Even a casual survey of small business websites reveals the painful fact that many, if not most, are still not mobile friendly. Websites appear that require extensive finger gymnastics to uncover basic information, where is the business located, what are its hours, what kind of services does it offer.
Screen grabs from my iPhone of some local Hudson businesses. Which do you think are mobile friendly?
Below are a few charts to illustrate the extent to which customers are now using their smart phones to search for businesses.((1))
What Does Mobile Friendly Mean?
There is no strict definition for mobile friendliness. But, certain features are definitely required. When a website is displayed on an iPhone or Android, if you have to pinch, squeeze, swipe or perform other digital gymnastics to zoom in, out and around to find information, or just make it visible, you have a mobile unfriendly site. Thinking more specifically about retail business sites, if you have to navigate around a menu to find out where the establishment is located, what its hours are, and a phone number, you are on a mobile unfriendly site. Many users will simply abandon sites like this. For a detailed introduction to this topic Google has some good resources here.
If You Have a WordPress Site?
WordPress is used for a very large number of business websites, millions actually. In the last year or so WP has focused on responsive design as an approach to the multi-screen world our websites now inhabit. Just sticking to the basics, try out the basic vanilla themes Twenty Eleven and Twenty Twelve. Plenty of theme developers offer responsive themes. They are not all created equal of course. But you should try them out to make your WP site mobile friendly.
The WP plugin WPTouch (and its better features for pay version WPTouch Pro) provide a different but very good method of achieving mobile friendliness (the TanzysHudson.com and DavisOrtonGallery.com screen grabs shown above are both using this plugin).
- The first chart is from http://www.businessinsider.com/us-smartphone-market-2012-9; the others are from http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/mobileplanet/en/ [↩]