With the rise of mobile devices, it won’t be long before the majority of internet searches will be done from mobile devices. So this means more of the traffic to your website is going to be from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. That means it’s important to have a site that functions well on these devices.
There are three main approaches to mobile website design. Which approach you take depends largely on the type of site you have, how much content you have, and how big your budget is.
1. Same Website for Mobile and Desktop
This is probably the most common approach at this time, but that will change as mobile web browsing becomes more prominent. Most websites today are the same site whether you’re on a mobile device or a desktop computer. If you don’t have a lot of content on your website, this may be ok as long as the necessary information your visitors are looking for can be found easily. However, if you want your visitors to stay on your site and be engaged, it can be difficult to navigate on a small screen.
2. Separate Mobile Website
This is where your visitors get automatically redirected to a mobile version of your website if they are visiting on a mobile device. Normally you would create a one column layout, with easy to use navigation so that visitors can read your content and move from page to page very easily. This is the most common and affordable mobile web design format.
3. Responsive Web Design
Responsive website design is a rising trend in the design world and it can be very effective. The idea is to create a layout that automatically adjusts to the screen size of the device you are viewing from. The upside is that users view the same site no matter what device they are using, without being redirected to a mobile version. The down side is that it’s time consuming to develop a responsive web design layout so therefore it’s expensive. Another challenge is that banner ads often get pushed to the bottom of the screen if they are in the sidebar of the page, so if you’re monetizing your site through ads, it may not be for you.
No matter which approach you take to mobile web design, I highly suggest that you make sure your site not only looks good on mobile devices, but that it’s easy to navigate, and users can find what they are looking for easily.