There are an estimated 2 billion cell phones worldwide. 1/5 Americans access their mobile each day and the percentage of mobile web users are increasing at a rapid rate. This is highlighted with a study by Neilson, showing mobile Internet usage is growing 30% every year.
There is also a large increase of households becoming “mobile-only”. Although not all mobiles have internet access, it is an increasing trend as a result of the various smart phones and in the near future all phones will have online capabilities.
With most people keeping their cell phones within reach at all times, it is evident that the mobile web will overtake the desktop, thus most visitors to a website will come via a mobile. Businesses must take up this opportunity otherwise their competition will capture this audience.
Why a Mobile Website?
Your regular website is simply not going to be good enough. Most “non-mobilized” websites don’t load correctly on mobile devices.
There is a basic design difference between a regular website and a mobile website. On a mobile phone, there is a limited amount of screen space and a standard website is built to be viewed on a computer screen, not a small mobile phone screen. So viewing a traditional website that has not been “mobilized” on a mobile phone is difficult. Even with the ability to turn a mobile device lengthwise, the resolution is still extremely small and you have to scroll all over the place just to find the information that you are looking for as a result of the limited space.
Your potential clients would use their smart phones to search for your businesses while out on the go. They could do this via a simple Google search and as soon as they see a website that they can not navigate or use, they quickly exit the site and move on to your direct competition.
Your Business MUST Have a Mobile Website.
A Mobile Website versus an iPhone App.
There are many reasons to develop a mobile website as appose to a mobile application. Almost anyone with a mobile phone can access your mobile website whereas only iPhone users can access your iPhone app.
As the smart phone market expands, are you then going to also pay to have multiple versions of your App? Are you also really going to create a Blackberry app, Android app, ipad app etc.?
That could get expensive. The cost of a mobile website is a much less than an iPhone application and it will immediately work on all phones. Also Mobile websites are easier to update If you want to update an iPhone app, the user has to download the updates each time.
The browser is more popular that accessing web applications on a mobile device. It does not matter if you charge or give them away free apps, the download of your mobile apps without promotion is likely to decrease over time, but mobile web usage is increasing over time.
To reiterate, a mobile website can be easily viewed on all smart phones and is the lower cost option.