The mobile version of a website and mobile website ad revenue are things many webmasters overlook and neglect. With more and more users of smartphones, your website is being seen through them to an increasing degree. I’m on Verizon and recently upgraded from a Treo 650 to a Droid X. It was between that, a Droid 2 Global, or a iPhone 4. I had no idea that the iPhone 4 was going to be available on Verizon and haven’t done a lot of international travel recently so I didn’t get the Global. I love watching movies and I really liked the large screen of the Droid X, larger than the iPhone screen even though the resolution isn’t as high. In addition, I got the phone at a low price from Amazon. When I finally got the phone in the mail, switched service from the Treo over to the Droid X and everything was up and running,
I immediately went to our movie website. The site came up in all its glory then I went to a few other movie websites and my eyes were not only opened to our folly but to numerous website owners’ folly as well. Unlike our websites and others, very few leading movie websites had a mobile version of their website fully operational and in place for mobile viewers when I first looked at them through the len of the Droid X. I immediately started obsessing about getting a mobile version of our websites online ASAP. I looked at other movie websites and looked at their mobile versions or lack there of. Some movie websites I could not figure out what mobile instrument they were using, some obviously had custom mobile versions made. I also read over this article on how to Mobilize Your Website for Mobile Web Users through Design, Plugins, Validators, and Emulators.
The problems with our previous websites and others without a mobile version:
- The buttons on the website are hard to select on a mobile device.
- You see the entirety of the site in a small or zoomed in version instead of the most important portion: the posts, front and center.
- The text is hard to read unless you zoom.
- Its extremely hard to comment on the regular version of a site on a smart phone unless the commenting system the site is using has a mobile version. Disqus and Intense Debate both offer mobile versions of their commenting system.
- Site navigation is difficult because of the small buttons unless you zoom in.
- Running searches on the site is difficult becuase of the search box’s small size if you do not zoom in on it.
Being fiscally conservative, we wanted to use the mobile website option that came at the lowest price. We downloaded the free version of the WP Touch and began using that but found out rather quickly that you could not brand your mobile website with a logo or show ads with the free version (I had seen Google AdSense offering a new Mobile Ad service but never saw them in action until I brought the Droid X). Because of those two factors, we purchased the Pro version of WP Touch. We actually purchased the multi-pack version so that we could use it for multiple sites.
Because of the Treo 650, I never really got a good look at what our sites looked like on the newer mobile devices, the iPad included. After buying the Droid X, I was able to get a clear view of them and how they were represented to mobile viewers. You can get a clear view of what your website looks like on a mobile device through some of the smart phone emulators in this post: Mobilize Your Website for Mobile Web Users through Design, Plugins, Validators, and Emulators.
After the Mobile Versions came online
- Our websites are much easier to read and navigate on a mobile device.
- Site search can be conducted at the touch of a button.
- Post titles are bigger and much clearer instantly when a viewer comes to the site.
- Posts are front and center, easily clickable.
- Ads show at the top on the home page and on every post pages.
- We began generating revenue from mobile ads.
- Site visitors can switch between the mobile version of our sites and the regular versions they would see on their PC or MAC.
- Our sites now have iPad versions up as well which are easily switchable to the regular version.
If it was not for the purchase of the Droid X, our sites would still look like all those other movie sites without mobile versions. Are you one of them or does your website have a mobile version?