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Do You REALLY Need a Mobile Version of your Website?

SmartPhone. Two or three years ago the rage for webmasters was mobilizing their websites and, at the time, I wrote about my search for a mobile solution for this site.

But I don’t have a mobile version of this site now and, although it occasionally crosses my mind, I don’t have any plan to get one.

Here’s why: 2011 is the year of the tablet, and it’s not going to change next year.

The year of the tablet

Although handheld (mobile) web access is growing strongly, consider why people access the web on a handheld – meaning an iPhone, an HTC Desire or a Nokia E7.

All the people I spoke to told me they use it for email or quick access to information, not to browse or study important documents.

Need the latest cricket score? The weather forecast for tomorrow? A stock price? A handheld does the job.

But people wanting to read a step-by-step process for dismantling their car will go for a bigger screen, complete with the accompanying diagrams and images.

Browsing or reading detailed information is done on a laptop (or desktop) – or, if you’re out and about these days, a tablet.

And there are plenty to choose from. I counted 39 different models on Wikipedia, and those are just the ones released since 2009.

Tablets are here to stay and they’re growing in sophistication, power and features.

And they’re perfectly capable of displaying your website in all its original glory.

So should you be scrapping the mobile version of your website?

Not necessarily.

Look back at the reasons people access the web with a handheld: email or quick access to current information.

If your site is delivering current (even real time) information, such as sports scores or stock prices, then the chances of your target audience accessing your site on a handheld are high.

In which case a mobile version will make their life easier.

But this site is not delivering real time information. It delivers tutorials and step-by-step processes for doing things (complete with images and diagrams).

So no mobile version.

Add the fact that mobilizing this site requires another plugin, and that all the mobile plugins I’ve tried (bar one) created problems, and not having a mobile version of this site becomes a no-brainer.

I’d love you to argue with me 🙂


Martin Malden


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