has to worry about. Things like color schemes, menus and other commonly adjustable items will all look correct on either a desktop or a mobile device.
For most people, the biggest benefit to this option is that it does make it extremely easy to have a great looking site no matter who is browsing your site. You don’t need to worry about troubleshooting problems on more than one version of the page, or even making sure that a mobile site looks as good on an iPhone as it does on an Android tablet, or any of the other devices out there.
Now is the Time
If you don’t already have a modern mobile ready site, now is the time to make the move. You simply can’t continue to function online with any hope of success when you don’t have the ability to serve users on mobile devices. Fortunately, InterServer hosting is setup to fully support all types of mobile websites, and provide users with a fast loading page no matter what device they are using. With that in mind, it is just up to you, the webmaster, to make sure a mobile ready site is available to display.