It’s been a month since Google’s mobile update, but the frenzy surrounding this important algorithm change is still piping hot. At this point, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re probably convinced it should be, and soon.
Trying to figure out the best way to get your website converted into a mobile-ready platform can be very confusing. So, I have prepared a quick summary of the 3 most common options for a mobile conversion… and how to choose the one that’s right for you.
A Quick Intro on Mobile Conversions
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that there is a difference between a “mobile redesign” and a “mobile conversion”. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you are relatively happy with the content on your website and how it’s structured. In other words, the only thing we need to tackle right now is your website’s lack of support for smartphone viewers and the chaos Google’s latest algorithm update has caused. Okay… let’s do it.
The Mobile Plugin
The mobile plugin is the quick ‘n dirty way to get your website mobile-ready in a hurry. If configured properly, it should help you pass Google’s inspection… but that’s about all it’s good for.
The big problem with mobile conversion plugins is that they provide a hideous, non-customizable and irrelevant website to your visitors. So, while they may be able to find your website on their phone, they’re also likely to leave very quickly if they can’t find what they’re looking for.
Plugins offer no branding, no page layouts, boring navigation… and some will even hide your pictures.
If you just want the cheapest option, this is the one… but remember you get what you pay for.
The Mobile Redirect
A mobile redirect is really just a fancy way of saying “a separate mobile website”. For many big companies, and especially companies that specifically target mobile users, this is an ideal solution.
In short, a separate mobile website allows you to tailor your browsing experience specifically for mobile visitors. They are often designed to load as fast as possible, which means eliminating extraneous information, graphics, and even pages that might slow things down. Some mobile sites go so far as to ditch all but the essentials, leaving only directions and a phone number. Not a happy sight for the millions of Americans who ONLY browser the web from their phone.
This type of mobile conversion isn’t for everyone. In addition to rethinking your entire website just for mobile visitors, you’re left with a-whole-nother website to maintain and keep current.
If you have a good amount of money to spend, and can spare the time to make sure it’s done right, this might be the option for you. If not, move on.
The Mobile Responsive Design
If you’ve been looking into mobile lately, you’ve definitely heard the term “responsive”. Greatly simplified, a responsive website is one that automatically adjusts to the type of screen it’s being viewed on.
Ever evolving technology and 2015 software allows us to hide and rearrange elements on a website to fit on any size mobile device, beautifully and naturally. From the smallest Blackberry, to the biggest phablet, to the newest iPhone… sections of your website gracefully re-stack themselves to fit the page!
A responsive mobile conversion has a few major advantages over the other two.
1. You only need one website.
The site that visitors see on their phone, is the exact same website they see on their computer. It may look a bit different (as various elements are are sized specifically for smartphones), but any changes you make will appear on both mobile and desktop versions. Your website is always up-to-date, with the latest blogs, prices, events, news… and everything else.
2. Mobile visitors have access to everything.
As I mentioned before, many mobile websites only include the bare essentials. Responsive websites give mobile access to everything on your entire website. And, as more and more people are browsing the web exclusively from their phones, it’s crucial that you keep those visitors in mind.
3. Custom mobile designs actually look like your desktop website.
Branding is a tremendously important aspect of an online web presence, and few things exemplify your online brand like your web design. Responsive websites are designed to use the same designs, colors, elements, fonts and styles on both the mobile and PC versions. What that means is that your website actually looks like it was built for your business…
The vast majority of mobile plugin and mobile redirect sites are built from plain looking, boring templates, that makes your mobile website seem like an afterthought.
We can show the world your website as it was meant to be seen. And, you can have a quote in less than a minute.