Important Distinctions Between Mobile and Full-Size Websites!

An ongoing debate since the inception of mobile websites for smart phone viewing is whether or not to actually create one; and what may be good for one company may not work so well for another. So it is important to understand the differences between the two types and the pros and cons of each one. Mobile websites have their own sets of rules just as full-size versions do and all of this must be considered before deciding if it sounds like a worthwhile endeavor.

Differences

The most obvious point of difference of full-sized versus mobile is that the latter is built on a smaller optimized layout, making the entire presentation very streamlined and uncluttered. Most are very simple, done in the same colors as the main one and designed to be as complimentary as possible. It is the amount of content that is served on a mobile website that is most different. Typically, this smaller version may contain a company logo and name, a simple menu, and little else. There just isn’t enough room for much more without causing a great deal of scrolling or text and links may appear too small, which is why it is kept so minimal. Many mobile sites include a link to the main website for those still preferring that option; other than that everything is somewhat abbreviated. Only basic needs and functions are located on apps designed for smart phones.

Pros and Cons

Content is one of the big differences between the two design types and this is where things get heated between supporters and non-supporters. The concern is that these miniature websites do not represent the full version well enough and viewers miss out on many things. Conversely, those who commend the use of mobile versions feel that all that is needed on this type of device is the main, most valuable information. Yet another issue stems from internet crawlers and browsers and their ability to see mobile websites in order to direct inquiries to them rather than the main internet location of a company. Of course, there are ways to ensure that browsers continue to see a mobile website so traffic that is identified as coming from one of these devices is sent directly there; however, it is time-consuming and tedious.

Over 25 percent of those who access the internet do so only on smart phones. On the one hand, being able to easily view a site that is optimized for a tiny screen is convenient and easier without having to spread the screen to enlarge the view. On the other hand, if significantly less information is contained, the rest of the main version’s content accessed via a cell phone is missing all the time.

Pro-mobile supporters continue to back the idea that smaller, leaner and simpler is enough; there is another train of thought that could be an answer when not wanting to miss out on the convenience of offering a website for smart phones. Considering that any internet design should be as minimal and clean as possible, a full size internet location can be designed to actually display well on a cell phone app also. It would involve redesigning the existing website; however, the end result would achieve a mobile device presence and allow all information to be useable on both mobile and full-sized devices – and make it well worth the money spent. The real question is whether or not such a simple, pared-own internet presence is enough for desktop use, where visitors are used to having full capabilities.

Ultimately, it largely remains a preference that should be based on knowing how much traffic a company actually does get from a mobile site and whether or not presenting limited information could negatively affect conversion numbers. Understanding these facts will allow for the best business decision to be reached!

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