When it comes to websites, small is in. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, most people spend more time cruising the Internet on their phones than they do making calls. Companies are responding by creating mobile versions of their websites, making it easy to check your credit card balance, order dinner or book a vacation from your phone.
So, should your business create a mobile site? If so, what should the site include and, more importantly, how much will it cost? Read on for our crash course on all things mobile.
Do I need a mobile website?
That depends on your company and your customers. Many mobile sites are product-driven, so creating a mobile site is often a higher priority for B-to-C companies than B-to-B ones, which typically don’t sell their products online. Even if you’re B-to-B, though, think about how your customers interact with your business and your regular website. Do you have multiple locations that clients check when they’re on the go? Do you have a blog that customers want to read during their train commute? If so, a mobile site might be a smart investment for you.
What should I include on the site?
Repeat after me: Less is more. Since your customers will be viewing the site on a screen the size of a business card, you want to keep the navigation simple and the text short. When we created a mobile site for Great Kitchens, for example, we stuck to the basics, delivering key info about the company’s products and location and briefly highlighting what makes Great Kitchens stand out from the pack.
How do I create a mobile site?
At The Simons Group, we approach creating a mobile site in one of two ways:
- We create a mobile version of your main site that will scale to the right size when you pull it up on a phone or other mobile device. This method works best for smaller sites, since everything has to be readable on a pint-sized screen. Companies that go this route should think about creating condensed main sites that feature only the most pertinent information about their businesses.
- We create a separate mobile site with different navigation and information than your main site. If your main site has a lot of navigation buttons or a lot of text on each page, this is a good option.
How much is all this going to cost me?
If you already have a regular site, you’re well on your way to a mobile one. If you scale your current site for mobile devices, the price tag is relatively small compared with the investment you put into creating your main site. Creating a mobile site from scratch is more expensive, since you have to produce a new site map and text. It’s still likely to cost less than creating your main site, though, since your mobile site is typically smaller and you already have text from your main site that you can tailor for the mobile version.
You also won’t have to pay twice for hosting, since you can host your mobile site as a subdirectory of your main site (e.g., mobile.thesimonsgroup.com). As for updates, if you maintain separate mobile and regular sites, you’ll need to make changes in two places if you have changes to your company information. If your regular and mobile sites are CMS-based, though, you can handle changes yourself without shelling out a dime.
Have more questions about mobile sites? Let us know in the comment section below.