Communicat Internet Services

Mobile Web Design / .mobi Websites

The mobile web revolution

The number of mobile phone subscribers worldwide has exceeded 3 billion, and is continuing to grow at an amazing rate. It has been estimated that the number of people accessing the internet via mobile / handheld devices is approaching the number of pc based users, with the gap closing quickly. The growth of mobile & handheld devices use is explosive. With mobile display technology rapidly improving, it is inevitable that this upward trend will continue; an increasing number of people will access internet based services via mobile devices. Since the beginnings of the mobile web revolution when WAP was the hot topic, till today where mobile devices are becoming increasingly capable and XHTML is the new design target, it is essential that your website is ready.

Communicat is at the forefront of the mobile revolution and is able to help you design a mobile website that will enhance the experience of your mobile based web customers.

Is your website .mobi ready ?

Traditional websites are not optimised for mobile users, where the displays tend to be smaller and bandwidth is much more limited. If your website is not mobile ready then you are missing an increasingly large part of your target audience. Here are some industry websites whose audience will be prone to access information from mobile devices: restaurants, hotels, shopping, Business 2 Business (B2B) with roaming sales reps, weather or sport results. If your website is not yet .mobi ready you can be missing potential visitors and the business they may bring.

Design considerations for mobile websites

Typical websites are optimised for viewing on pc based devices, with large displays and high speed internet connections. High quality mobile websites must be optimised for devices that have smaller displays and limited bandwidth. Due to the huge range of mobile devices and the different display capabilities they possess, your mobile website must be designed to be compatible to various devices with different HTML and CSS support. Users may access your mobile website from any device ranging from mobile phones, pda's and pocket pc's, therefore a well designed mobile website must be simple and flexible for various resolutions.

Mobile websites use a different document type to non mobile websites, and use a slightly different version of HTML / XHTML. To achieve the best possible presentation for your mobile website you must take into account these differences during the design phase or you will present a sub standard web experience to mobile web users.

Do you need a separate .mobi website ?

With the release of the new top level domain .mobi, people are wondering if it is really necessary to purchase yet another domain for your businesses website. There are good arguments both for and against using a .mobi domain to differentiate your mobile website from your regular website, and it depends on each individual company's goals and target audience as to whether a .mobi website make sense or not.

For instance a separate .mobi website solves the problem of detecting whether a user is using a handheld user agent, the .mobi website simply displays the mobile optimised version and the normal or .com website will display the pc optimised version. On the other hand it can make more sense to have one single url for all web visitors and serve up different versions of the website for different user agents. In this way the same content can be used and simply reformatted / restyled for the relevant user agent. This approach simplifies the content management as it is centralised.