Mobile Website

When the internet first became widely accessible and popular, there was really only one way to access it: through a computer. Even when laptops were introduced, the way websites were viewed was still more or less exactly the same. However, today, that’s no longer true. Today, people are accessing the internet through smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, and other electronic devices. Because of the size and other limitations of some of these devices, websites can’t be viewed as if the user were using a computer. This has led to the creation of the mobile website.

What is a Mobile Website?

A mobile website is, basically, a version of a website that has been optimized for a mobile device like a smartphone. Generally, mobile websites are simplified versions of the full site. They usually don’t include as many videos or images, and most do not use scripts like Flash or Java for the navigation system. They often have much less text on them, too, because large blocks of text can be difficult to read on a mobile device.

In most cases, these mobile sites do retain functionality like shopping carts because those functions are a major part of the website that users would want to access at any time.

Creating Mobile Websites

When businesses saw that more and more people were using mobile devices to access the internet, they began instructing their IT departments to make sure their websites were compatible. Because mobile devices were so new, website designers weren’t certain how to go about this. The most obvious answer was to build a new website optimized for mobile and then add code to the main website address that would determine what kind of device the user had. If it was a mobile device, the page would redirect the user to the mobile site. If it wasn’t, they would continue on to the main website.

The problem with this was that website designers had to make certain both the main website and the mobile site were updated with the most recent content. In some cases, this meant updating both sites every day. This created twice as much work, and it quickly got out of hand.

Today, many websites and content management systems have code embedded in them that automatically detect what device the user has and change the website to a compatible format. These dynamic websites make it easier for website programmers because only one website has to be created and maintained.