An infographic by Kissmetrics revealed that most mobile Internet users “expect a web-browsing experience on their phone that’s comparable to what they get on their desktop or laptop.” That has lots of implications: loading time, layout, ease of use.
1. More sales: more and more people are using their smartphones to purchase products
2. A bad mobile website will send visitors to your competitors’ websites
3. Your brands’ image can be damaged by a bad mobile website
4. If people have a bad experience on your website while on their mobile phones, they might not want to visit your website again
When designing your mobile website, here are some of the most important things to consider:
1. Study your analytics thoroughly in order to find out what your visitors are most interested in. When you create a mobile website you might have to strip it down to the basics, so knowing what your audience is most interested in can be of real help.
2. Think of the priorities of a mobile user when visiting your site, as they can be quite different from desktop users. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right from the first time: you should be prepared to make changes until you create the perfect mobile version.
3. Make sure your loading time is kept to a minimum. Most people (30%) are prepared to wait about 6-10 seconds for a page to load, but remember that every second counts.
4. It might be obvious, but you should make sure that whenever someone enters your websites’ URL in their smartphone browser they are automatically redirected to the mobile version.
I also recommend you check out the Google blog that deals specifically with mobile websites and has lots of great tips and tricks.
If you want to see how many people are accessing your website via mobile devices, go to your Google Analytics page and click on the “Mobile” tab under “Audience.
The overview section will give you your total numbers, including tablet, and if you go to devices you will be able to see exactly which websites were used by your readers. As you can see, my readers are big fans of Apple:
So why doesn’t everyone have a mobile friendly website? Not to say that you should necessarily have two website versions, one for desktops and one for mobile. But it is very important to at least make sure your website is optimized for mobile, that it doesn’t take too long to load, and that mobile users can easily find their way around it on their small screens. It’s not hard to do, and there are plenty of great tools that you can use to create the perfect mobile website. Here are some of the best, in no particular order:
Wirenode is quite easy to use and very cheap. The great part is that you can even make a mobile website for free, which is great if you’re a beginner or a small business with limited resources. Once you’ve set up your free account, you can choose from up to 8 themes for your website:
After you’ve chosen a theme and a category for your website, you’ll get to your dashboard where you will be doing the rest of the work. You can change the name of your website from the Settings menu, and you can also choose from a selection of widgets (at the bottom right corner of the page). Make sure you also preview your website so you’re sure it’s what you wanted:
Mobify is one of the best at its job and that shows by its long list of big clients: Bosch, Starbucks and Wired among many others. For a smaller website the service is free, but for bigger businesses the prices can get a little steeper. Here is an example of their work with Direct Wines:
As you can see, although the look and feel of the website is maintained, the mobile website is clearly more easy to browse as there is one clear menu and there is no need for squinting eyes and zooming in and out constantly when looking for the information you need.
Mofuse brings lots of great features to mobile websites such as social sharing, click to call and m-commerce among others. Although they don’t have a free version, they have decent prices and the option to start with a free trial. If you think you can build the website on your own then you can, but if you don’t have the time, don’t worry as they can do it for you.
Winksite is a free service for creating mobile websites. It’s quite easy to use and with great results for free.
GoMobile is another free website with an easy to use platform for creating mobile versions of your website. If you’re an enterprise, you can also use the service but will have to spend a few extra bucks.
You can use Sitefinity to create a website that has a built-in responsive design engine that allows it to adapt automatically to the device each visitor is using. You can also use it to create a mobile app, a great idea for businesses with a decent following. One of my favorite features is that it allows you to create personalized content for different users:
Wapple have worked with some of the biggest companies in the world (Vodafone, Nokia etc.) to help them create great mobile websites, as well as mobile campaigns and apps for smartphones and tablets. Here is an example of their work with EA Sports:
MobiSite Galore makes it very easy to create a mobile website in a matter of minutes. They also offer free trials for those who want to be sure this is the best service for them.
WPTap is a WordPress plugin that develops mobile themes and plugins that can convert your existing WordPress website easily into a mobile website. It’s very easy to use and has lots of useful features.
MobilePress is a plugin that will automatically generate a mobile version for WordPress websites. It has a few custom themes to choose from as well as some other settings. It doesn’t allow for much in-depth customizations, but it’s still a very good tool.
Duda offers a more complete service for those who want to easily convert their WordPress website to a mobile site. It will retain the basic look of your desktop website, it has automatic redirection for mobile visitors, it is SEO friendly and there is no need for coding (phew!).
As you can see, the mobile version offers visitors all the most important information for mobile users: the option to easily contact the business by phone or email, and their address (while still keeping an image of some beautiful cupcakes). The website version on the other hand is much harder to navigate, the writing is much smaller and the images are taking too much screen space.
Responsive is a WordPress theme that automatically adapts your website for mobile devices, as opposed to creating a separate website version.
WPtouch Pro 3 has some beautiful themes to choose from to create a website with a responsive design that changes the layout depending on the device used to access the website. What is really great about WPtouch Pro 3 is the fact that they can help you create very fast websites, even on mobile; or, as they put it, they are “like superfantasically speedy”!
Have you created a mobile version for your website? What tool or plugin did you use? Please do share in the comments and if you’ve found this post useful I welcome your shares:)
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