Taking Your Website Mobile with your ecommerce site hosting solution.
You might have tested your website as part of your ecommerce site hosting on every computer browser you can find, but nowadays that’s just not enough. Nowadays the web is getting more and more mobile – it’s being used on mobile phones, PDAs, and all sorts of other small devices that can be used on-the-go. You need to allow for these visitors as well when you consider your ecommerce site hosting solution, but that’s easier said than done.
So What’s the Problem?
Well, unfortunately, there are dozens of manufacturers of mobile devices, and each one produces hundreds of different models. There has been little standardization among mobile web browsers: basically, the only real way to check whether your ecommerce site hosting will work on one or not is to test it. As you can imagine, with all the devices out there, that’s something that you could never really do – especially considering that new devices come out every few months or so.
All you can do, then, is make your ecommerce site hosting generally suitable for as many mobile browsers as possible, instead of trying to alter it to work perfectly with specific makes and models. When you do this, there are a few basic rules to remember.
Make Things Work Without Images as part of your ecommerce site hosting.
Be Light on Bandwidth as part of your ecommerce site hosting.
Most mobile devices are still accessing the web at sub-dialup speeds – that makes your ecommerce site hosting loading time very important to them. Sure, they’re not spending time downloading images, but they still have to download all of your page’s source code before you can display it. You should make sure that your source code as part of your ecommerce site hosting is as compact as possible, not repeating itself or using long-winded methods of doing simple things.
This is one of those times when it’s good to know HTML and have written your code yourself, but if you’ve used a WYSIWYG editor then you should at least try running the code through HTML Tidy, to see if you can reduce its size at all that way.
Watch Out for Screen Width as part of ecommerce site hosting.
You’ve got to realize that mobile devices have a much smaller screen width than even the tiniest computer monitor. This makes it very important to make sure that your ecommerce site hosting (without images) will work on very small screens – the biggest problem here is tables, which never work well. Better compatibility with mobile devices is yet another reason to switch your ecommerce site hosting over to valid XHTML and CSS, instead of relying on old table hacks for layout.
If you can take your ecommerce site hosting mobile successfully, then there’ll be all sorts of rewards. Mobile shopping is still quite new, and there are lots of people trying it out for the first time and starting to build loyalty – you can get a lot of long-term customers if you get into it now. People are also far more likely to pay for small pieces of information or downloads, since they can pay quickly and easily using their phone instead of a credit card.
Of course, even if you’re not selling anything as part of your ecommerce site hosting, a mobile website can still be good promotion. Mobile users are especially likely to use your website to try to get your phone number, or directions to where you are – do you really want to let these people down? Anyone who’s taking the time, trouble and expense to look up your site on their phone is likely a loyal (or potentially loyal) customer, and you want to make things easy for them.