One of the most popular questions we get over here at ImageWorks, LLC is, "Do I have a mobile website?" Since we started designing websites over 14 years ago, technology has evolved greatly. Gone are the days of booting up the old computer to visit a website or do some research. Today, one in two mobile suscribers has a smartphone and that figure is progressing steadily upwards. Currently, there are slightly over 137 million smartphone users in the U.S, and forecasts show that by the year 2016 there will be over 192 million. That is a LOT of mobile web browsing!
What is the Mobile Web?
The mobile web refers to accessing the internet via a smartphone or tablet that is connected to a mobile network or wireless network.
Is My Website Mobile?
Many people ask us if their website is "mobile", when really the question they mean to be asking is if their website is optimized for mobile viewing. EVERY website is mobile, it simply means that your website is being viewed on a mobile phone. A website optimized for mobile viewing means that the format and structure of the webpage does not get lost in translation when viewed from a smartphone. The usability and simplicity of a website optimized for web browsing is much better than a regular website simply being viewed on a smartphone or tablet.
To put it simply, does your website look good when viewed on a smartphone? Often times websites that are not optimized for mobile viewing need to be magnified to read the text, don't fit onto the page, or have graphics issues. Basically, the website crams all of the design into the small framework of the mobile device, miniaturizing the site and making it difficult to see and use. Usability can depend on the actual size of the mobile device, the limits of display resolution and the operating system
Should I Optimize My Website?
90% of smartphone searches results in an action – purchasing, visiting a business, etc. (Source: Google, 2011)
As of July 2013, approximately 10% of all web traffice occurs through mobile devices. With rapid advances in mobile devices, people are browsing the web in a variety of places. Gone are the days of sitting in a doctors office and reading a magazine. People are now shopping on their cell phones, checking their bank account information and reading the news from their smartphones. On Black Friday, the traditional day of mass sales in the United States, internet shoppers set record sales that exceeded $1 billion. It is estimated that almost one quarter of sales were made via internet traffic on mobile devices.
A Website Not Optimized The Same Website Optimized
...Wait, But What Is An App??
Generally speaking, a mobile website is NOT an app. Both are accessed on mobile devices, but that is where the similarities end. A mobile website is simply a website optimized (graphics, screen size, navigation) for mobile viewing. A mobile app is actually an application that is downloaded and installed into a mobile device. While the app may take content and data from the Internet, it does not use a browser. Most apps are accessible without a Internet connection.
Keeping Up With Technology
Taking your brand mobile is a way to stay ahead of your competitors and show that you are technology savvy. It also denotes great customer service, as you are attempting to provide the best experience for the browser. Having a presence on the mobile web enhances the positive experience that a customer has with your brand. Don't let your business be left behind in the world of mobile web browsing, statistics show that mobile internet traffic is only going to keep growing in number of users.
Is your website optimized for mobile users? Do you have more questions about mobile web browsing? Read our FREE mobile web development guide.