How does your website look on mobile devices? Google’s new service, How To Go Mo, gives you a chance to find out, and teaches you a lot about mobile websites in the meantime.
Every month more people start using the Internet on their phone. This means an ever-increasing amount of web traffic is through mobile browsers.
If you’re a web developer, or responsible for a website, this is something you need to know. The iPhone and Android browsers display websites differently than their desktop equivalents. For one thing, they are by nature smaller. For another, they don’t support the same technology. If your site relies heavily on Flash, for example, it is broken on the iPhone. If your site features very small text, it’s probably a pain to read on a phone.
It’s for this reason that Google wants web developers and website owners to start “Going Mo.” Their initiative for doing so, can visit here, includes a lot of great resources for the job.
Lots of information
Get to this site and the first thing you’ll see is information, arranged in a brilliant interactive design similar to Google’s 20 things I learned about browsers and the web. Explore this site and you’ll be convinced: mobile sites are an essential part of every website’s future.
There’s more than that here, though. You will find a case study, wherein Google invested to get businesses in Mobile, Alabama set up with mobile websites. You’ll find a list of best practices for setting up a mobile site. You’ll find case studies for complex implementations of mobile websites. I could go on, but you really should explore this resource to see what it offers.
This is only a test
Another feature: you can see how your website looks on a mobile browser, even if you don’t own a mobile yourself. The preview is limited, in that you can’t explore you mobile site in your browser, but it’s still a great way to see what your mobile viewers’ first impression is.
Once you see your preview you’ll have the opportunity to fill in a survey. These questions give you a chance to think about the quality of mobile experience you’re offering, and give you feedback regarding the types of changes you should consider making to your site.
Useful for designers
So who is this useful for? Anyone who owns a website. The mobile web isn’t going away anytime soon, so you might as well get your website up and running with it.
If you’re a web designer this is also a useful tool for you, particularly if you want to get into the business of mobilizing existing websites. Send potential clients this link and they will learn all about the reasons going mobile is a good idea, making it more likely they’ll hire you for the job.
Oh, and if you get a job from that, and the site happens to be WordPress based, I highly recommend you check out wp-touch, a tool for making WordPress sites compatible with mobile browsers. It’s easy to use; I set it up on JustinPot.com and think it works quite well.
Google’s “How To Go Mo” site is a wealth of information, and the testing feature is a nice addition. I hope it’s useful for you, but let me know if it’s not. I’ll be hanging out in the comments below.