Note: This is not an academic piece of work or meant to be technically detailed. The post simply includes some of the information I use to explain what mobile website options are open to our customers.
Explained: Some Options in Customer Talk
Customer service quality and integrity are right at the top of our list of musts at Bigint; therefore, we feel it is important that customers understand all the options available to them when we prepare a website proposal.
Building for desktop and mobile often takes more time; however, this approach has now become best practice. Personally, I have never built a website for a customer that is not mobile friendly; although, desktop only websites have been a viable option to propose in years past.
That was before Google’s April 2015 Mobile Friendly Update, from which websites designed for large screens only could see a significant decrease in ranking position in Google’s mobile search results list.
So, making sure your website displays well on mobiles is more important than ever. But, what options are out there? Here are some of the options we offer to our customers, hopefully explained in language customers can understand.
Bridging the technological gap with customers in respect of terminology can be challenging when preparing a proposal; therefore, we aim to keep jargon to a minimum. However, sometimes there is no alternative, so we endeavor to provide further meaning or include a glossary of terms.
The same applies here; so, I have included a glossary at the bottom of this post.
When choosing a website there are hidden issues for customers to consider in addition to the design and functionality; for example, it is important that modern websites display correctly across all modern devices.
Ideally the site should be search engine optimized (SEO), connected to social media and registered with Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to provide management information on website performance and customer demographics.
The site should be registered with the main anti virus software applications to gain an enhanced online reputation and be hosted on a server that delivers good levels of performance to users.
Our websites consider all these factors, and more. We provide our clients with a complete package that delivers the website they need, including a company mailbox and the essential add-ons to promote the website on Google and analyse its performance online.
It is important that we help our customers understand these options, so they can make an informed decision when deciding what type of website they need.
Some customer foresight is often required at this stage as we ask customers to envisage the future of the proposed website; it could influence the approach we take.
Platform, mobile display approach and design are the options we explain to customers. Functionality is not specific each.
Regarding platform, Bigint usually offer customers three options: A bespoke website custom designed and coded from the ground up by Bigint, a content management system (CMS) with a premium theme or a bespoke content management system
A custom website is what it says, the website is custom designed and coded from the ground up. The process of building the website includes a full design process in which customers are presented with custom mock-up designs. Once a design has been chosen code is written to create the website design and functionality. This approach is design and development heavy and therefore usually costs the most.
A content management system (CMS) is a purchased software application used to upload, edit, and manage the content displayed on a website. Using a CMS usually reduces the development time because much of the administration and maintenance functionality is already in place; therefore reducing costs. A CMS often makes the future administration of the website easier and more cost effective.
CMS can integrate premium themes that determine how the website looks. Themes are not ready built; they are a toolkit of code snippets that facilitate the development of the website layout and style. Themes are not set in stone though; additions and subtle changes can be made to the design.
A bespoke content management system features the benefits of both a bespoke website and a CMS. In brief, a bespoke CMS is a CMS without a design, style or layout. This provides the administrative benefits of a CMS with a fully bespoke front end design.
Now you have chosen your platform we need to help you choose an approach to achieving mobile optimisation.
We can achieve mobile optimisation on custom websites and CMS using the same techniques. Here are some different approaches to achieving mobile optimisation.
Mobile Specific Pages
Mobile pages: An approach to mobile optimisation in which we use a separate page for mobile devices and desktop devices. If a mobile device calls the page the mobile page is displayed, and likewise for desktop devices.
Layout Pages: Use a different layout page design for smaller devices. When a mobile device calls a page, the page utilises the mobile layout for the content, likewise if a desktop calls the page.
One advantage of using mobile and desktop pages is that we can change the content in each and then let users switch manually between desktop and mobile versions of a website using a view switcher. You may want to make the mobile version faster and lighter, but allow access to the full version by means of a link.
Responsive or Fluid Designs
Responsive website design: The website displays differently according to what device is calling it, smart phone, tablet or desktop PC. In responsive design there is only one version of each page; however, code is written to make page elements adjust by growing or shrinking according to what device is calling the page. Custom websites and CMS can feature responsive or fluid designs.
Fluid Designs: Use just one page for all devices; however, the page elements adjust by growing or shrinking according to what device is calling the page.
Techniques to Achieve Responsive or Fluid Designs
CSS Transitions and Media Queries: Change the content styling when a specific screen width is detected.
Viewports: Inform mobile browsers that the site is optimised for mobile viewing so that the page is displayed at the devices dimensions.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
According to Google’s April 2015 update there may be a significant decrease in Google Search traffic to your website if the site is not mobile friendly.
If you are a Bigint customer, you have no worries, because we have always built mobile friendly websites for our customers. Not, all website designers meet the mobile friendly standard though.
If you would like to know if your website is mobile friendly Google has a mobile friendly test tool you can use to find out.
We Can Help You Go Mobile
If you need a mobile website contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 07743 347 271. We often have deals on new websites. This month we are offering free SEO on all new websites.
Feel free to contact us to ask more
Our advice is free of charge. Got a question, ask us at: email@example.com.
Algorithm: Process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.
Content management system (CMS): A content management system (CMS) is a purchased software application used to upload, edit, and manage the content displayed on a website.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.
Google Webmaster Tools: Helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results.
Mobile friendly or mobile optimisation: A website that displays well on mobile devices
Mock-up designs: A visual representation of what the website will look like
Ranking Position: the place a website appears in Google’s list of search results
Search engine optimisation (SEO): Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.
Server: A computer or computer program which manages access to a centralized resource or service in a network
Software application: a computer program designed to permit users to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities.