Building A Web Site for Mobile Devices is Different Than a Traditional One

Building web sites is pretty easy for most small businesses – you can do it yourself through a software program or an online service or hire someone to do it for you.
Domain name registrar gives several tips and advice on how to create a web site for mobile users, especially when using top-level-domain in your web site web sites are specifically designed for mobile content.
The tips are:
1. Trying to fit all of the content from your regular Web site into the mobile version of the site: Campbell notes, “This is a common issue. Web site owners don’t see how they can fit all of their content into a small mobile browser — and the answer is that they shouldn’t. Mobile Web users aren’t looking for pages full of content, they are looking for quickly accessed and easily digestible pieces of information that are useful to them on the go.”
2. Determining what information is important to the mobile Web surfer: “A
person surfing the mobile Web is usually interested in a company’s
most basic information. They want contact information, address,
directions and a summary of the services they provide,” says Campbell.
“For instance, on the mobile version of a restaurant’s Web site, it
doesn’t make sense to have a bunch of content on the historical
significance of the building that the restaurant is located in. Users
on the go want to see a phone number, address, link to a map, and a
menu — that’s it.”
3. Understanding how Web site navigation is different on a mobile device
and the importance of keeping it simple: Fancy navigation on a mobile
Web site is not only a bad idea, it actually can inhibit use.
Campbell says that navigation should be kept as simple as possible and
link to specific information with the fewest amount of clicks as
possible. “Many times, the best use of a homepage on a mobile site is
a simple list of links. Visitors to a mobile site are looking for
specific information and hoping to find it quickly and easily.”
4. Understanding what is involved in taking credit card orders over a
mobile Web site: Taking e-commerce credit card orders on a phone is
not a problem, but it is important to understand that a separate
mobile payment processor is necessary.
5. Knowing when and when not to include images on a mobile Web site, how
to optimize those images that are included, and why this is so
important: The most important point to keep in mind is that huge
images are not going to display correctly on a mobile site. “The
dimensional size of images is important — but it is even more key to
ensure that all images are optimized so that they have a very small
file size. This is critical to making your Web site one that will
download and display quickly. It will also make sure that your visitor
doesn’t end up with a huge phone bill because they transferred too
much data trying to download your Web page. If this happens, that
visitor will certainly not come back to your mobile site.”
6. Understanding mobile Web site link coding and how it is different from
a regular Web site — i.e. “hot keys”: Campbell stresses that coding
your mobile Web site for ease of use is very important. “Hot Key” link
coding is essential technology to use. This is a way to code the pages
so that the numbers on the phone correspond to links on the page and
activate them. “This makes navigation much easier for the Web surfer
and improves the odds that they will return to the site since getting
around is intuitive and simple to handle. Phone numbers can be coded
so that when clicked, they automatically have the cell phone dial that
number. Since many mobile site visitors are looking for contact
information, the phone number link will most likely be the most used
feature on the site.”
7. Knowing why it’s extremely important that all Web site code is
perfect: “Mobile Web site browsers are not as forgiving as Internet
Explorer or Firefox,” Campbell notes. “It is extremely important that
the code for a mobile Web site be exactly perfect so that it is able
to resolve to the mobile browser without errors.”
8. How to know when you’ve got it right — There are many
tools available to determine how ready your current site is for mobile
use and also to determine if a site you are working on is going to
work correctly. and are two examples of this. MyDomain
has its own branded version of this tool, available at
9. Perceived difficulty understanding and managing the code and content
on a mobile site: There’s nothing fancy or new about managing the code
and content on a mobile Web site. It works exactly the same way that a
regular site does. The difference is only that it needs to be simple,
optimized for small file sizes, and coded perfectly — with no errors.
Obviously, it also needs to be laid out so that all of the content
fits into a small mobile devices window.
10. Determining the proper functionality to include on a mobile site:
Campbell says, “Many of the tools and items that are found on regular
Web sites will work perfectly on a mobile site. Forums, blogs, polls
and forms, for instance, work great on a mobile site. However, flash
video, dropdown navigation windows, and heavy file sizes will not. It
is important to keep a mobile site simple and easy to use. While
flashy aspects can make a regular Web site artistic and fun, it will
make your mobile Web site difficult to download and can make the user
experience frustrating.”

One thought on “Building A Web Site for Mobile Devices is Different Than a Traditional One

  1. Anita Campbell

    This is good advice. Mobile surfing is becoming way more important, especially with the wild popularity of services such as Twitter, that people access via mobile devices. I’ve noticed Twitter messages frequently contain links to Web pages.
    — Anita

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