Not so long ago, browsing the Internet was done only on desktop computers. According to the article “Tablet Mobile Web Traffic Now Eclipses Smartphone Traffic” at ReadWrite.com, there has been a steady increase of web traffic going to tablets and smartphones globally. Considering the trends, it is easy to see that mobile devices will dominate Internet traffic in the near future.
In this article I will explain what is a mobile-ready website and tell you why it is important for your website to be mobile-ready.
For a website to be mobile-ready, it has to be either:
- Optimized for Mobile browsing
Note: Sometime the terms “mobile-friendly” and “optimized for mobile” are confused to mean the same thing but the terms refer to two separate things.
What is mobile-friendly?
A website is mobile-friendly when it does not contain any Flash and it is purely HTML based. Users are able to use mobile devices to browse your web pages (the content will render correctly as it would on a desktop) but there will be a lot of left/ right scrolling and pinch-to-zoom.
If your website satisfies this usability level then you are half-way there to become fully mobile-ready.
What is mobile-optimized?
A mobile optimized website is a website that was designed and built specifically for displaying on smartphones and tables. This kind of website will feature its menu and links in easy to click boxes and it will not require the user to scroll horizontally or pinch-to-zoom. Scrolling is done only up/down and the content is presented in an easy to read fashion.
Considering that we still have a high percent of users who will be visiting your website using desktops, you would not want to have your website built only for mobile devices. You will want your website to render on all devices (desktop and mobile). Some people will aim to have mobile-friendly websites while some website owners can have two versions of the website, one for desktop and one for mobile (possible only with flexible budgets).
But why not have one website that will render correctly on desktops and on mobile devices (without the left/right scrolls)? The term I want to introduce here is “responsive designs“.
Using a series of new web-development technology, developers are now able to produce websites that are designed with layouts that will activate based on the browsing device. A website with responsive layouts is the ultimate mobile-ready website.
More developers are now setting this as the standard for website creation. HTML5 and CSS3 have made this task much easier for developers. Talk to your developer.
GxMedia has adapted this new trend and we are now building all of our new websites with responsive layouts. See websites like Mobile Money Guyana, Ori Hotel and our very own GxMedia – go ahead and try these on your desktop and on your mobile phones.
Girendra Persaud (April 2013)