How Mobile is your Website ?

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: May 12, 2010

Category: General

With the popularity of such mobile phones as the iPhone increasing at ‘break neck’ speed how ‘viewable’ is your website on these handheld devices?

How Mobile is your Website?

Having been built using Flash, up until now I’ve been concerned about iPhone users not being able to access my website as Apple don’t support the use of Flash in their handheld/portable devices. Livebooks who built my site did have this covered by building a HTML site that mirrors my main one but even so, this HTML site still wasn’t mobile friendly and meant lots of scrolling around and zooming in to access all the menus and portfolios.

Better than nothing I guess but thankfully Livebooks weren’t about to stop there as this week I got an email from them saying my site had been upgraded to one that is now fully iPhone compatible and what’s more they didn’t charge a penny to do so. My iPhone compatible site is a condensed version of my main website but is alot more pleasing to the eye than the old HTML version and a heck of alot easier to navigate.

With regards to this blog, as it is made using WordPress I managed to find a plug in that creates an iPhone version too. The plug in called ‘wptouch‘ is completely free, incredibly easy to install and makes your blog compatible all devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch, Google Android, Palm Pre and so on…

What about you?
How ‘viewable’ is your website / blog on these increasingly popular devices?

There’s no question that more and more people are using handheld devices to browse and search the internet nowadays so having a website that can be viewed easily on them is vitally important otherwise there’s every chance that potential clients could pass us by.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think it’s important to have your website compatible for use on devices such as the iPhone or iPad or do you think most clients will be looking at your site from a laptop or desktop computer?

Admittedly it’s early days at the moment but on average I get around 50/60 unique visits through iPhones each day to my blog; I just wonder what this will translate to in the future.

Bye for now 🙂

Keep up with Glyn ‘Day to Day’ on Twitter
Get more ‘Behind the Scenes’ by becoming a ‘Fan on Facebook’

You may also like…

Interviewed by Ron Clifford
Interviewed by Ron Clifford

A few weeks back I was invited onto Ron Clifford YouTube LIVE Channel to speak with him about all things photography....

15 Comments

  1. Mike

    I have to say the amount of people using mobile devices nowadays is scary. If a site isn’t optimized for it then can make a difference of a booking or not.

    Nice to see Livebooks doing something like that for you too.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Mike…Totally agree with you Mike. Everywhere I go I see people surfing the net on iPhone, Blackberry and so on. Having your business accessible on these devices is important now but in the future I really think it’s going to be vital.

      Cheers, Glyn

      > Oh yes, definitely ‘hats off’ to Livebooks 🙂

      Reply
  2. Richard Hales

    Thanks for the heads-up on the WP plug-in, just installed it only need an iPhone now to see what it looks like!
    Looking at changing my hosting/web-design providers, would you reccomend Livebooks?

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Richard…No worries re the ‘heads up’ about the WP Plug In. FYI I’ve looked at your site on my iPhone and it looks great. If you want a screen capture sending over just let me know.

      Regarding Livebooks, I’d have no hesitation at all in recommending them. Absolutely superb service and when they say they’re going to do something, they do it! I guess if Chase Jarvis is using them, then that’s a darn good recommendation by itself 🙂

      Cheers

      Reply
  3. David Kelly

    Morning Glyn. Given the multitude of ways that people are accessing the net now, I think it’s really important to make websites as accessable as possible for all these mediums. Although I speak as someone who:
    1. doesn’t have a website / blog (but is looking to build my first one soon)
    2. doesn’t have an iPhone (yes, there are a few!)

    A while back I was considering a flash based website as it does seem to have been some photographers choice of design in order to better protect their images online but I’ve changed my mind recently. Apple’s new stance re: Flash, will preclude a website from being accessed by an undeniably large and, importantly, very active audience. As you know I do think it’s unfair of Apple to deny a long time & common web application to its customers (their customers put them where they are after all) but being a pragmatic Aquarian you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.
    (Mind you, can you imagine the uproar if Microsoft took a similar approach as Apple and did something similar with Windows / IE)

    So if you want to maximise your customer base (so to speak) you’ve got to make your site’s accessibility / useability as best an experience as possible for portable devices. You really only get one chance to win over newcomers / potential customers when they reach your website from portable devices so make it count. After all, how likely is someone who gets a blank screen on their iPhone when hitting a flash website, going to try accessing that website sometime later on their PC?

    Like it or not you gotta embrace these media – it’s the future (of web surfing) as Peter Kay would say 😉

    Regards,
    David

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @David Kelly…Hi David, thanks for your comment.
      I think over time having your website/blog not just accessible on mobile devices but also pleasing to the eye is going to be vitally important. It just seems now that more and more people are browsing the net on these devices and without doubt this is going to increase over time. Thankfully Livebooks performed this ‘upgrade’ for me without having to mention it and as a company who specialise in web design I guess they themselves can see the way things are going.

      With regards to Flash Based websites this was a concern of mine before my new site was built. You see Livebooks’ sites are purely flash but what they do is to create ‘mirror’ site at the same time so that anyone without flash will still be able to browse your site so no potential loss of clients. Admittedly the HTML Mirror site isn’t anywhere as near as aesthetically pleasing to look at but it does the job and I’m sure over time the look and feel of it will be improved by the Livebooks team.

      What you say about getting one chance is so very true and whether someone would view your site on a desktop computer having got a blank screen on their iPhone earlier on….like you, I very much doubt it.

      Cheers and thanks again for such a great comment 🙂

      Reply
  4. David Kelly

    BTW, brownie point for Livebooks for undertaking that work to optimise your website for the iPhone FOC. Nice to see good customer service in action.

    Reply
  5. Keith Hammond

    Like the iPhone blog / website versions infact this is coming from my iPhone. Gone are the days when you could stick a few pics on your site and that was it, to be out there you have to keep up with the tech developments or you will find yourself very quickly behind, but I don’t think there is any chance of that with you eh Glyn 
    The only thing i have against postong grom my iPone is i find it hrd to type with my fat fingers

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Keith…Yeah I agree Keith…A good web presence is vital these days and one that’s pleasing to the eye (without too many bells and whistles) is real important too. I guess your website is your virtual ‘shopfront’ so it needs to look as good as possible and present your best product/photos.

      Cheers, Glyn

      ps> Watch your speeling on that ifown mate 🙂

      Reply
  6. DaveT

    Glyn,

    The bottom line for me would be, what effect will the alterations to the website have on the business. To gauge that I would need to know my target audience, how critical is it that they can access the site on an I-phone, and whether accessibility on the smaller device is likely to show a return on my investment in both time and money.

    If my aim was to show my portfolio of work, then I suspect that larger images are going to be the order of the day, and therefore laptop, or better still, desktop viewing is going to be my target. Accordingly, I would aim to offer larger sized images so that picture buyers, editors and other potential clients can better assess my work.

    So perhaps the answer is to have a mix of both – by having the blog available on the I-phone as well it casts a wider net and from there interested parties may follow up by viewing main portfolios on the desktop.

    At the moment I don’t have a website myself, but had one some years ago which related to trekking in the Himalayas which featured some of my photography. As I was trying to hit as wide an audience as possible, I wanted it to be easily downloadable, and so my bottom line in design was that it should be able to be seen by someone in a remote part of the world with slow Internet connection speed.

    Hope this helps
    Dave

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Absolutely it helps, thanks. Bottom line i guess is to take advantage of everything that’s available…that way there’s less chance of leaving people on the ‘sidelines’ and missing out.

      Cheers, Glyn 🙂

      Reply
  7. Noel

    Glyn,
    I suspect more and more the web will be accessed on the go on mobile devices be they phones or ‘ipads’ so any way of getting the message accross on these platforms has to be good.

    The cost of this shouldn’t be too great as it will likely become the norm.

    Now I just have to get an iphone… but maybe they are not for older gentlemen…

    Noel

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Noel…Totally agree with you. Having a website/blog that’s viewable across all platforms will become the norm in a very short space of time. I for one use my iPhone a heck of a lot and whereas there were time when I’d fire up the home computer to surf the net for something, nowadays I’ll likely just use the phone.

      Times are moving and we just need to make sure we keep up with it 🙂

      Reply
  8. Andyroo77

    Hi Glyn, I discovered your blog a couple of days ago and it’s now on my list of daily blogs to visit. Lots of great content and I dig your style of portraiture.

    Currently all my browsing is done using my iPhone as I’m waiting for broadband to be connected at my home. That aside, I would probably do a fair bit of browsing on the go also (Internet junky here!).

    I’ve found alot of photography sites I’m recommended to visit turn out to either be entirely (Adobe) flash based or have Adobe flash created portfolios, so I’m either entirely unable to see the content or am unable to see the content that really matters as far as the photographer is concerned. For this reason I think it’s important to keep upto date with web viewing trends/progresses as well as upto date with forthcoming industry agreed standards such as HTML5. That being said however, I do feel that there is a heck of alot of flash based content on the web today that Apple should at least give us the opportunity to view on our iPhone/iPads, ie; while it is important for web designers and website owners to keep upto date as much as possible with new standards, I feel it’s also a boon for modern hansets to be able to display today’s web including Adobe flash based sites & video – as recently demonstrated by Adobe on the Google Nexus 1 smartphone.

    If I’m unable to view a site on my iPhone, I’d like to view it later on my pc but I’ve probably forgotten the web address by then or as my current situation dictates, I have no other web enabled device until my broadband is installed! Therefore the site loses my traffic and potentially others too.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hi Andy,

      Thank you so much for first of all ‘finding’ me and secondly for taking the time to comment; I really appreciate it mate 🙂
      Again it’s real interesting to hear about someone using their iPhone to surf the net; proof again that these little devices are going to become more and more popular over time and that having a site that is viewable on them is going to be vital!

      Like you I very much doubt if I’d view a site once I got home if I was unable to view it on my iPhone; either through forgetting or simply not being bothered.

      Thanks again Andy for a great comment.
      All the best to you,
      Glyn

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *