The web is an ever-evolving place, with new blogs, stores, and social media sites being added every day. As such, the ways to access these sites changes over time as well. Compared to a decade ago when PCs were the only viable way to get online, we now have smartphones, tablets, e-readers, smart watches, portable gaming devices, gaming consoles, and VR to access the web. With such a large amount of different devices accessing the web every day, it’s becoming increasingly important to optimize your site for different aspect ratios, resolutions, and input methods. Not only that but in mid-2015, Google added an algorithm to increase mobile rankings for sites optimized for mobile. This means any website with mobilization gets a free boost for mobile traffic.
The amount of devices accessing the web has also made an impact on the percentage of traffic actually coming from mobile devices. As early as 2013, mobile traffic made up around 15% of all traffic. More recently, large companies, such as Yelp, report that mobile traffic now makes up even more of the traffic share, making a total of around 55% of the total traffic! It’s easy to see how tapping into this source of traffic can be beneficial.
In the previous article, I mentioned that there are multiple types of mobile sites. Some of them are easier to pull off, and others make for a better experience, so I’ll explain each of them individually.
The Types of Mobile Sites, Responsive, Dynamic, and Standalone
There are three main types of mobile sites, and it’s important to know which one will work best for your specific needs. Understanding what your options are can have a larger impact on your site’s success than you may have imagined! The three kinds of mobile sites are as follows:
A responsive site utilizes the same code as your standard desktop browser, but through the use of queries it’s capable of rendering similarly to any device, regardless of screen size. The advantages of having a responsive mobile site are pretty big. You don’t have to do any extra coding, you don’t have to make any new resources, and everything is scaled automatically for any screen size. This is the closest to a “one size fits all” approach as you can get.
A dynamic site uses a setup where different HTML and CSS is delivered by the server based on the user agent of the browser/device requesting the page. This is, in my opinion, the best option if you know how to set it up because you only need to pay for one domain, and keep track of hosting for one site, but you still get the benefits of using a standalone site. This is, in a way, a “meet in the middle” approach between responsive and standalone.
A standalone mobile site is pretty self explanatory. It’s a completely separate site, potentially with its own domain, hosting, resources, plugins, etc. This is the most advanced option and allows for the greatest amount of customization. This is also the most time-consuming method.
As you can see, each type of mobile site is quite different and has different ways to accomplish what you’re trying to achieve. Choosing one of these sites can be a determining factor of whether your site ranks well or not. Keep reading to see exactly HOW mobilization helps your site grow, and stay at the top of the ranks.