With the emergence of Android-based smartphones, iPhones, and tablets, utilizing the Internet via mobile phones has caught on significantly within the past few years. In fact, there are currently an estimated 6 billion+ people who utilize their phones to browse the Internet and look for products and services. Mobile websites, although similar in some ways, aren’t exactly the same as traditional websites. For a small business owner, it’s important to understand the differences and how a mobile website can benefit your company.
Page Size, Images, and More.
Although a mobile website and a traditional website are both designed via HTML, contain images and content, and are accessed through the Internet, mobile websites are always a smaller, more condensed version of a traditional website. This not only makes it easier for people to access sites on their phones, but it also makes it much easier to read information and navigate while using a portable device. In addition, since mobile phones are typically slower when compared with laptop or desktop computers, the condensed versions of websites make it easier to get to pages without the added time it would take for a traditional website to load.
Different Web Addresses or Responsive Design
Mobile websites also have different domain names than the traditional website name. Think of a mobile web address as the subdomain of the original web address. Again, this is to save room and speed up page load times for mobile Internet users.
However the more accepted format these days is to have your main site built on a responsive design. This means that your site is built in such a way that it is viewable on any mobile device. Google seems to favor this type of site and has recently stated they are giving mobile friendly sites higher placement in the search results.
Flash and Multimedia
Most mobile websites aren’t optimized for Adobe Flash and multimedia. Yet, there are several useful tools available that will help your mobile site run these applications if you must have them. Keep in mind though, that Flash is usually not a good match for mobile-based websites. The sheer amount of room it takes usually slows mobile sites down significantly.
Most people that use mobile websites are visiting these sites for a specific purpose that necessitates the need for them to go online while they are mobile. In other words, mobile websites don’t need all of the fancy bells and whistles as a traditional website because most people have a specific purpose, such as locating a business or searching for a new service. Since mobile websites focus more on providing information as opposed to an extensive design, it’s a win-win situation for both mobile website users who are looking for specific information… and for small businesses that are looking to connect with more local consumers.