Rip Off Alert: Mobile Websites


One of the biggest internet rip-offs were seeing local businesses throughout Wisconsin falling for right now is buying “mobile websites.”  You don’t need a mobile website, but you do need this!

If you’re a local business owner chances are you’ve been pitched before.  Phone calls, emails, direct mail all outlining how important it is to have a mobile website.  Billions of people are online each day using their smart phones and tablets and if you don’t have a mobile website none of these people will find you.  Your sales will plummet, while your competitors with mobile sites – their sales will skyrocket PLUS they’ll steal all your current customers!

portage-wisconsin-websitesIt’s all a bunch of B.S.  Most of it at least.  You see mobile websites are easy to sell using these scare tactics, and they are also very easy for designers to create using quick little templates.  So they scare business owners into “needing” one of these mobile websites, they slap a shoddy looking little site together, then grab your check and chuckle on their way to the bank.  Don’t fall for it!

A couple years ago, having a mobile website did make sense.  Back then web designers constructed websites to look good and function well on computer screens.  Viewing a website designed for a PC or laptop screen on a tiny little smartphone screen produces less than stellar results.  To combat this, mobile only versions of websites were made to function well on smart phones and tablets.  So back in the day there WAS a need for a mobile version of a website, but now things have changed.  Bootstrap coding technology and HTML 5 and other advances in how websites are coded and designed has created a whole new breed of what is called “Responsive Designs.”

Responsive means the website will “respond” to the size of the screen on which it is being viewed.  Meaning the size and placement of the text and images on the page will move around, and crunch down or expand in size to appear all neat and tidy on little smart phone screens all the way up to big HDTV’s.  If your main website is designed using a responsive template, then you have both bases covered.  Your website will function well on any screen size no matter how small or how large.

And the good news is the responsive design elements are becoming hugely popular, which means having your current website flowed over into a responsive template is no longer a giant financial kick to the chops.  In fact one client we recently worked with on a web redesign in Portage, WI told us it cost less than having his original static site built a couple years back.

So the big take-away here is to steer clear of folks pitching “mobile websites” and focus on making sure your current site is built using a responsive template.  If it’s not, you could be losing customers.