Since most people view the web through smaller devices such as mobile phones and tablets, a website today needs to display well on these mediums. This particular website that you’re reading is built to work on all types of displays and if you resize your window, my website will automatically adjust everything. Try it. This is a responsive website and I think it is the best way to build websites today.
A responsive website is a website that is responsive to its environment, ensuring that it is clearly viewable from any screen the viewer is using. This environment can be anything from your laptop, desktop, small mobile device, or your tablet. Because today we all engage content and the Internet through our mobile devices mostly, whether that be tablet or your mobile phone, it is imperative to design and build websites in a way that accounts for how people will engage with the website.
2 types of mobile websites
There are two types of methods to build a website that displays well on mobile devices and one of them is to make it responsive. A website that is built on responsive standards (just like mine) works on any device without and special accommodations.
Its adjusts and resizes everything to fit appropriately. Additionally with my website, on a smaller display, it automatically presents the viewer with a drop-down box for the menus. A responsive website is quick, agile, and lightweight and all of this combines to ensure a fast loading experience for the viewer.
This extra code must account for all the different browsers and with new versions of browsers being released periodically this can be a poor choice, but if you code it for the future e.g., future-aware coding, this can be a great choice.
Purpose of a mobile website
Another purpose of a mobile site is to display information from your website on a mobile device such as the iPhone, Android phones, etc so that it shows well. You want it to be lightweight so it loads fast because no one will wait for a webpage to load on their phone.
Your mobile site should be a bullet point of your main site that includes the most pertinent details with call to action buttons such as:
- Call Us feature – make it easy for your customer to call you from their phone without actually entering your phone number on their mobile device.
- Find Us feature – since most mobile device features a map application, you want you customers to be able to locate you easily.
- Call me back – added as part for the site so that customer can click an icon on your mobile site, enter a phone number and have it automatically routed to an email for you to follow up on.
- Information updates – A feature that customers can opt-in to so that they receive your messages, whether text or email.
Everyone who has a phone today has a smartphone and they are using it so you want your site to display well enough for them to use it.
WordPress mobile theme plugin
WordPress recently released a plugin as part of their Jetpack service offerings that make your WordPress website mobile ready and the great thing is that its free. If you’re running a WordPress website, from the backend click the ‘Jetpack’ tab in the menu, scroll down 3 rows and you’ll see the mobile theme plugin that you can install automatically.
Being that it is built on WordPress, this is probably the best option for a WordPress website and will present your site well on these devices. As WordPress states, the plugin allows visitors on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and other mobile devices to automatically see the mobile theme, with the option to view the full site. You can enable or disable the mobile theme by clicking the “Activate” or “Deactivate” button above.