Choose How You Are Found on Smartphones
You may be hearing over and over again the astonishing statistics on the number of people looking at websites from their smartphones. You may even already know that you want to get in on the action. Before you call up your IT guy, make sure you know what you’re asking for. What suits your business needs better, a mobile responsive site or a whole separate mobile site? Let’s get down to it.
Mobile responsive essentially means that everything on your website is the same, but when someone looks at it from their phone a piece of code will tell it to look magnified on their tiny screens.
A mobile site is a totally separate website from your current website that you can design to have whatever information or calls to action that people searching your site on their phones will need.
Why Mobile Responsive
- Your website is already coded. To go mobile responsive, you wouldn’t need brand new code, you would only need to add some CSS code to tell your site how to display everything on a smaller screen. This cuts down on the headache and costs for your web guy.
- It will automatically adjust to different screen sizes. Whether your site is being viewed from an Android, iPhone, tablet, etc. you don’t need to worry that it will look stretched, skewed, or otherwise horrific.
- Google actually recommends it. Check it out, straight from the horse’s mouth: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details#rwd
- If everything on the homepage of your website is exactly what users searching for you on their phones need to see, mobile responsive is a good choice. If not, well, then read on.
Why a Separate Mobile Site
- This site is created separately to meet specific needs of those searching for you from their phones. If you’re a tow truck service, people searching for you from their phones are probably already stuck on the side of the road. What they need to know is your phone number; your separate mobile site can be designed to show that prominently at the top.
- You don’t need all the same detail on your mobile site that you have on your desktop webpage. Show only what is essential to cut down on the clutter. If you go this route, you should still give mobile viewers the option to see your full site.
- It may render more quickly. The plague of mobile responsive is that all those beautiful photos can take a long time to load. With a separate mobile site, images will be exactly what is needed to load fast and look good on mobile phones.
- The downside is that because you have a completely separate site, it will have to have its own domain, e.g. m.manta.com versus www.manta.com. That little m. means all those searches won’t combine to strengthen your search ranking in search engines.
We don’t advocate one solution over the other, because it all depends on your needs. Ask yourself, “How different is it from what your desktop users want?” If the answer is very – consider a separate mobile site. If your homepage is already concise and straightforward, responsive design may be for you.
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