Today many websites have a ‘mobile’ version of the site for use with smartphones. When you access the web through your mobile, websites will automatically direct you to the mobile version of their pages.
So, which is better? Should you use the mobile versions of websites that have been created? Or should you view the pages as you would on your home PC?
The advantages of mobile versions of websites
You may be wondering why companies offer a mobile version of their website when the vast majority of smartphones have web browsers that allow you to access the pages exactly as you would on a PC.
Well, mobile websites have a number of benefits. Firstly, mobile sites display properly on small mobile phone and tablet screens. Traditional websites don’t, and often require you to scroll back and forth to reveal the information.
Secondly, if you’re using a website on your mobile it’s likely that you’re looking for different information. Mobile users are generally looking for quick facts or information or the ability to do something quickly and easily. You’re not generally interested in superfluous text or high tech graphics when you’re on the go.
So, mobile websites tend to be simpler, easier to view and more straightforward to navigate.
Why you may want to view the original version of a website
Studies in late 2011 from Pew and from On Device Research showed that over 25 per cent of people in the US who browse the Web on smartphones almost never use any other platform. That means 11 per cent of adults in the US, or about 25 million people, only see the Web on small screens.
Insisting that web users see a minimal, stripped-back version of a website may actually be restrictive. More and more people are using a mobile in place of a PC, meaning they expect to access the same web content on their phone as they do on their PC.
So, rather than creating mobile websites, many companies are improving their main website to allow exactly the same content to be available to everyone.
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