When mobile internet browsing first came on the scene web designers and developers would build a separate mobile website. The mobile versions generally live on a subdomain (m.website.com) or in a sub folder (website.com/mobile). Generally, a mobile site will include individual parameters to fit most of the mobile platforms including Android, iPhone and Blackberry.
Mobile computing has been a hot topic for the last few years. With the release of tablet computing devices, like the iPad and Kindle, there has been a significant rise in traffic from mobile users. The image below from eMarketer shows the significant growth in mobile usage from 2011 to 2012. Clearly mobile is an increasingly important web platform and your website needs to be easily viewed and navigated on a mobile device. So why does Google say don’t waste money on a separate mobile website? Because there is a much better, simpler, more cost effective option than creating a mobile website.
If a website doesn’t have a mobile version a user will be directed to the main website. Smartphones view the website at the same resolution as a desktop computer, so the user will see a miniature, zoomed out version of the website and have to zoom in to read content and use navigation.
Tablet computers can generally view both traditional websites and mobile versions. However, a number of companies are now requiring the user to download an app to visit their mobile website. In some cases a tablet user can’t even bypass the mobile version to view the traditional website. Most people don’t want to download an app to view a website. This is a huge useability roadblock.
Creating separate mobile websites is also not ideal for webmasters and site owners. Maintaining two separate sites, updating content and software parameters for all platforms and the various screen resolutions takes time and energy. There are also SEO concerns with two versions of a website, the mobile and traditional. Your webmaster will need to properly implement redirects to avoid duplicate content issues.
Luckily, we offer a better alternative here at Advice Media. We have technology that consolidates the mobile site and website into one, providing a single website that works across all platforms. Our technology automatically senses what platform your visitor is using and adjusts the content delivery to that format. Known in some circles as mobile responsive websites or liquid layout websites, our technology allows us to deliver a platform that works on desktops and mobile devices at a lower upfront cost and a lower ongoing operating cost than anything else on the market. There is no need for separate mobile website design, layout and management. You don’t have to worry about your site working on the latest Android platform or newest iPhone. Our technology uses a liquid layout that adjusts to fit any device, any screen size on any platform.
Advice Media’s mobile responsive platform stacks and prioritizes content as the screen gets smaller. The most useful information to the device user is put at the top of the page and any features that aren’t required for mobile browsing are removed. All of this is controlled by the backend code of the site and can be adjusted to fit your individual needs.
Google uses similar technology to Advice Media’s and recommends it over a separate mobile website. In a recent blog post on the official Google Webmaster’s Blog, Google talked about the benefits of mobile responsive design and why they decided to abandon separate mobile sites.
Advice Media is leading the way in mobile responsive websites for plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry and other businesses. While most of our competitors are pushing separate mobile sites, we are building sites with responsive design and liquid layouts that don’t require any additional design or development costs to reach the full array of web browsers. Contact us for a demonstration and to learn how our solution will save you money.