Is mobile web here to stay?

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The mobile web is here to stay.  And it’s not just for the large companies with huge marketing budgets. Mobile internet usage is projected to surpass desktop usage by 2014. Already some stats say that as much as 1 in 5 go as far as to be “Mobile-Only” users. Are these your customers. Any company that wants to have an online presence needs to consider mobile usage when deciding on their online marketing plans. 

Why should mobile be different though? Aren’t all mobile browsers made so that any web site is viewable? Well yes, technically. At a basic level, all websites, with the exception of those using flash content, are viewable at a scaled down level. You can tap and zoom into different areas to view them at a larger size to make them readable. At first, this was by far better than anything that had come before it. After a time though, people realized that there is a fundamental difference in the needs of mobile and desktop users. One website no longer worked for both. Web developers started to design websites specifically formatted to fit on a mobile screen and take into consideration mobile usage patterns. 

Having a mobile website allows you to take into account the mobile user’s experience. It allows you to focus what they see and how they will interact with your company. Instead of the user having to tap and zoom around on your site to find information they need, they will be able to easily and quickly find information about your company, products, e-commerce options, contact info and more. Another consideration is load times. Mobile users have to use data plans most often when access websites and if it has been built to be viewed using a high-speed connection, a mobile experience will be considerably slower. Specifically designing a site to be accessed on mobile will greatly enhance a user’s experience. Lastly, as more and more companies are moving into the mobile sphere, NOT having a mobile site, when your competitor does, will make you look outdated. That along with speed limitations on your site and difficulty navigating to find information, you are sure to lose business to the next guy. 

Don’t Have the Budget?

But maybe you have already built a new site recently, or your just a start up and don’t have a budget to have a fully built scaleable mobile site. Consider having a “mini” mobile friendly version of your site. Most mobile users are more tasked based in their usage as opposed to desktop users. Consider what those tasks would be for your site and have a mobile version that only has a few pages of content specifically set up to meet the needs of those users. 

As I said early, mobile web isn’t going anywhere and although ideally you would have a fully scaleable site that can meet the needs of mobile users, there are many options out there for you and your business.

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