Do We Really Need to Optimize Our Sites for Mobile Phones?

By Daniel Scocco

If you have a website or blog, you probably already heard about the importance of optimizing it for mobile phones, creating a specific version for the iPhone and so on.

I won’t challenge the fact that mobile devices are more popular than ever, and that as we go forward more and more people will be using them to get online.

What I am not sure is if webmasters really need to worry about that trend when creating and managing their websites.

One possible scenario: within five years or so, when the number of users accessing your website via a mobile device will be big enough to matter, those devices will no longer need a special version of your website anyway.

If you think about it, the iPhone and similar smart phones are closing the gap from mobile phones to computers. You can already visit most websites with those devices without needing to load a special version of the site. The software is definitely there, and the hardware is arriving.

Maybe within five years most mobile devices will be able to load websites just like your desktop computer does today. If that is the case, webmasters will be able to keep focusing on building usable and accessible websites, and that is it. There will be no need to create special mobile versions because mobile devices will behave just like any other computer.

What do you think?



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48 Responses to “Do We Really Need to Optimize Our Sites for Mobile Phones?”

  • Kat Sanders

    I’m with Darren. When I’m on my Droid, I will scroll to the bottom of a mobile site and turn it off. I hate them. You lose a lot of useful information that would be on the same page on the “normal” site, especially side bar links. I understand the need to optimize your site for mobility but when it compromises usability, what is the point. I would rather scroll sideways and up/down to have everything right at my fingertips rather than having to go back and forth to differenct pages (or even worse having to search the site) to find what you want that you know is on the page you were on originally if it wasn’t a mobile site.

  • Darin Davis

    As an end user “mobile” sites irritate me. I spent this money to get a phone that can get full version sites so I can enjoy all the benifits that come along with it. Mobile sites are the wrong direction. People who spend the money on phones like the iPhone and droids didn’t spend it to get a watered down version of a website!

  • Eryaman hali yikama

    Good information and good way your blog post. Good luck blogger man.

  • Montana

    I agree, mobile optimization is important, since most people are on-the-go. They want to get information quickly, without the need to zoom in and scroll. They will likely leave a Website if it looks terrible on their mobile device.

  • Sarah

    I think that eventually the phones will learn to browse by auto-adapting to the website’s size. Though I do see it necessary to create a simplified .mobi in the meantime, where you can make it easier for your customers to access the information that they’re looking for instead of overloading their phone.

    I also noticed that with “mobile devices outselling PC’s four to one” (Renee Oricchio from technology.inc.com), we’re going to have to start catering to our customer not wait for our customer to adapt to us.

  • Devilova

    Oh I almost forget,I use my Nokia 6600 with Opera Mini help.I live in Asia,Indonesia exactly.And most of our people use mobile,like I say its depend on where we live.My suggestion is make a website and wapsite for your domain.So search engine can found you wether in web or mobile.It doesnt too hard with wapsite isnt it??

  • Devilova

    It depend where we live or where our customer live.My question is,if Google,Yahoo,Facebook,Twitter make their address using m.domain.com it mean something right??Cos they realize that in some country,most of ppl use mobile to access them.It better to make a website and wapsite for your domain.If you want your site access from whole world.When we search on Google we can see 3 choice right??Web,picture n mobile.I think you should know what I mean.

  • Kathy Pop

    I learned from chatting w/ a woman who won one of my eBay auctions that in some countries- such as China- the Internet is accessed more by cell phones than by PC’s

    She lives in China and was explaining that they use cell phones because they have more freedom than on their PC. Guess their government hadn’t figured out how to block sites on cell phones – at least not at that time, which was a couple years ago.

    I think w/ people just always on the go, the importance of mobile computing will increase.

  • online money making tips

    speed is neccessary for the person who really want some information and think you have most important work to do and your laptop is crushed then what will you use you will use your mobile phone for that purpose so now a days you know technology is becoming more advanced and you can take the example of i-phones these are been developed wvery year with more accuracy and i think they will make a moblie phone same as your laptop is it nice to use that insted of our laptops.

  • medyum

    speed is not the real problem… complexity and size and navigation of site is the problem… it’s why .mobi was created… the size of mobile phone screens will not increase by much… the complexity of websites is increasing and will continue…

  • Glenn Reffin / Redcentaur

    While I am by no means an expert on mobile internet, it seems to me that this is an area that does require more thought and consideration.

    As far as I am aware, these days it does not require a completely different version of the site as most mobile phones use a mobile version of popular desktop browsers. That said, it would be a good idea to have a css stylesheet suitable for mobile. This way, you could change images or hide divs that are not suitable for such small screens. I don’t see that this should be a huge problem?

    As I said, I’m no expert in this field, but if it is as simple as having a dedicated css file for mobile, I think I can manage that without too much difficulty!

    Regards

    Glenn

  • ayman

    If you use WordPress, you can simply activiate the WordPress for Phone plugin at http://wordpressmobile.mobi/ . That’s what I use.

  • SEO

    I believe that it is too early to optimize your website for cellphones. I also have to learn more about it

  • Darren

    Ya.. I like it.. But it’ very hard because im newbie

  • Web Design Northampton

    Couldn’t agree anymore. No one is ever going to study a website in great detail whilst on their phone until the screens are much larger. I think it’s just a matter of time until notebooks and phones merge.

  • Charlotte Web Design

    I think it’s too early for web designers to optimize sites for Mobile Phones. There are a lot of things that web designers should consider in site optimization than this one than this :).

  • switch

    Maybe I am a lagger,sometimes I will write one acticle,so it’s very surprise for me to optimize the blog to the Mobile Phone.Maybe I will do it after read this acrtile,maybe not.because I think that a blog is not the whole for a man,maybe you can say people are geist,you are right,like you said,so we have many things to do but not only a blog.
    you can optimize a msn in your phone,certainly the same of a blog.I like a beautiful blog,I like the Internel,I like the real-life best!

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