Mobile internet is very quickly become the mainstream way of accessing online content.
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The main difference between an application and a web app is you cannot download a web app from an application store. A web app displays and behaves in the same way an application would. It can also be launched from touching an icon on the home page of your phone. However it is much quicker and easier to set up a web app than a full application. If you update your website, you will not need to also create an update for the web app, whereas you would with an application.
Traditionally websites have been designed in the mind set that they will not be shown on a device smaller than a laptop or notebook. It has also been assumed that visitors would use the mouse to navigate around the site. Smartphones do not comply with either of these conventional prerequisites to website development.
Modifications must be made to ensure your content is, at the very least, readable on such a small display. Secondly, changes must be made so that the website takes advantage of all the new features available on the latest web browsers used on smartphones.
A mobile site is much less restrictive than an app. You already have the content on your website, which can be displayed and updated easily using your current CMS. An App requires submission to a store on first release, and then again with every update you make. You will also be required to develop an app for each mobile platform (eg. iPhone, Blackberry and Android). There are of course advantages to developing apps, and it makes sense to have both an app and a mobile website, however a mobile-optimised site is a practical, inexpensive, and effective first step into the mobile market.
Mobile websites are targeted at handheld devices. Desktop size websites appear cluttered and overwhelming on a smartphone. Mobile sites are optimised for display on a small screen, leading to increased user experience, satisfaction, and first impression.
Mobile websites are tailored specifically for mobile standards and download speeds. This means less loading times and more time spent on your website viewing content.
A mobile website can engage users with mobile specific features such as mapping, and click to call. Even orientation changes can alter how content is displayed.
Mobile websites grant access to even more SEO (search engine optimisation), such as listings in mobile and local directories.
A mobile website immediately stands out from the crowd, making a positive statement before any content has been read.
Place yourself in front of competitors. If your website is difficult to read and navigate potential customers may move on to one that does. A mobile website helps ensure you capture visitor attention in the short time you have it.
Mobile web is the next logical step in mass communication with the public; it is no longer a concept in development. The technology is available now, and people are using it in their millions.
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