Now that we know a little bit about what is important in a great mobile website, let’s talk about the different mobilization options out there.
The 5 Standard Methods Of Website Mobilization:
There are five basic options for creating a mobile website, each method including its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
1. Mobile Friendly:
We’re including this because it is relevant, however, it is not strictly a mobile website design, rather it embraces its namesake and is simply a web site light enough to be easily accessed by mobile devices.
This would be a great option for someone who would like to reach mobile users without necessarily having to cater to them exclusively like a media, retail, or social media website would.
Responsive web design is very popular and sometimes referred to as “fluid” or “liquid” as its characterizing feature is its ability to conform to the dimensional structure of the device it is accessed from.
Responsive, or fluid, designs are able to resize images and content modules to fit the specific physical dimensions of the mobile device.
In many ways very similar to Responsive design, Adaptive web design will rearrange page content to fit various mobile screen sizes.
The main difference between Responsive and Adaptive web design is that Adaptive is not fluid, but rather reorganizes content in a standard column model according to predefined screen sizes.
4. Dynamic Serving:
Dynamic web design uses the same URL of your standard website but is able to display different sets of HTTP and CSS according to the device it is accessed by.
What that means is that businesses are able to present different content to mobile users than desktop users, all on one URL.
This feature can be beneficial to specific types of businesses, such as a restaurant that would benefit more from showing a mobile user a brief overview of what they offer, and where to find them, rather than a full website.
5. Parallel URL:
This option creates a second URL that is parallel and linked to your standard website.
Visitors accessing the website from a mobile device will be instantly redirected to the mobile version that is formatted to their screens.
What option is best for you will depend on the type of website you are running, your budget, and the level of which you need to be available to the mobile community
A quick bonus shout-out to the Native option.
Native mobile websites are essentially apps designed specifically for mobile devices and are an entirely separate entity from your website.
An app consists of different programs and codes and follows a user experience that is designed independently of the website.
This option is not for everyone, as it requires more knowledge and planning to execute successfully. However, apps are increasingly popular and can be very useful depending on your type or business.
The key to the success of any one of the aforementioned options is that they work properly.
Despite seeming obvious, it is vital to ensure that all of your links and buttons are functional, that your redirect (should you have one) sends visitors where you intended, and that the result is easy to navigate and quick to load.
Fortunately for you, there are several helpful tools that help determine if your website is operating as expected, such as mobile emulators that allow you to view your website across a variety of mobile screens, in addition to tools such as Screaming Frog that are designed to confirm your redirects, as well as tools to test the responsiveness of your website.
And let us not forget Google’s PageSpeed Insights (or PSI), a tool that runs diagnosis on both your desktop and mobile interfaces, providing valuable insights on performance and how to further optimize your time.