Yesterday, I presented in Washington, D.C. as part of the 35th annual Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA) conference. My presentation, 'Mobile and Tablets for Publishers '- Ready or Not, Here They Come' focused on the importance of maintaining a mobile-ready, device-neutral website and best practices on how to get started.

Did you know that in Q4 2010, there were 100.9 million smartphone shipments as compared to 92.1 million PC shipments? It's also predicted that by 2014, tablets and smartphones will represent 64% of all computers worldwide. These are astounding figures and only continue to rise. As such, I was very excited to speak to a room full of publishers regarding the value of optimizing websites for mobile devices and tablets.

Upon returning from the conference, I wanted to share a summary of my presentation in our blog.

The time to go mobile is now

  • Mobile is no longer a promise, but a reality.
  • Mobile is where your readers are
  • A mobile presence will help solve problems and increase profitability
  • You're losing money if you don't have a mobile site

Mobile presents a few challenges

  • Smaller real estate
  • Some devices don't support flash and other proprietary display technologies
  • Using only a portion of content from desktop website
  • Potential lack of synchronization with desktop, tablets etc.

Solution '- Several different approaches on going mobile

  • Multi-site: Multiple websites generated from a common database (content, images)
  • Multi-Client Adaptive Design: Displays site differently depending on user's device
  • Third party products: Accesses website and detects when a mobile device is utilized. Creates a separate mobile website / user experience
  • Independent versions of site '- Not recommended!

Let's take a look at each of the advantages of disadvantages of each method.

Multi-Site - Advantages

  • Selective content published on main site is also published on mobile site
  • Each site can have its own distinct functionality / purpose
  • Or can share functionalities from one code base

Multi-Site '- Disadvantages

  • Degree of difficulty in set-up
  • Need to have a CMS that supports multi-site
  • Separate theme required for each type of device

Multi-Client Adaptive Design '- Advantages

  • Theme adjusts to any resolution / size
  • Great for publishing the same content on a multitude of devices
  • Design is device independent

Multi-Client Adaptive Design - Disadvantages

  • Devices all have same functionality and content
  • Disabling content creates unnecessary overhead on device
  • Images have to be resized by the device
  • Requires HTML5 & CSS3 media queries

Third Party Products '- Advantages

  • Ease of use
  • Can easily pick and choose what content areas you want on mobile site
  • Synchronizes most content
  • Can create distinct mobile theme

Third Party Products '- Disadvantages

  • Cost of operating two distinct systems
  • Content has to be previously selected to synchronized
  • Lacks Authentication

If you'd like a recommendation on what method would work best for your organization, contact us today.

Mobile Tips and Best Practices

  • Ask yourself, 'why would someone visit my mobile site?'
  • Only provide the most important and relevant information
  • Direct visitors to the activities they wish to do right away, in a short period of time

To listen to the presentation, please refer to the player below.

If you would like a copy of the slides, or would like to get started on optimizing your website for mobile devices, feel free to contact us.

Ben Bassi
By Ben Bassi

Founder and CEO of CommonPlaces, is a seasoned Internet veteran and marketing executive. His extensive experience in Web-related business dates back to the early ‘90s; with a career specializing in digital strategy, planning, and marketing.

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