While most websites look fine on a modern mobile device, they can also be more difficult to use. Mobile screens are much smaller than desktops or iPads which means viewers must do lots of zooming and scrolling to navigate the website.
Mobile websites are optimized for smaller screens and serve up a much more lightweight experience to the viewer. A well-designed mobile website will typically show a nice, clean navigation menu and will only display the most important information. It will often leave out much of the design and focus mostly on text content. This makes it much easier to navigate on a mobile device and improves usability for the viewer.
Typically, the website will automatically detect the device being used by the viewer and will serve up the correct version. If someone views your website from a normal computer or an iPad, the standard version will be displayed. If someone views your website on a mobile device, the mobile version will automatically be displayed.
A mobile website is almost always going to make sense as a practical first step in your mobile outreach strategy. This is because a mobile website has a number of inherent advantages, including broader accessibility, compatibility and cost-effectiveness.
- Shareability – Mobile Websites Can be Shared Easily by Publishers, and Between Users
Mobile website URLs are easily shared between users via a simple link (e.g. within an email or text message, Facebook or Twitter post). Publishers can easily direct users to a mobile website from a blog or website, or even in print.
- Reach – Mobile Websites Have Broader Reach
Because a mobile website is accessible across platforms and can be easily shared among users, as well as search engines, it has far greater reach capability.
- LifeCycle – Mobile Websites Can’t be Deleted
The average shelf-life of an app is pretty short, less than 30 days according to some research, so unless your app is something truly unique and/or useful (ideally, both), it’s questionable how long it will last on a user’s device. Mobile websites on the other hand are always available for users to return to them.
- Time and Cost – Mobile Websites are Easier and Less Expensive
Last but certainly not least, mobile website development is considerably more time and cost-effective, especially if you need to have a presence on different platforms (requiring development of multiple apps).
- Support and Sustainability
The investment considerations of a mobile website is more much less expensive and involved than supporting a regular website over time.