I’ve mentioned in the past the fact that mobile Internet is the future of the World Wide Web and I want to make it clear today that I believe that more than ever before. If you want to succeed in the world of the Internet, it’s absolutely imperative that you make your site accessible to those who aren’t using a traditional computer to look at it. Here’s what you need to know:
I admit that I’m not much up on the future. I don’t own a tablet computer and while I do own a smart phone, it’s an iPhone 3G (not even a GS) which I’m a little more than halfway through paying for.
Just to show how little I care about being up on the latest tech, a representative of my cellular company asked me recently if I’d like to upgrade to an iPhone 4. She promised it would cost me just $1.99 extra a month. I didn’t really care, but agreed to do so.
Then, when she looked at my account and saw I had another 15 months left to pay off my iPhone 3G, she told me I’d actually be paying $15 extra per month until I paid off the old phone. I told her thank you very much and that I’d wait until I paid for my current phone. “By then,” I said, “I’ll probably end up with an iPhone 6.”
I mention this story because I want to illustrate a point – even though I’m not the sort who insists on the latest and greatest technology, even I can see where the Internet is heading.
Mobile Internet Is the Future
Take a bus or subway ride in any American city today and look around yourself. The odds are good that well more than half and probably around 70-80% of your fellow passengers have a mobile phone or a tablet out in front of them and are busy swiping away at their screens and visiting websites. Those who don’t bother to create websites which can accommodate these people are doomed to lose out on a significant number of customers.
The Developing World
Beyond this obvious point, consider something else – in much of the developing world, tablets and smart phones are the one and only way to access the Internet. That’s because many poor countries skipped a whole generation of tech and never got fully wired the way Western nations are wired. Instead, they rely on cellular phones to gain access to the world since such technology doesn’t require the extremely expensive “last mile” to the home.
What It All Boils Down To
The bottom line then is that if you aren’t interested in creating a mobile friendly version of your website (typically, a scaled down version which loads easily on the smaller screens typical on phones and smaller tablets), then you are simply throwing away millions of potential customers.
Doing It Is Easy
The other thing to remember is that creating a mobile friendly version of your site is relatively easy. Unless it’s got heavy amounts of flash animations and video (which don’t work on iOS and older versions of Android), it’s mostly a matter of setting up the alternative version of the website which makes calls to your already existing content, rather than having to duplicate everything from scratch.
So go ahead and set up a mobile version of your website. After 2-3 customers make purchases using your mobile site, you can come back and thank me for the advice and keep all the profits for yourself.