Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mobile Websites

Do you have a website or blog for your practice?  If you do you have likely heard of the latest rage, which is sites optimized for viewing on mobile devices.  Beware the snake oil salesman!  It is true that  website and blog viewing on mobile devices is way up.  You want folks to be able to view your sites on their devices. That does not mean that you have to go out and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a second site designed just for mobile devices.  The web design sales folks will tell you that you do.  I am here to tell you that you don't.  In many instances the push for sites designed specially for mobile devices is just a marketing ploy.

But how do you know?  First off, look at your website or blog on a mobile device.  How does it look?  Can you read it?  Can you see the graphics.  If the answers are yes and yes, your site is already mobile ready. What most mobile website designers do is simply remove the graphics from your site, strip it down to nothing more than an textual outline, and then sell it as something special for mobile devices.  You could end up paying more for less.

Need to assess your site even deeper? Identify the software used to create your website or blog.  Chances are it is already designed to accomplish the cross-over between desktop devices and mobile devices.  I write this Family Law Layer Tech & Practice blog utilizing Google's Blogger software.

If you are reading this on a pc or mac, it looks different than it does if you are looking at it on a smartphone. The smartphone version you see to the right is more stripped down. Content is king, rather than graphics, on the smartphone version so that it can load quickly.

Compare the mobile version to the full-blown computer version you see below. More pictures, more graphics.  More sophisticated layout.

Want to know what I do to make this happen?  Absolutely nothing! The Blogger software does it all for me.  It creates two blogs.  I go to my dashboard and post a new entry and that is it.  Blogger shows readers one version for computers (with all the bells and whistles) and another version for smartphone readers.  I have nothing to do with it!

Same thing with the website for my law firm.  That site is built on the WordPress platform.  Whether you are viewing it on a computer or a mobile device, you are going to see the same thing. The only difference is that the initial view on a smartphone is going to be smaller than the view on a computer.  Spread two fingers on your smartphone screen and the images zooms so that you can see them up close.  All of the major design software products accomplish the same cross-over.  No second website to create or maintain.  No duplicate cost. No loss of presence or impact.

If you want to increase your web design expenses by building a special mobile site, go for it.  Just don't do it because a salesman tell you that you have to.

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