9 Tips for Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Users

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9 Tips for Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Users

here

 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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What we found this summer is that we got a lot more calls from folks on the road who found us on their mobile device. As swirt said, 3rd party reservations are not available on these mobile devices, so they see our site, like what they see, then call to see if we have rooms available.

The good side of this is that we were able to fill in some empty rooms last minute which in the past just didn't happen here because of our rural location (no drive bys), but the down side is that the phone range much more and also late into the night. Hopefully in the future the 3rd party calendars/booking system will be able to be seen by mobile devices.

gillumhouse's picture
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I have had bookings "from the road" in the last couple years. They cannot book online for tonight - they must call. I am not ALWAYS at my computer to see an online rez. No call in advance - no room for certain.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

As swirt said, 3rd party reservations are not available on these mobile devices, so they see our site, like what they see, then call to see if we have rooms available.

Our booking engine is already mobile ready.

If you want to test your website, there are a few simulators available online:

- opera.com/mobile/demo/ to test on a small screen with opera mini navigator (seems quite widely used)

- you can also register as an Apple developper at developer.apple.com and download their SDK. They have a nice iOS simulator for various iPhone & iPads which gives the closest result to the actual devices.

 

You can also resize your navigator window.

 

Also, this is nice:

- http://validator.w3.org/mobile helps you to test if your site is mobile ready.

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 Or to see a very good visual version of your website as a mobile site GO HERE.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

What we found this summer is that we got a lot more calls from folks on the road who found us on their mobile device. As swirt said, 3rd party reservations are not available on these mobile devices, so they see our site, like what they see, then call to see if we have rooms available.

I agree, any "from the road automobile bookings" will be mobile. ha ha (sorry I just thought that was funny). The fact is more and more are using their mobile devices for internet access, full stop.  So we can at least test our sites to see if they come up okay in that way. I know blogger.com shows me a mobile version of the blog every time I add an article while in the template section (where I access all the blogs), which is a great feature.

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Working now on a redesign of my website to make its design adaptable to different screen sizes.

Chose 320andup as boilerplate. We are now at 7% of mobile booking. Next year will be... 15% or more?

See what is possible at "mediaqueri.es". Depending on the screen size, the look can dramatically change.

They use CSS3 mediaqueries which allow to have CSS code targetted to phone types (iphone, Android, ...) and screen sizes. Quite neat.

swirt's picture
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 I think much of our old discussions were related to whether or not a .mobi site was needed.   Dead and buried, not needed.  .mobi was  a standard for much lesser phones.

The question of is a mobile site needed is a little different.  A streamlined mobile site can be helpful, however, I don't see it as a necessity for B&B  if your main site is designed well.  Many of the examples shown in the article were for retails sites or sites with multiple locations.  For a B&B you want your 3 or 4 main pages streamlined anyway whether mobile or not.  You want them to show your address and contact info on all pages.  Since most B&B's outsource their availability calendar to a third party anyway, there is not a great reason to have a dedicated mobile version because your availabiltiy calendar is not mobilized (though I imagine that will be coming soon).

 On the question of redirecting a website visitor to a mobile version:  It can be done by looking at screen resolution or user agent.  Neither method is perfect.   My phone has a higher resolution than  the desktop screen that my mother uses.  Directing by user agent can force some tablets to the mobile version, which would be less than desireable.  The best method is to scn for resolution and user agent and then offer an option to use the mobile (don't force the redirect).   Again for the "standard" B&B his whole thing is a lot of extra energy/expense for something that is not needed if your main pages are designed well.  

Anon Inn's picture
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From one of the links in Joey's thread:

Getting started with mobile sites.

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05/22/2008

 Thanks for sharing but didn't we talk about this way back when??? Can't remember what SWIRT had to say on the topic. I have created several mobile sites for folks and by the stats they get very little traffic, but their Google stats show mobile traffic way up on their regular site.  I have a link to mobile site in the upper left top...I think one of the x perts said to put it there???

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

So they're saying to have a separate site for mobile users. I guess it could still be pages at your regular .com, but pages optimized for mobile devices. It would be a little trouble to maintain two versions of the site, but not too bad, I guess, and important for some users.

How would mobile users find it? Put a "mobile version" link in the upper left corner of the main site? I know some of the more elaborate sites seem to sense automatically that it's a mobile device, and they use the mobile site version automatically when you enter the address of the main site. I don't know if that's complicated to do or not.

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