These days we are just as likely to surf the web on a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet, as we are on our desktop pcs or laptops. So for businesses it would make sense to ensure their website can be seen on such devices. The problem is the way in which web pages are displayed in the mobile world differs to the way they do on a pc, which means businesses will need to look at creating websites capable of being displayed on mobile devices.
The ideal solution would be for every website to be scaleable to any device, and with some devices this does happen thanks to built-in web browsers, but not all and that means needing to look at designing a mobile site that can work on the majority if not all mobile devices. The way in which your website is delivered and the user experience is of key importance – usability applies as much with mobile websites as it does to standard web design. The way in which we interact with mobile devices is very different to the way in which we use a pc, the lack of a mouse being just one of the big differences. It should also be noted that mobile networks do not run at the same speeds as we are used to with broadband devices and that will have an impact on the length of time pages take to load.
With the rapid growth in the mobile internet market has come an influx of designers and specialist mobile web hosting companies. There is no requirement for special mobile hosting; a mobile site can be hosted on any server. However, not all web hosting firms offer mobile web services and tools to help you develop and maintain your site. And unlike standard dedicated web hosting there are some features which are unique to mobile web hosting.
With mobile hosting you will still be able to store all your site files and of course be capable of delivering them to visitor’s devices. However, where mobile hosting differs is in its ability to detect a visitor’s device and deliver a version of your site that best suits it. For instance a visitor using a tablet will be shown the mobile version of your website, whilst a visitor using a laptop or pc will see the desktop version, this ensures visitors to your site see the best version for the device they use to access it.
By using mobile web hosting you can ensure this is handled for you with the web server set to detect the device a visitor is using and deliver the appropriate version. But it goes further than this. With mobile devices all having their own unique features and user capabilities your mobile website needs to be able to adapt to different device makes and models ensuring your website is delivered in a way which is appropriate to that particular device. This is known as content adaptation and essentially means your website content is adjusted to best suit the device a visitor uses.
As mobile internet usage increases the demand for mobile websites that ‘fit’ with numerous devices will increase which means content adaptation will become more important. Currently businesses looking to offer mobile sites are presented with a range of options and much will depend on their business model and what they want to offer. What is important is that your design and choice of web hosting, ensures accessibility and a user experience that visitors will enjoy.