We do mobile optimised websites.

22nd March 2011

We’ve recently been seeing an increase in enquires around optimised an existing website to run on mobile devices and we thought we’d share a little info on mobile optimised websites, what it means and the benefits having a mobile optimised website can bring.

A mobile optimised website is a website that has been designed to run on a small screen device such as an iPhone, Android smartphone or Blackberry utilising touch based gestures, and can overcome certain key features that Apps can’t.

We’ve outlined some pro’s and con’s below which should be taken into consideration when thinking about a mobile optimsied web site.

Pro: Minimal resources required
Mobile sites will be quicker to implement compared to building an app with a unique look and feel. In most cases, you should be able to reuse large parts of your existing website infrastructure and focus on changing the website’s look and feel so that it fits a smaller screen.

Pro: Accessible to all
If a potential customer or user is not heavily invested in your brand, chances are slim that they will be willing to download an App. But a mobile site is accessible on any device with a mobile browser, including non-smartphones, as most of these have some form of WAP-browsing. Though WAP is fast becoming a long forgotten technology it’s still worth considering depending on your target audience you’re trying to reach.

Pro: Cost effective
Building a mobile optimised website is resourceful can be achieved within the tightest of budgets. It’s more cost effective initially and the ongoing costs are minimal as it does not require multiple platforms to be updated which can be costly.

Pro: Seamless syncing with your website
As a mobile version can be a small screen version of your main website, the information presented can be seamlessly integrated with your current website database. This provides a much cleaner data path and makes it easy to maintain your information from a single point.

Con: Limited functionality
Even though all smartphones have browsers, most of them are very simplistic and cannot handle the same complexity and dynamic behaviour as browsers on a PC. Flash is especially an issue, as hardly any of the smartphone browsers support it. You may not be able to use any of the phones other features such as GPS, depending on the phones capabilities. It also means the user must have network coverage to continue to use your website. If the connection drops for any reason you could potentially lose your audience.

Con: Customer satisfaction
A mobile optimised site may not have the same appeal for your target audience who might expect a greater interaction or immersion with your brand.

Our conclusion…

A sensible approach is to determine the requirements and objectives of the project before deciding the best route to take.

It may be apparent that neither option provides the perfect solution for reaching your target audience, whether it’s functionality limitations or budget restrictions. However unless there is sufficient customer demand, in many circumstances an optimised mobile website will offer you the best ROI.

However, the functionality and creativity which can be achieved within an App is revolutionising the user experience and will continue to to do so, in ever more engaging ways.

At 3Squared we’re passionate about mobile applications and the web and we believe their exists a space for both of them in the consumers life. We can provide a single digital strategy which encompasses both online services and mobile application services ensuring your business get’s the best exposure across all platforms. If you’d like to chat to someone about this article or to understand how 3Squared could help your business then call us now on +44 (0) 114 278 0775.