What kind of mobile web design?

There are different methods of
mobile web designs

Which one is right for you?

Yes, there are always several ways to skin a cat so to speak and mobile web design (Aka “cell phone websites” and sometimes “Apps”) is no different. But before we go there, let’s review briefly why you need a mobile website.

Websites are not designed to be viewed on those little tiny cell phone screens or the smaller tablets, so top web designers have figured out how to design or convert web designs for those small mobile devices. The image below shows clearly what I’m poorly explaining here.

(Relative blogs: Here is why you need a mobile website. Here is 3 tips to make your mobile website more awesome.) 

The image below shows the difference between a
desktop website and a mobile website.

mobile website

Why you need a mobile website

We have about 130 hosted websites at KO and we’re seeing about a 25-60% reach from mobile devices. That means that 25-60% of our clients traffic is coming through mobile devices. Are you willing to loose that traffic because your site is too hard to navigate or viewed on a mobile device?

Lets talk numbers for a moment
If your SEO professional is getting you a less than a 60% bounce rate, their doing pretty well. That means 40% of the visitors meant to find your website (or one like it). The other 60% either found your website by accident, used a bad search term, or they just needed your phone number real quick (I do this all the time myself). So theoretically, 40% of the people that came to your website were interested enough to visit another page (or more) before they left the website. Are you ready to lose 40% of that good traffic you received? WHAT? OK, if 40% of your traffic is ‘good traffic’ and you don’t have a mobile website, you could lose another 60%.

Let’s talk social websites for a second
60+% of social traffic is on a mobile device today! If you do any social marketing and don’t have a mobile website, it may be feudal. At KO, we don’t sell our social media marketing packages to anyone without ensuring they have a mobile website. It could be a complete waist of time and money for the client.

NOW, lets talk about what type of mobile website you need
Here is the break down of the different mobile web designs tactics and services that we know of. You do have choices and need to clearly understand what those are before you make a decision. Here are those options simplified:

Monthly fee, you never own the product. There are many companies that offer this.

    • Pro- Less money upfront. Around $35/Mo. But usually up-sale tracking numbers and other goodies.
    • Con- stuck with prefab templates and you do the design and content work your self. Other fees may apply.
    • Con- Usually not connected with table top website, so updates have to be done to each website separately.

Custom build stand alone mobile web design

  • Pro- Flat fee. From $450 to $2,400. You own website out right.
  • Pro- Custom design.
  • Pro- Only essential information is on mobile website.
  • Pro- Feels and looks like Web App. Big buttons
  • Pro- May use GPS feature
  • Con- price is a little higher in the short term, but you do own the website.
  • Con- Usually not connected with table top website, so updates have to be done to each website separately.

WordPress or other CMS application converted website

  • Pro- Normally a flat fee. You own it. Cost around $550-$1,250
  • Pro- all of website content available via mobile website. We think this is NOT a good idea in most cases.
  • Pro- Mobile website is automatically updated when desktop is updated.
  • Con- Mobile websites do not look very good.
  • Con- Navigation on mobile website can be confusing.

HTML 5 Mobile website

  • Pros/Con- Desk top is built in HTML 5, with assumption that mobile websites will also access same content. Same site will automatically adapt to mobile devises.
  • Pros- Website content stays consistent across both websites. May not be a good idea. Depends on website.
  • Con- Website must be built backwards to insure compatibility. I.e. you can’t build an awesome design for the table PC user and have it work right on the mobile website in most cases, so you need to build the mobile version first and try to modify it for the desktop as needed.


    • Pro- The best of all worlds
    • Pro- Can customize layouts, design and images specifically for mobile experience. Desk top website can look different.
    • Pro- Can control what data/text content goes to mobile website from main website.
    • Pro- Mobile site content is dynamically updated from parts of the main website.
    • Con- Price. Starts at around $1,200.

So now that you know what a mobile website is, why you need a mobile website and the different types of mobile website options there are, it’s time for you to go get one.

This article written by Ken O’Donnell
Owner of KO Websites
a Bay Area Mobile Web Design and Marketing Company

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