Where are the smartphone-friendly websites?

Why do so many business websites slam their doors in the faces of mobile users?

Reached from a smartphone, the interfaces are horrible, with wide blocks of text that don’t resize into phone-friendly columns. On some sites there are so many tiny links that touching any part of the screen jumps you to another page (usually one that takes ages to load).

According to the new report “Cell Internet Use 2012″ from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 17% of cell phone owners do most of their web browsing from their phones. Now what business would want to turn away 17% of its potential customers? To say nothing of all the folks like me who use both computers and phones to access webpages.

When I travel, the hotels, restaurants, cab services, drugstores, and museums with mobile-friendly sites are the ones getting my business. No matter how much someone is raving about a restaurant, if I can’t find the restaurant’s phone number via Siri or Google, or I can’t click a hyperlinked number to call, I’m likely to make my reservation elsewhere. Particularly if the Elsewhere Cafe also has an online menu and a (phone-friendly) map.

Bad, better, and best mobile screens

Bad, better, and….best.

The rise of mobile browsing is yet another reason why I urge small businesses that want a simple-to-maintain, low-cost “brochure-style” website to use WordPress Pages. Many WordPress templates will automatically create a phone-friendly version of your content and serve it up whenever a mobile user reaches your site.

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About Karen Anderson

To paraphrase Mark Morris, "I'm a writer; I write!" Just as a dancer dances to the music, I write to message and to the audience.
This entry was posted in iPhone (General), Smartphone use and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Where are the smartphone-friendly websites?

  1. Yes, but the mobile version of some WordPress sites (not this one) is terrible. It suppresses the ability to zoom by pinching, which means that graphics containing text cannot be zoomed for legibility, nor can you click on them to view the full version. Highly annoying. So just using WordPress is not enough — you really need to test your site on smartphones.

    • Excellent point, David. Some WordPress templates really are on top of this, others aren’t. I’d say before committing to a template, see how it’s working for other people’s sites. WordPress’ “See who’s using it” feature should allow you to do that.

  2. Pingback: Have hackers got the mobile version of your website? | Writer Way

  3. Pingback: Mobile versions of websites may tempt hackers | iPhone 4 Tips

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