Mobile Web Development
Did you know that nearly 500 million Facebook members regularly access their account via a mobile device?
With that many people around the world now connected to the web with a device that fits in the palm of their hand, can your business afford not to deliver content optimised for viewing on these devices?
There are three main ways to deliver content on mobile devices: responsive website design; mobile optimised content; and mobile apps.
There is no wrong or right way to deliver your content, but each has its own advantages/disadvantages, and these are examined in more detail below.
If you are interested in working with Frecosse Website Design to develop content for the mobile web, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat about your requirements.
A Responsive Website Design (RWD) is a method of building a website that automatically repositions content on the page to best suit the screen size of the device viewing it.
We have built this website using a Responsive layout, and you will see the same content served up in different ways on your desktop/laptop, tablet or mobile phone. You can also resize your browser window's width to see the content automatically re-position as the page becomes narrower.
The obvious advantage of this approach is that you only have one website to maintain.
The main disadvantage, however, is that you are locked into a grid system approach for your layout designs, in order to take advantage of the dynamic repositioning of content.
Another approach is to build a version of your website specifically for mobile devices. We do this using the jQuery Mobile Framework which has been optimised to provide a more friendly interface for viewing content on smaller screens.
An immediate advantage to building an optmised mobile site is that you can customise the size of buttons etc, to better suit touch-screen devices. As it's still web-based, you can also use the same underlying database for serving up content. Furthermore you can cut down the amount of content shown on the screen to the bare essentials, helping improve the load speed of pages.
The main disadvantage is that the standalone site will require a separate set of templates, navigation etc, which can mean keeping it up-to-date in line with the desktop version of the site more time-consuming.
We tend to build Mobile Optimised versions of our admin controls for websites - this allows a mobile-friendly set of options to be accessed, anywhere you have a signal, to make keeping your website up-to-date that bit easier and more efficient.
Each phone manufacturer now supports creation of “apps” in their own language.
The advantage of going down the application route is that you can often store the application on the phone itself, and this increases the responsiveness of the content. By publishing the application via the manufacturer's app store, you can also charge for your content.
The main disadvantage however, is that each application has to be developed for the device in question, so an iOS app will not run on Android or Nokia for example, and a separate application would need to be developed for each of these.
This is further complicated when you have to consider version control of the different operating systems. The Android marketplace is hugely fragmented at the moment, meaning that you always to have compromise in order to reach the widest possible audience.