I look at a lot of websites. A LOT of websites.
It occurred to me that if your website was built more than about two years ago, you probably need to rebuild it, or at least re-theme it.
Why is that?
The web standards changed and most modern browsers now support HTML5 or the fifth generation of hypertext markup language (the code that makes up websites).
With CSS3 (the third generation of cascading stylesheets) in combination with HTML5, there are SO many cool things you can do now.
No I’m not going to delve into all that.
The point here is that if you haven’t re-themed/redesigned your website in the last couple years or three, you’re no longer compliant with current standards.
So what’s the big deal?
Your website probably isn’t mobile-aware.
3 Ways to Make Your Website Mobile-Aware
There are three ways that your website might be mobile-aware:
1) Mobile-redirect – It senses that you’re on a mobile device (smart phone or tablet) and redirects you to a mobile version of the website.
Typically this will have a different web address. Go to the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group website on a mobile device for instance, and you’ll be redirected to the mobile version at m.innovationtrivalley.org.
The problem with this? You have to maintain two different versions of your website! One is the “regular” version, the other is a mobile version.
2) Mobile-display – This displays different content than what’s on the non-mobile version.
Go to Casa Orozco’s website on a mobile device, and you’ll see that there’s a different version of the content than what you would see on a desktop browser.
It’s more complicated to maintain, but at least there isn’t a completely separate domain.
3) Mobile-aware – Now with current HTML5/CSS3 standards, the website re-flows the content based upon the device resolution.
This is the best solution because you only have to maintain one version of the content. An example is the Bay Area Search Engine Academy website, which flows the content around.
How Can You Tell?
There’s a great tool available to test your website on different devices called Screenfly. Enter your web address, and choose the device from the menu.
It’ll show you what your website looks like on that specific device.
Another way is to pull up the website on your browser, then resize and shrink your browser to fit a smaller screen resolution.
Why is This Important?
There are several reasons why you should consider having your site be set up as mobile-aware:
- Google is rewarding sites that are mobile-aware.
- The number of mobile devices on the planet exceeded the number of human beings in December 2013. People are looking at your website with a mobile device whether you know it or not.
- You can tailor the content to fit the device. Do your mobile visitors want different information than non-mobile?
As an example, the Casa Orozco restaurant website for instance has a mobile site, but they’ve done a bad job.
You can’t find the phone number anywhere. Really?
The assumption is that if I’m on a mobile device (like walking around downtown), I probably want to call them on my mobile device to set up a reservation.
They blew it and ignored the basic reason for having a mobile site.
There are many options for building a fully mobile-aware website. If you use WordPress, StudioPress has some terrific themes for under $100 that are mobile-aware.
All you have to do is install the new theme, and you’re off and running.
Your customers will thank you, and Google will reward you.
Photo by GoodNCrazy
- Why You Better Make Sure Your Local Business Is On Mobile Devices (INFOGRAPHIC) (baybusinesshelp.com)