Catholics Going Mobile: Mobile Website Design

Did you decide to start a blog as a New Year’s resolution?  Was your resolution to take your existing blog to a new level?  Whatever the case may be, a mobile website design should be high on your list of priorities.

More and more people are accessing the web from their mobile devices, and a standard website will not do.  Enter mobile website design.

Statistics from the web industry claim that mobile users currently account for 10 to 15% of Internet traffic, but some industry experts believe that it could overtake traditional web usage in 2 to 5 years.

Catholics Going Mobile

Have you ever accessed a standard website from your mobile phone?  Ten minutes later, when the page finally loads, your cell phone battery is probably half-dead.  Do not even think about going to page two of the article without a charger nearby.

Why does this happen?  First of all, as fast as 4G can be, it still pales in comparison to the Internet you have wired in your home.  Second, the hardware in your home computer is far better than anything found in the latest smart phones and tablets.

What’s the solution?  Mobile website design.

If you are serious about sharing content on the Internet, then a good mobile website should be a part of your strategy.  It provides the growing number of mobile users access to sites that load faster on their devices, increasing your overall readership and retention (in theory, anyway).

Mobile-optimized websites have fewer images and scripts that make them run.  Plus images and scripts that do exist on these sites are much smaller in size.  This means that there is less for your mobile device to download – making it faster and more mobile-friendly.

One good example is CatholicMom.com.  Access the site from your phone or tablet, and you will see that it is virtually a text-only site.  It minimizes the amount of images and scripts to make reading faster and easier.

Another good example is my own site, WakingUpCatholic.com, which received a similar treatment.  Both sites mimic the look and feel of the main site but have a unique design geared for mobile audiences.

Of course, now you want to know if your site is mobile-friendly.  The answer is simple: look at it from your own smart phone or tablet.  How does it look?  Did it take long to load?

Next, you want to know how to make your website mobile-friendly.  Well, without some experience in web design,  you’re not going to do it manually.  Instead, look for pre-built solutions that will help get you there.

Many modern themes and designs for WordPress, Joomla, and other web platforms are mobile-friendly to start, so simply updating your theme may do the trick.

These same web platforms may offer plug-ins or modules that get the job done, but you may want help from someone with a little experience.

With either solution, it will take some experience with your chosen software to make the changes.  Just make sure to backup your data before making changes of this size!  Trust me.

If the task seems too daunting, it doesn’t hurt to ask for help – especially if you have years’ worth of valuable content written.  In the end, whether your site is mobile-friendly or not, it’s your content that brings readers, so do not take a risk with it.

Whole books have been written on mobile website design, but hopefully you learned a little about why it’s important and the basics to getting it done.  The mobile web will only continue to grow, and as content creators, writers, and authors, we need to be ready for it.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2013 Chad R. Torgerson

2 Comments
  1. January 2, 2013 | Reply
  2. visioncloud
    March 27, 2013 | Reply

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