One of the most exciting developments on the Internet is ‘The Mobile Web’ (mobile website).  Businesses are having to quickly understand  the move away from Desktop / Laptop computing to  the increasing use of ‘Smart phones’ and how to react to this fundamental change in the way people seek information online.  Business owners now need to review whether their present website is mobile compatible if they want to take the advantage of this growing technology trend.

Here are a few of the issues you need to consider if you want to create a mobile friendly website for your business:

Different Screen Resolutions

What size screen should your website designers optimise the website for?   The answer to this really depends on which mobile phone your main target market is using:-

  1. Feature phones – these tend to have smaller screens, generally screen size is around 176 x 220 pixels. At the time of writing this post feature phones are the most popular mobile devices for accessing the Internet.
  2. Smart phones have a larger screen size, typically 480x 320. Smart phones are the fastest growing segment of the mobile phone market and these will likely overtake feature phones in the near future.

If you are targeting a mixed market, or you are unsure what type of phone your customers and targets are using (smart phone users and feature phone users) we recommend a maximum resolution size of 200 x 250 pixels.

Do I use Text or graphics?

The smallest mobile handset screen resolution on the market at the moment 128 x 160 pixels and these work best with text only websites.  However, the latest mobile handsets being released have larger screen sizes and this trend is likely to continue.  Having more graphics on your mobile website works better on these newer medium and large screen sizes, but remember that the graphics will need to be compressed and optimised for them.  Graphics should be small in size otherwise they will take too long to load and your visitors to your mobile website will leave and look elsewhere.

Do I need a Separate Domain?

Short answer is no – it is a myth that mobile websites should be on a top-level domain (.mobi).  It is both practical and possible to have a mobile website as a sub domain of your main website.  Websites are able to automatically detect what platform a visitor is accessing the site through and redirect them as appropriate.  What this means is that if a user browses to your normal website via their mobile browser, they will be automatically redirected to your mobile friendly website.

Keep it Simple

A mobile phone, by definition, is an “on the move” business tool which allows users to quickly look up information on the mobile web.  We recommend that you keep the menu structure of your mobile website simple and easy to navigate.  Allow users to reach the content they are looking for in as few steps as possible – ideally all pages should be accessible in just one click from any other page.

What Does The Future Hold?

More and more people and businesses are starting to realise and harness the power of the mobile web.  People, especially business people, are upgrading their existing mobile phones for smart phones at an ever increasing rate.  By the end of 2010, most major companies will have mobile compatible websites. Within the next 2 years, businesses of all sizes will need to have mobile versions of their website if they don’t want to miss out.

If you would like more information on Internet Marketing trends please visit WSIIMS – WSI Digital Marketing for Businesses in Surrey, Sussex & the South East of England

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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