How to Position your Website Strategically for Mobile Users | Creativo Media
Posted by Alex Kotowitz | Uncategorized | 6 Comments
May 29, 2013
People no longer limit their internet browsing to their desktop computers or laptops. Many now prefer to surf the web using their mobile devices, so you need to make your website accessible to different mobile platforms. There are three main options when it comes to making your website go mobile: responsive web design, mobile sites, and mobile apps.
Responsive Web Design
The term “responsive” has been used in architecture to describe structures that automatically adapt their form or character based on environmental factors. Responsive web design works the same way by automatically adjusting to fit specific device screens.
Responsive web design is best for websites that are meant for viewing, not interaction. The Boston Globe’s website, for example, is built for people who want to read the latest news. A responsive design is the best option because its main function doesn’t change no matter what platform you use, and their website doesn’t use heavy graphics.
The main cons of using this type of design have to do with development and loading speed. It may take longer to develop a design that accommodates different browsers, screen sizes, and devices. Responsive websites often have slower loading times than mobile websites do because users still need to download the same code and files regardless of what device they use.
Mobile sites are separate websites with their own sub domains (usually m.domain.com or mobile.domain.com), content, and design code. These are lighter versions of the original website, often with smaller file sizes and faster loading times. The Wikipedia mobile website, for example, contains all the information and images you’d find in the desktop website, but the files are lighter and organized in a more compact way.
You may encounter problems when it comes to your mobile website’s long-term maintenance. The costs of maintaining a mobile site are higher because you need additional resources to accommodate the website’s files. Mobile applications have also started to take over the mobile market, which reduces the demand for mobile websites in general.
Mobile applications are downloadable programs for your mobile device. They can perform a variety of functions, from blogging and posting images to gaming and GPS navigation. For example, Tumblr developed a mobile app to make it easier for their mobile users to post images, text content, links, videos, and other media to their Tumblogs. Many companies invest in mobile application development because apps are faster and more interactive than mobile or responsive sites, and they can make your content available to users even when they don’t have an internet connection.
Mobile apps seem to be the best option of the three, but they do have their drawbacks, too. They’re more expensive to develop, and may be difficult to test (or even implement) on different devices and operating systems. They are also easy to uninstall, which often reduces their life cycle if they don’t provide enough value to your customers.
These three mobile options come with their own sets of pros and cons. The ideal option for your campaign depends on your website’s features and content, how you want to present it to your target market, and your mobile users’ behavior.