So, have you ordered your new iPhone 4s?
Perhaps, perhaps not, but in Australia and around the world they’re selling like… well… iPhones!
The rise of the smartphone is happening with incredible speed. Just take a ride on a bus to or from the city and you’ll see what I mean. Every other person is typing, listening or watching something on their smartphone.
Early in 2011 Google conducted a survey of mobile and smartphone usage in 30 countries including Australia, the results shed a bit of light on the above “bus phenomenon”.
37% of Australian phone users have a smartphone, this is projected to increase to 50% by the end of 2011. It’s a recognised fact that when users upgrade their mobile phones they are very likely to upgrade to a smartphone.
Quickly, here are some other facts from the same survey:
- 26% of users have made a purchase using their smartphone
- 44% local search every day
- of the above, 80% have reached out to a local business directly from the search
The smartphone uptake coupled with more realistic data plans mean that Australians are very much more connected to the Internet than ever before. The side effects of this are all around you.
Ok, maybe I’m a bit of a geek but I’m not alone – I promise – take my quick survey here to see if your habits have changed.
Hands up if you have your phone / iPad next to your bed and read the news, check the weather or do something before you even get out of bed. Ok put your hands down, I’m guessing there was a lot of hand waving just then :)
Perhaps you’re not an early morning bed user but I’ll bet you’ve sat on the lounge with your iPhone, outside in the sunshine while having lunch, on the bus, at dinner (obviously only while you’re waiting for your wife/partner/friend to return from the loo!) – you get the picture.
What does this mean for web site owners?
Users are viewing your web site on a large variety of devices, your site needs to look its best and perform quickly regardless of the device being used to access it.
You need to check out your web site on a variety of mobile devices and see if your core message is still there.
It’s no longer good enough to have a web site that works well in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and a range of web browsers – it needs to look good on an iPhone, Android phone, iPad and a TV!
There are two approaches that I would recommend that you consider:
- Ensure that your web site has excellent HTML code so that it abides by the current standards, this will give you a good chance of looking good on a range of devices, or
- Create a specific version of your site for mobile devices
Luckily WordPress has you covered on both fronts. It’s renowned for creating very tight code. In addition to this it has the ability to create mobile sites from the same content as your main web site.
At TheDMA we commonly use a plugin WPTouch Pro. It enables a dedicated version of your web site that displays your content in a form specific for phones, tablets and TVs.
Visit our site, even this very same page that you are reading now but on an iPhone and you’ll see that it’s nicely formatted for that device. WPTouch Pro does all the heavy lifting here; detecting the platform that a users is arriving on then displaying your WordPress content correctly for that platform.
You’ve probably seen this kind of thing in action already. Websites like the smh.com.au or news.com.au are two local examples that have been doing this very well for a long time. Again visit the site in your desktop web browser and you see the full version, hit it with your iPhone and it looks very different.
So your challenge this week, rather than reading the news tomorrow morning, visit your own web site and be objective about what you see. If you were a potential client would you be clearly looking at your call to action, your key message or even something as simple as your phone number?