With new better mobile devices and increased access to bandwidth, mobile traffic has steadily been rising. Mobile traffic is more then 20% of web traffic at the beginning of 2014. This number is predicted to continue to climb for quite sometime. So as a website owner you have a very difficult questions to answer, what does it mean to me. Of course, that depends. The more consumer driven your services the higher the amount of mobile browsers you are likely to get. For example, we have clients that get as little as 5% of their traffic from mobile devices and some that get as much as 35% from mobile devices.Regardless you will have to do something eventually either way.

So the next question is what do I do? This is a little tricky. There are three distinct variations of mobile accessible websites. They are mobile versions of websites, responsive websites, and lastly a mobile apps. Let's review each one. First, a mobile version of your site is mostly a replicate of your site with new designs to make it more mobile friendly. The entire site is recreated. A new mobile friendly template is chosen. This template will resemble your current site in theme. Then you either update page by page or recreate content from scratch. Sometimes these systems are developed to be automated and will work behind the scenes. All you have to do is approve the new site. Then when a visitors comes they are redirect to the appropriate website type. This can be a little labor intensive long term because eventually you will updating two separate sites. Second, a responsive website design. This is most likely a whole new website to replace your current website. You might keep themes, content, colors, logo, etc, but it is all up for grabs. The new site will be created in a way that is responsive. Responsive means that the site responds to the device viewing it. So if it is a mega sized monitor or a new smart phone the website changes it's layout. This can include a lot of adjustments by the website. Re-stacking content to be vertical instead of horizontal,resizing images to fit with in the window, moving content to one column instead of two are a few responsive actions your website will take. This is all meant to give you one website to be used across all devices. Lastly, mobile applications are often confused with mobile websites. Mobile applications are applications that are actually installed on your phone. This is the difference between watching a movie on Netflix and installing DVD player software on your computer. Mobile applications have to do something. Something beyond what the website does. So if the mobile application only does what the website does, it is unlikely a good solution for mobile browsing. Besides the extra expense and the download barrier, it is unlikely to be cost effective or easy to update.

Mostly, what is important in this article. Is you should always look for responsive solutions. When designing a new website, make sure it is responsive. If you need to update your website, review responsive options. Also, if you use a mobile version of your site use it sparingly or as stop gap to a responsive solution. But don't forget websites don't last forever just like brochures or business cards they will have to be updated with new marketing, technology, and content eventually. Get more information on responsive sites by contact us about your mobile website needs.

Joe Costantino

Posted by Joe Costantino

About Joe Costantino

In 1999, Joe founded Einstein’s Eyes, providing internet marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. The company’s services include website development, e-commerce, online marketing, and content development.

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