How to Avoid the Mobile Website Mistake

mobile website - responsive designThere’s no denying it, your best prospects are researching their next purchases using their phones and other mobile devices (e.g. tablets) more and more than with their desktop computers. Whether looking for a nearby restaurant, gas station or ATM or deciding what features they need on their next grill or bicycle, your prospects are more likely to wipe out their portable device while sitting in their car, walking down the sidewalk and standing in the aisle in front of a similar product.

But what do they see when they visit your website on their portable devices? If you’re like most website owners, they see little itsy-bitsy text and difficult to tap links. In some instances, menus and other dynamic action elements won’t even function, leaving no way for your prospects to drill into your website to find what they want to buy. In short, they don’t see what they can work with and move on to your competitors’ websites.

There are two primary approaches to dealing with this. 

Build a separate version of your website

Building a second version of your website just for mobile visitors has been around for a while and people are still investing in it even though it’s the equivelant to opening a second floor on your brick and mortar store just for near-sighted people. Sometimes people will go so far as to build a mobile app that people can install on their phone. Both are more often than not, simply silly ways to approach this situation because of the need for ongoing maintenance and the expense.

Use responsive design

The smarter and less expensive approach is to develop or update your website using responsive design. This is a site design method based on enabling the site to detect and format the same content more effectively on smaller devices than it does on large-screen desktop devices. The beauty of responsive design is that everyone, regardless of what device they use to access your website, see the same content and options (examples).

So you have choices, to build and maintain two separate websites trying to keep them both up-to-date with your content changes and changes in the devices visitors use or to build and maintain one website using a framework that simply caters to your visitors’ devices.

Check with your web developer about how easy and inexpensive it is to update your site with a responsive web design approach. Then rest well knowing that once you’ve updated your website specials and information, you’ve updated it for all visitors.