September 25, 2015
Since the origin of Internet, we have seen it ruling different screen sizes. It began with large desktop computers followed by medium-sized laptops. Then came notebooks and tablets and now there has been an ongoing debate about the mobile Web. A majority of developers now believe the mobile Web has become such a large medium of connectivity that they should develop separate websites for it. They come up with convincing arguments including the difference of audience, future of mobile Web and adjusting your digital supplies with the modern world trends.
First of all, let’s discuss the difference of audiences. Our argument here is that marketers can only make some customers happy — not 100 percent of them. Here is an example.
Tesco, the U.K. supermarket chain, launched a website Tesco Access for blind users. It was a highly user-friendly website that allowed customers to purchase 30 products in just 15 minutes from check in to check out. The website didn’t contain any advertisements and was solely designed for the disabled. The website added £13m to the yearly business of Tesco as apart from their disabled customers, many other people also switched from main Tesco website to Tesco Access.
The majority of the customers were happy with the services; however, there was a group of customers complaining about the lack of advertisements and non-availability of many facilities which were available on main Tesco website. Tesco had excluded those facilities in order to cater to the disabled, not other people. It was a business transformation which led to difference in opinions. The vital point here is that you don’t always know the type of content a similar type of audience needs.
Reason 1 – Increased Budget
Developing a website specifically for a mobile audience entails different types of costs, including:
- Cost of producing new content;
- Charges of developer/Web engineer;
- Maintenance costs;
- Purchasing a new domain and paying for the cloud services;
- Upgrading costs and charges of purchasing plugins and widgets;
- Cost of SEO services.
Apart from the given costs, you also have to pay for the salaries of employees working on the mobile website. You also need to pay to the content planners and theme makers. Simply, there is not only a lot of money but also a lot of time involved to start earning from mobile specific websites.
Reason 2 – Diluted SEO
When you work on separate URLs for Web-based and mobile-specific websites, you not only need to spend more time and money on SEO, but your existing SEO strategies also become diluted. The only solution to improve SEO for specific media is to hire separate SEO specialists. If you want any technical assistance to improve the search ranking of your website, I have listed some reputed SEO companies on the basis of user reviews:
Reason 3 – Frustrating Web to Mobile Connectivity
Every business has its own customer base. As explained in the example of Tesco, many customers from the main website of Tesco moved to Tesco Access. Similarly, your Web-based customers also share their content with mobile specific customers. A frustrating conflict of content management and disputes may occur. On the other hand, if you are producing similar content for both media, yet again the dispute of files may occur as the images, videos, infographics and the website size of one may not fit on the other screen.
Reason 4 – Content Management and Analysis Problems
Managing your content on one website is far easier than managing content on multiple websites. Content management includes not only time and effort for planning, developing and uploading but also analyzing the feedback of customers and success of your business. For successful content management, most businesses hire separate content managers and analysts but separate recruitment definitely increases the budget and investment costs.
Reason 5 – Lack of Business Relativity
Entrepreneurs and business giants of different markets are making more by successfully catering to all types of audiences. The best way to save time and money is to post on different media. For example, many websites use an auto-redirect option to interlink the pages of their different products. It increases sales by keeping the users engaged on the website and offering them value by offering more information about your products and services.
Developing separate websites for mobile and Web-based customers may end up with lack of business relativity. Apart from reduced sales, you also need to double up your time and money investment to earn similar scale of benefits from both media.
Reason 6 – Web Clutter
Web clutter is defined as impotency of a website to adjust with any screen size. Some websites are produced for mobile screens only but mobile screens also come in a variety of sizes. Similarly, some websites are produced for Web-based customers only but Web-based customers use different sizes of laptop screens and different LCD sizes for desktop computers. The solution to a cluttered website is to make it responsive as explained at the end of this article.
Reason 7 – Reduced Accessibility
The most important reason to avoid developing a separate mobile website for your business is reduced accessibility. Your customer base automatically decreases when you target different audiences from different media.
In our opinion, it is better to make your website responsive rather than choosing to develop a separate website for mobile audience. With simple coding techniques in website design, you can make any website responsive for screen types. Responsiveness is a phenomenon in which a website automatically adjusts its content according to the screen size. For content, we suggest you focus on variety to appeal to as many as possible.
Another important tip to remember is to adapt to the most modern CMSs. Managing your content like 1999 and relying completely on static coding is one of the biggest flaws that contribute to erroneous content management. Make your static website responsive, interlink your business, and expand your customer base in the same budget.
James E. Hein is a Web developer with 10 years of experience with immense interest and knowledge in technology area that he likes to share with his readers. He is also working as a strategist in projects related to business and technology, which has always enriched his writing contributions.