When developing a new website, mobile users are no longer a secondary consideration. One report suggests that the number of mobile shoppers will double by 2014, and that mobile payments will top $730 billion globally by 2017. Although your existing site may display on a smartphone, the small screen size will mean the text is too small to read easily, frustrating users and encouraging them to look elsewhere.
Developing a mobile website offers companies two choices – a stripped down, mobile version of their existing site, or a complete redesign to create a “responsive” version that serves a variety of screen sizes.
Choosing a separate mobile site means that you can exercise very fine control over what is displayed on each mobile device depending on the screen resolution. Choosing this approach, however, means duplicating work further down the line when updating core content or artwork – once on the full website, and again on the mobile equivalent.
Responsive sites use some clever device detection techniques to figure out the screen resolution being used by the browser, before adjusting site content to fit. In this way, the same site and content can be displayed on a 4” iPhone screen, a full desktop PC and everything in between. This also reduces the administrative burden on your team as they manage the website because each task need only be completed once.