There are a couple of key reasons why a mobile site is important to have:
1. Google will love you for it! If Google is happy with you, they’re more likely to put you front and centre for important keywords.
2. It’s a WAY better user experience and visitors to your site are far more likely to contact you or make a purchase.
Not all mobile websites are created equal.
There are actually different types of mobile optimised sites which we’ll explore in this blog post. The first type is a little old school but still does the job. We’ll refer to this as an ‘M-dot’ site. An M-dot site has a URL like this m.archerthefox.com. Essentially what this does is create two versions of your website, 1 that looks good on your desktop or laptop, the other looks good on your iPad or iPhone. The second type is what we’ll call ‘Mobile Responsive’. Mobile Responsive sites will actually shift and change their shape dynamically depending on the size of the screen. Pretty cool huh! So which one do you choose? Which one is better?
Essentially the way an M-Dot site works is that it detects the type of browser the user is accessing the website on and shows the m.website.com version for mobile devices. Here’s an example of an M-Dot site in action:
Here’s the downside… As you can see, the M-Dot site looks very similar on both iPad and iPhone. When you’re using an iPad it’s actually quite easy to navigate a full sized, normal desktop website.
There’s really no need to have a phone version of the website appearing on an iPad or tablet.
The second issue is that the M-Dot site doesn’t have all of the same content as the desktop version. You can see at the bottom of the screen shot above that there is an option to ‘Continue to full site’. This is great but we’re now back in the same situation as before where the website is not very user friendly on mobile devices.
- The user has to pinch and drag to zoom in
- Clicking small menu items and buttons can be difficult (read impossible)
- The user is forced to choose between the easy to navigate site with only half the content, or the hard to navigate site with the information they require.
So why even bother with M-Dot???
It can be done well! Some web developers prefer to do it this way and can specify what content to show and remove depending on the size of the screen etc. If you’re considering an M-Dot site or your web developer is recommending one, be sure to ask about the concerns outlined above and how they plan to tackle them.
Mobile Responsive Websites
Mobile responsive sites are actually pretty cool! They will dynamically move the content on your website depending on the size of the screen. Check it out in action below:
There a couple of benefits to having a Mobile Responsive Site.
- All your websites content will be available no matter the screen size.
- An easy click to call button can be made available on smaller screens
- It’s just one website! No duplicate content, no need to manage 2 different sites. Easy.
- No need to update and change your website when new screen sizes become available.
In case you didn’t notice we’re fans of the responsive site. It seems like a no-brainer to make life easier!
You can easily check whether your site is mobile responsive by opening it up on your desktop and changing the size of your screen. If all your content moves to the center and realigns to the size of your screen, it’s responsive. If you think you may have an M-Dot site, simply put ‘m.’ at the start of your URL and see if that brings up a website. For example m.yourwebsite.com.
If you have more questions about mobile websites feel free to reach out to us!