Many small business website owners realize their customers are increasingly using mobile devices, such as smart phones and media tablets, to access the Internet. Mobile usage goes beyond simply view websites; many mobile users rely on their devices to conduct business, such as buying products and paying bills.
A website that offers a slow and hard-to-use interface will quickly be abandoned by these mobile users. They will turn to websites that better meet their needs.
Options for budget-friendly mobile sites
Naturally, many small business owners can’t afford to turn mobile device users away, yet they also need to determine how to create a mobile site on a budget. Different types websites will benefit from different strategies when creating mobile sites that are cost-effective.
Website owners with WordPress sites and some technical expertise can look for low or no cost plugins to create mobilized websites. Typically, the plugins use a configurable mobile theme to simplify the website’s content. When the plugin is activated, the WordPress site detects that a mobile user is visiting the website, and displays content using the wordpress mobile theme. This option can work well for less complex sites.
Traditional website owners who are planning to redo their sites might consider using responsive design techniques. With responsive design, the website will detect the device being used, and will display content to fit that site’s constraints. The website does not need to have duplicate mobile versions of its site, which can simplify maintenance.
If you have a large complex traditional website, it may make the most sense for you to have a special mobile site created. The traditional site can have code added to it that detects when a mobile device is accessing the site, and redirect those users to the mobile site. Although this option will not be as budget-friendly as the first two, in some cases, it may be the best option in the long-term.
Understanding The Website’s Users
A good understanding of the website’s users, and the devices they use to access the site, can help the website owner make cost-effective decisions. For example, if 95% of the mobile visitors use a particular operating system (OS), it makes sense to ensure that the mobile site displays well on that OS, while devoting fewer resources for OS’s that are seldom used.
Rather than focusing entirely on reducing costs, a website owner might want to consider generating revenue to defray their mobile website costs.
Owners who choose to include ads in their sites will want to be careful that the ads don’t cause the site to load unacceptably slowly, and don’t annoy potential customers.