• Packing Up Your Website for that Small Screen Trip Aug 22, 2012

    Packing Up Your Website for that Small Screen Trip


    There are numerous hurdles to overcome in optimizing existing websites for display on mobile devices, especially phones. Imagine you had a couple of 40-pound suitcases already packed for a 2-week trip and you suddenly found out you will only be staying overnight. What's more, you are restricted to a single carry-on bag. That's the position many website owners find themselves in as they consider strategies for transforming their wide-screen, information-packed websites into small-screen, easy-to-browse mobile sites for people on the go.

    If you are at all like me, the first question you'll ask yourself is: Out of all this stuff I have already packed, what am I really likely to need for my one-night stay? Or, in website terms: Out of all these pages of valuable content (content of value to some of our customers some of the time) what will they really need when they are away from their desks and relying on their smartphones?

    The second question I'll ask myself is: What do I do about this wonderful gift I had packed, which is simply too big and too heavy to go in my carry-on? Or, in website terms: What do we do about this multi-column table, or this 6-image-wide photo gallery, or this complex golf tournament registration form, which simply will not fit on a phone screen? Do we omit it from the mobile version of our site and make people access it from their desktops, or do we create a new version that works equally well on a phone?

    Questions of this kind can be daunting and often lead to decision-making paralysis. Perhaps we should wait for a complete website redesign. Or perhaps we should just wait. If you yourself don't often use your phone to browse the web, you may imagine that nobody does and so waiting seems justified. But tens of millions of people, some of whom are your customers, are searching the web several times each day and they have little patience for websites that make them repeatedly pinch and stretch and double-tap their screens to conveniently view web content.

    There are more such customers every day. Can you afford to alienate them? And can you afford to wait until you have prepared a comprehensive solution?

    Our position is that it is better to do something than nothing. And it is better to implement a partial solution now than to put off going mobile until you can make everything perfect. To that end, we have developed what we call our Mobile Optimization Package. Here's what it includes:

    • A free one-page assessment of how well your current website performs on mobile devices.
    • Options for modification or replacement of website elements that don't work well on tablets.
    • A phone-optimized version of your website with a similar look and feel to your desktop website.
    • Custom style sheets that allow most of your desktop website's pages to display conveniently on a smartphone.
    • The Mobile Manager, a website admin tool that lets you organize your pages into mobile menus that make it easy for customers to navigate your site by phone.

    Our Mobile Optimization Package is reasonably priced and can be customized and configured for your website in as little as 1-2 weeks. It is available for websites built on either the HIPT or Mura content management systems. Or, if your website was designed by another web team using a different method, we can provide you with a standalone mobile site you can easily populate with your own content.

    Now what to do about those "gift" pages that simply won't fit conveniently on your phone? We have some creative custom solutions that we will be happy to quote for you. Contact us now for your free one-page mobile optimization assessment.