Starting in June, Whittaker Associates went mobile, i.e. our website is now mobile browser friendly. Users who visit our website on their smart-phones will automatically be re-routed to the mobile version of our website.
Since we began using Google Analytics to track the various usage statistics of our company’s website, we noticed hits from mobile devices climbing steadily every month. The chart below shows the traffic to our website from mobile devices since January 2010.
As one can see, there is a general upward trend in hits from mobile devices to the site. In June, mobile devices accounted for about 10 percent of our website traffic. When we redesigned our website in early 2010, there were few hits from mobile devices, which dissuaded us from making any investments in the area. However, within a year, mobile traffic had climbed enough to encourage us to create a mobile version for the site.
According to Nielson, around a third of the U.S. mobile phone users have smart phones. Mobile data usage is up by about 89 percent from a year ago. Additionally, the effective data costs have gone down from around 14 cents per MB of data to approximately 8 cents per MB. All of these trends point toward increasing internet browsing on mobile devices.
Your website, which may be custom-designed for larger screens for laptops and PCs usually handicap a mobile user. Reading and browsing the content becomes extremely difficult. The picture to the right shows the screen shots of what our new mobile browsing page looks like. The new mobile version ensures that the navigation bars and content display in an aesthetically appealing format while allowing users to read the content easily. Additionally, the site adjusts to the orientation of the phone, utilizing the full length of the screen depending on whether the phone is held upright or sideways.
There are numerous options in the market to help make your website mobile friendly. If your current website uses content management systems like WordPress or Joomla, there are free plugins like WPtouch or WP Mobile Detector which can easily make your site user friendly for mobile browsers.
If your site does not have a content management system, you will need to contact your site administrator to find a suitable solution. If you are designing a new website in the near future, it is certainly a good idea to incorporate mobile features from the get go.
As for Whittaker Associates’ website, we used developers in Nepal to create our custom site. Though some of the paid tools available over the internet are fairly powerful, we saw numerous limitations in each of them. Many of the paid versions of these tools had monthly fees where the bills can rack up pretty quickly even though they sound affordable at first. The free versions, on the other hand, offer few customizable features and work better for blogs. For further details, visit this great blog post on 8 Tools For Easily Creating a Mobile Version of Your Website on mashable.com.
If you wish to explore the possibility of creating a custom mobile site, we can get you in touch with developers who can create a custom mobile version site for between $500 to $1,500, depending on the level of work that is required. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.