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Mobile or Bust – The How and Why of Mobile Web

According to comScore, 50 million people in the U.S. own either an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. That’s 50 million reasons you need a mobile version of your website.

If the idea of building a mobile website – or converting an existing one – seems daunting, you’re not alone. Luckily there is plenty of good advice to be had on the topic. Even better, there is high quality mobile website builder software available to make things much easier. Read on to find out what you need to do to make your website mobile both existent and appealing.

The Challenges

There are several challenges to consider when either creating a new mobile website or converting an existing site. First, not only are there different platforms for mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, etc. – but each of those platforms uses different web browsers. Your site needs to be compatible with all of them, if you want your site to be viewed by the highest possible number of people.

Next, unless you happen to be a wizard with HTML and mobile style sheets, trying to make the mobile leap on your own can feel next to impossible. Using mobile website builder software can be a great alternative to spending large amounts of your budget hiring web designers. You save money AND get to have creative control over your mobile websites!

Building Your Mobile Website

When designing the mobile version of your website, you have to think inside the box. The content that once fit nicely on a traditional computer screen now has to be condensed considerably. One extremely helpful feature of some mobile website builder software, such as EbizWebpages.com, is a graphical depiction of a smartphone frame rendered on the screen. The mobile site is then configured within the phone screen frame. The result is that what you see is, in fact, what you get.

When working within a smaller space, there are several things to consider including:

  • What information is most important for mobile visitors to see? The best way to figure that out is to put yourself in the shoes of those who will be using your mobile website. Think of what features of your website will be the most useful for people on the go and make sure those are the first things your users see. For example if you are a restaurant, you could offer a feature that allows users to check reservation availability and then make a reservation.
  • What is that information going to look like? The look and feel of your mobile website can stay true to the spirit of the original while implementing changes that make the site easy to use on a mobile platform. It may seem counterintuitive but using a larger font on a smaller screen can help improve readability. It’s also a good idea to avoid horizontal scrolling and stick to vertical scrolling for site navigation, and for displaying options.
  • What options can I include to make things easier for mobile visitors? There are a variety of options that can make your mobile website both easier to use as well as give users additional functionality.
    • Consider adding clickable phone numbers, so all a user has to do is touch a phone number and that number is instantly dialed.
    • Another option is contextual keyboards, which pop out to allow users to enter either numbers or letters in various fields when necessary.
    • Give users the option to choose whether or not they want to view a mobile version of your website (which will often be named mobile.yourdomain.com). This lets the user decide which website experience they want to have and which works best for them.
    • A more behind-the-scenes approach to keeping users happy is to optimize for different devices. There are different ways to accomplish this including what’s known as “sniffer technology,” which lets your website know what type of mobile device is being used and chooses the appropriate version of your site to display. There are also mobile-specific style sheets that can be used to apply different properties to your website appropriate for different mobile devices.

No matter how long you’ve been in business, now is the time to go mobile. With mobile website builder software, there’s no reason not to.

About the Author:  Contributing blogger Thaddeus Cachola has a decade of experience documenting the latest trends in mobile communication.

This was a guest post for TheEmployble

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