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The mobile question - Do I need a mobile friendly website?

A quick internet search for statistics on mobile surfing habits throws up some big numbers. For instance:-

Lisa Smith of Activ

  • There are currently 4 billion mobile phones in use globally
  • Over 1 billion of these are smart phones
  • 50% of local searches are carried out on mobile devices

Earlier this year Google made a change which affects its search results and favours mobile friendly sites when users are searching from a mobile device. This has become known as ‘mobilegeddon’.

So you can see that it should be a consideration for every business to ensure their online presence is well represented on a mobile device.

However there has been a lot of hype and mis information regarding ‘mobilegeddon’ in recent months and in some cases website owners have been panicked in to taking hurried action – panic is never a good idea and sadly many will have paid over the odds for solutions which may not be completely appropriate.

Many companies have led business owners to believe they have to start all over again and build new websites from scratch. Some business owners have spent vast amounts of money to end up with websites that do not serve their customers well and are in fact just templated one size fits all solutions.

The best solution is to take advice as to whether you need

  • A new website
    May be appropriate if current site built with older technology/is out of date/costs to update would be prohibitive
  • A mobile responsive website
    This uses an additional design integrated into the desktop website design to adapt the presentation of the website on mobile devices. It means that the mobile site will largely use the same information but reformat the style for the mobile device. The navigation will also be adapted to be easier to use on a mobile site. It may be possible to remove certain elements of content which may not be suitable for the mobile device e.g. large video. The key advantage to this method is that changes to content on the desktop will be reflected on the mobile site. The main disadvantage is that it is still a single website with a more complicated design structure which can mean compromises to the desktop design to accommodate the mobile.
  • A dedicated mobile website
    These are completely separate sites which are seamlessly presented to the mobile user. They can be designed to match the branding of the main site but are designed from scratch. The main advantage is these sites can optimise the design for mobile, have content written specifically for the mobile user and integrate mobile specific functions. The main disadvantage is that content needs to be updated separately from the main website.

Ultimately the decision should reflect what is best for your customers and your business.

If you would like any advice I offer a FREE telephone consultation and promise a friendly chat with no hard sell!

Lisa Smith lisa.smith@activwebdesign.com

 

Biography:

Lisa Smith is a partner in Activ Net Marketing Essex along with her husband Reece. Providing websites, search engine optimisation, mobile APPs and graphic design services to local businesses. With the mission to spread the word that small businesses can afford professionally designed websites and SEO with support, maintenance and great local service.

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