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What is a Mobile Friendly Website?

It helps to understand what "mobile friendly" means before thinking about how it applies to your website.

Mobile friendly website design

A mobile friendly website is one that has been designed, developed and optimized so that each user, no matter on what device they are using, gets the best experience possible.

common characteristics of a Mobile friendly website

  •   Navigation has been simplified and clearly laid out to make page/post selection easy
  •   Design elements have been compressed, replaced or removed to simplify usage
  •   Content has been laid out to allow for mobile consumption
  •   Phone numbers are setup for click to call functionality
  •   Addresses are setup to use the device's map functionality
  •   Calls to action are setup to work with simple forms or the device's email functionality

common characteristics of a non-mobile friendly website

  •   Viewing the website requires a lot of scrolling (left to right, top to bottom) before any navigation or content is seen
  •   Navigation, calls to action and other content is too small to click on with your finger without hitting multiple options at the same time
  •   Clicking on phone numbers and addresses doesn't do anything
  •   Trying to fill out, or even view, form fields makes you want to pull your hair out.

Here are the three main options for making your website mobile-friendly

  •  Create a mobile application
  •  Create a responsive website
  •  Create a mobile website

Let's go through each of these options, and the qualifying questions surrounding each, to better understand which is best for your business.

Creating a Mobile Application

Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, "app" has made its way into our vocabulary as one of the more well-known words used today. With billions of apps being downloaded since the first iPhone was launched, we have all come to know these mobile programs very well. As a result, when most people think of mobile they think of apps. So, when someone discovers the importance of mobile they immediately think that they need an app for their business. Before jumping to this conclusion, let's breakdown this option.

What is a mobile application?

A mobile application, or "app", is an Internet and/or native application that is used on smartphones to access web content, play games, save information, communicate with others and much more. Native apps, or applications built specifically for certain devices, provide a seamless, smooth, powerful user experience that has contributed to the growth of mobile phone usage over the past 5 years.

Creating a Mobile Website

Mobile websites have actually been around for longer than most of us think. If you can remember the old flip phones you may remember the simple, but ugly WAP websites that were served up. Mobile websites have since come a long way, but the concept remains the same creating a different version of your website specifically for mobile users. Most, if not all, elements are completely stripped out only to leave links and very basic aesthetics. Creating a mobile website for your business can still be a great option, but let's understand what's involved first before making that decision.

What is a mobile website?

A mobile website is one that has been built specifically, and solely, for a mobile browser. Mobile websites are usually very simple in design with nothing more than basic colors, links and simple content pieces. Most mobile websites use a different URL than the main website something like http://m.website.com, http://www.website.mobi or http://www.website.com/m.

Creating a Responsive Website

Onto our favorite, and recommended, option to mobilize your website. If investing tens of thousands of dollars to properly build a mobile application or using a workaround, in a mobile website, is not something you're interested in, then going with a responsive website is your best option.

What is a responsive website?

A responsive website is one that uses fluid, flexible layouts that adapt to the screen that the website is being displayed on. This is accomplished by using CSS media queries and using layouts that respond to the screen size and orientation of the device being used. Responsive websites display the best layout based on the device being used, thus making it a fantastic option for ensuring the mobility of your website.

Now you know the best options and you can choose one for Yourself. If you still don't know what's the best solution for you, then let our experts decide what suits you the best.