The Mobile Internet: Make sure your web site travels well

Mobile Internet

In the last three years we have seen a vast array of hand-held gadgets appear which support quick and easy Internet access for people on the go. From iPhones to iPads and Blackberry’s to Droids, the number of people carrying the Internet in their pocket has grown exponentially. Even new cars are coming with dashboard screens and devices for accessing the Internet.

If your business has not looked into making sure your web site is accessible by mobile devices, now is the time.

The chances are good that when your web site was built, little thought was put into how it might appear on a smaller screen, or what features might not work on mobile devices. Portable devices don’t always support the latest and greatest web site bells and whistles, so if your web site relies upon any of these to work, you may be losing out on a growing number of potential clients.

Back to basics

Did you know that none of Apple’s mobile devices will show anything made with Adobe’s Flash technology? That includes Flash-based videos, animated intros on your home page, or Flash-based navigation menus. Apple and Adobe have had a heated debate in recent months over this subject, and Apple doesn’t seem to be budging on their stance of not supporting Flash on their devices. Considering Apple’s large mobile device marketshare with iPhones and iPads, this is not something to overlook.

Many other technologies, such as certain Javascript-based effects, audio, and new windows popping open will also not work on certain mobile devices. That is why it is important to give your site a run-through on as many of these gadgets as you can.

Imagine that a potential client is in their car or sitting in a coffee shop, deciding they want to call your business and inquire about your services. They reach for their iPhone to look up your phone number, but are unable to find it on your web site because it is part of a Flash-based header at the top of your page. Potential client lost.

What can you do?

At the very least, you should have your web site reworked to not have important content hidden behind technologies which may deter mobile devices. If your web site is built upon a Content Management System (CMS) solution such as WordPress or ExpressionEngine, remedying the situation is much simpler. These systems will support the addition of layouts and themes which are built specifically for mobile devices and the content will be optimized to display on them.

Example:

Merrily Orsini’s web site on a desktop web browser and on an iPhone:

Mobile Internet

 

This picture shows the exact same web site being displayed in two different ways, and the content is rendered in a more accessible format for the iPhone. This was done by using a free, easy-to-install plugin for WordPress called WPTouch iPhone Theme. There are other mobile-friendly themes for many of the popular CMS’s out there, and they are all designed to help your web site show up correctly on a variety of screens and devices.

Supporting multiple themes (desktop and mobile) is a great way to make sure everyone who visits your site can find what they are looking for, and to ensure that they don’t miss anything.

If you have looked at your web site and realized it is not mobile-friendly but are confused about what to do – never fear! corecubed is here to help you. Just let us know!