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.
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.