More people than ever are choosing to browse the web from mobile devices. If you ever browse the internet from a phone or tablet, you have likely felt the annoyance of visiting a website that has not been optimized for mobile viewing. The text is often too small, the page doesn’t fit on the screen, and links are usually small enough that you have to zoom in to click. These sites are more cumbersome to use than sites that have been optimized for mobile viewing.
You don’t want people thinking your site is hard to use. After all the time and effort you spent to make it look good on the desktop, you should make sure that it looks good no matter what device you view it on.
When you are getting ready to make your site mobile friendly, remember that your website should fit the needs of the users. For instance, if your research shows that mobile users visit a certain section or page on your website, you could consider making that easily accessible from the front page on your mobile site. You will need to find a balance between making the site feel like the original desktop site, and functionality on smaller screens.
Here are the three main approaches when designing a mobile site:
Responsive Web Design (RWD)
Responsive web design is a design technique that essentially resizes the content automatically depending on the device the user is viewing from. RWD is great for keeping the content consistent and makes SEO easier. The downside of this technique is that it can be expensive to implement and requires extensive planning before building.
This method detects the type of device the visitor is using and presents a custom page designed for that site. This design is nice because it is makes loading faster and can provide a custom experience for the users. However, because there are multiple custom pages, this means that there can be multiple sets of content making it difficult to keep everything up-to-date.
A Separate Mobile Site
This is when the server detects mobile users and redirects them to a separate mobile site. Separate mobile sites are often good for small businesses that don’t have complex website needs. It is easier to setup and manage. It also shares many of the drawbacks that Dynamic Serving has.
Checking your site for mobile compatibility is easier than ever. Google provides a service which checks your site for mobile compatibility. http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Paste in your URL and see how your site is doing.