Why Would A Client Want A separate Mobile Website

30 replies
My partner and I do offline consulting.

I keep seeing all these wso's about selling offline businesses on mobile marketing.

We have not purchased any of those wso's but by the sales letters it looks like those sellers are suggesting setting up either a new website (on a .mobi domain) for the mobile site or a subdomain or a new folder that has the mobile theme.

Or is the idea that when a website is viewed on a smartphone that it will somehow redirect to the .mobi domain? If not then how are smartphone users supposed to know that there is a mobile version of the site available unless then happen to see a link on the existing website?

All of the biz owners we've talked to don't want a new website they want their main website to be mobile compatible with smartphones. This obviously seems like the better option.

Are there any plugins or programs that can be used with wp sites so that when being viewed on a smartphone it will show up mobile?

thanks
jg
#client #mobile #separate #website
  • Profile picture of the author MarkDorrill
    Your right on the money. It seems the WSO pushers have either not yet herd of responsive websites or its too much for them.

    I would never advise a separate mobile site. Bad idea.

    Responsive is the way to go.. Beginner’s Guide to Responsive Web Design | Think Vitamin
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      Don't buy a WSO...Sheesh!

      <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[
      var mobile = (/iphone|ipad|ipod|android|blackberry|mini|windows\s ce|palm/i.test(navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase()));
      if (mobile) {
      document.location = "http://www.yoursite.com/mobile.html";
      }
      // ]]></script>


      Just one of a bunch of code snippets for the purpose. Google is a better resource than some WSO hustler.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        Don't buy a WSO...Sheesh!

        <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[
        var mobile = (/iphone|ipad|ipod|android|blackberry|mini|windowssc e|palm/i.test(navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase()));
        if (mobile) {
        document.location = "http://www.yoursite.com/mobile.html";
        }
        // ]]></script>


        Just one of a bunch of code snippets for the purpose. Google is a better resource than some WSO hustler.
        FYI if your using this javascript you need to ensure that you have also submitted a google mobile site map too - as the google mobile search bot will ignore that snippet of code and not know 100% that your specific site is mobile.

        As for responsive layouts, the same applies google has no idea that they are "kinda" mobile friendly - they look good but typically on mobile devices that don't have the luxury of true 4G performance they are typically sluggish to load in comparison to a specific built for mobile web site, they also eat unnecessary data bandwidth and typically don't validate as they are not truly optimized for mobile.

        As Google is putting more emphasis into mobile - speed is certainly one of the criterias for mobile that they are looking for. Validation is yet to be seen as a requirement for mobile smartphones like it is for the non smartphone. That being said i would rather be on the end of a fast/valid site that still looks good rather than the latter - especially if validation does become a "requirement" for Google.

        Regardless a valid and fast mobile site is more accessible by the broadest range of mobile devices where as that can't be said of a responsive design.

        At the end of the day it comes down to personal choice - i know we wont be moving to responsive designs, or javascript mobile redirection anytime soon.

        With regards to WP Touch i feel it is more for the blogging side of WP, and wont render an out of the box mobile website for business that has features such as tap to call, email, directions, etc - there are currently very few limited options for Wordpress that do offer a good true mobile experience...

        I also don't feel that all the people on the WF connected to mobile are serial WSO'ers jumping on the mobile bandwagon to gain few $$$... some are but not all! lol

        Cheers,

        Jay
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        • Profile picture of the author Pierre!
          Originally Posted by Jay Moreno View Post

          As for responsive layouts, the same applies google has no idea that they are "kinda" mobile friendly - they look good but typically on mobile devices that don't have the luxury of true 4G performance they are typically sluggish to load in comparison to a specific built for mobile web site, they also eat unnecessary data bandwidth and typically don't validate as they are not truly optimized for mobile.
          You brought up a valid point - Bandwidth Caps are now being issued with pretty much all the cell carriers - "Unlimited" has taken on a new meaning!

          Pushing all the data behind the full website might contribute to higher subscription costs for users of the sites....

          Wonder how cutting over to 1/2 normal speed Internet till the end of the month will affect site traffic? Hmmmm....

          Patrick
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        • Profile picture of the author J Bold
          Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

          I think for most business owners, unless they have some crazy sophisticated website that just is not user friendly on a smartphone or tablet, there is absolutely no reason for a mobile site. That goes for about 99% of the businesses out there. I think the whole mobile thing is just a bunch of BS created by people selling WSO's. Almost any website will work just fine on a smartphone.

          Unless you are using a lot of Flash, and then you have the whole issue with Apple products.

          Or like David pointed out, there are much simpler solutions than any WSO.

          ha ha ha, thanks for the laugh. Hope we can agree to disagree.

          Yes, mobile websites are just BS created by people selling WSOs.

          I guess major sites like amazon, ESPN, etc. have mobile versions of their website because they bought some BS WSO?

          Ha ha, incredible. Couldn't disagree more.

          I've used an iphone to look at some websites that didn't have mobile versions, and yeah, it wasn't the end of the world.

          However, when I came across sites that had mobile versions, it was so much easier and enjoyable for me to surf a site like that. I did come across some sites where I just couldn't be bothered to navigate their site with the iphone, because they didn't have a mobile version.

          You sound jaded and cynical, man, and I disagree with your entire point-of-view on this subject.

          Originally Posted by John W.G. View Post

          My partner and I do offline consulting.

          I keep seeing all these wso's about selling offline businesses on mobile marketing.

          We have not purchased any of those wso's but by the sales letters it looks like those sellers are suggesting setting up either a new website (on a .mobi domain) for the mobile site or a subdomain or a new folder that has the mobile theme.

          Or is the idea that when a website is viewed on a smartphone that it will somehow redirect to the .mobi domain? If not then how are smartphone users supposed to know that there is a mobile version of the site available unless then happen to see a link on the existing website?

          All of the biz owners we've talked to don't want a new website they want their main website to be mobile compatible with smartphones. This obviously seems like the better option.

          Are there any plugins or programs that can be used with wp sites so that when being viewed on a smartphone it will show up mobile?

          thanks
          jg

          You really seem to misunderstand the whole concept and point of mobile sites.

          If you don't understand mobile websites and you are talking to business owners about them, it's like the blind leading the blind. And that's definitely the case from what you've related, here. Though you are headed in the right direction with your questions.

          The point is, when a website visitor on their mobile phone visits a businesses's website, they are automatically redirected to the mobile VERSION of that website. Yes, you have to set it up on a sub-domain or a separate URL, but in essence it's the same website, just the mobile version for easier browsing. Basically you make a carbon copy of their website, and just make it mobile-friendly. This takes work.

          If it's a Wordpress site, there are plugins, yes, which will do this automatically for you and then you just have to check how the website looks on a mobile browser and see if everything's coming out ok.

          So yeah, you should not be telling them that you are going to make a different website for them, that's an unimportant detail that you don't need to focus on, at all. As you say, the point is that when somebody on a mobile phone goes to their main URL, they are automatically redirected to the mobile version of their website, which should still have the same color scheme, graphics (just sized accordingly), and content.

          Make sense now?
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          • Profile picture of the author John W.G.
            Why didn't someone just say so.

            So since you're the first person who has given me a straightforward answer I'll go with your opinion on what resources you recommend to get started.


            Originally Posted by redicelander View Post

            ha ha ha, thanks for the laugh. Hope we can agree to disagree.

            The point is, when a website visitor on their mobile phone visits a businesses's website, they are automatically redirected to the mobile VERSION of that website. Yes, you have to set it up on a sub-domain or a separate URL, but in essence it's the same website, just the mobile version for easier browsing. Basically you make a carbon copy of their website, and just make it mobile-friendly. This takes work.

            If it's a Wordpress site, there are plugins, yes, which will do this automatically for you and then you just have to check how the website looks on a mobile browser and see if everything's coming out ok.

            Make sense now?
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
            Originally Posted by redicelander View Post

            I guess major sites like amazon, ESPN, etc. have mobile versions of their website because they bought some BS WSO?
            Your examples are completely different. I'm talking about local businesses. MOST, but not all, local businesses have a website nowhere near the complexity of ESPN's, Amazon's, Best Buy's, and a bunch of other very large corporations I could mention.

            Now for someone who has a more complex site with layout problems on mobile devices or long load times, sure. A mobile site makes sense in that case.

            What I have seen in the market though is people are selling mobile websites whether they are really needed or not. Many "consultants" are trying to convince business owners that every website needs a mobile version. I simply do not believe that to be the case.

            It's just a way that far too many consultants use to get more money out of a client.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
              Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

              Now for someone who has a more complex site with layout problems on mobile devices or long load times, sure. A mobile site makes sense in that case.

              What I have seen in the market though is people are selling mobile websites whether they are really needed or not. Many "consultants" are trying to convince business owners that every website needs a mobile version. I simply do not believe that to be the case.

              It's just a way that far too many consultants use to get more money out of a client.
              Again you miss the point Rus Sells has written a few posts below yours: Usability and user experience!

              From their data, Google has found it's clear people on cellphones want to find the business #1 phone number #2 address (and direction) #3 opening hours #4 coupons.

              It's NOT the same mindset for these mobile users as for desktop browsers who might be in "study" or "information" mode. Cellphone users are in "action" and "quick results" mode. Click to call buttons, click to map, etc. are not found on desktop sites. Most often these info are inside a page, in a sidebar you won't see easily from your phone, etc. Not a good user experience for the mobile browsers. If they are impatient and can't find what they want, guess what happens? They go look elsewhere!

              Make it easy for your prospects and you'll turn a lot more into clients. Speak the language of your clients!

              Just look at the Google search data for Smartphone users only, and you'll see right away if it makes sense or not for a prospect to have a mobile version. In most cases, ONE client has more lifetime value for that business than the cost of a mobile optimized site. And the competition is probably doing it so...

              Yeah, it's only WSO sellers and us deceitful consultants that think it's a good idea :rolleyes:
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              • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                Originally Posted by Jay Rhome View Post

                Again you miss the point Rus Sells has written a few posts below yours: Usability and user experience!

                From their data, Google has found it's clear people on cellphones want to find the business #1 phone number #2 address (and direction) #3 opening hours #4 coupons.

                It's NOT the same mindset for these mobile users as for desktop browsers who might be in "study" or "information" mode. Cellphone users are in "action" and "quick results" mode. Click to call buttons, click to map, etc. are not found on desktop sites. Most often these info are inside a page, in a sidebar you won't see easily from your phone, etc. Not a good user experience for the mobile browsers. If they are impatient and can't find what they want, guess what happens? They go look elsewhere!

                Make it easy for your prospects and you'll turn a lot more into clients. Speak the language of your clients!

                Just look at the Google search data for Smartphone users only, and you'll see right away if it makes sense or not for a prospect to have a mobile version. In most cases, ONE client has more lifetime value for that business than the cost of a mobile optimized site. And the competition is probably doing it so...

                Yeah, it's only WSO sellers and us deceitful consultants that think it's a good idea :rolleyes:
                And you miss my point. I think there are absolutely valid reasons for a business to have a mobile site. I just do not think that EVERY business needs one, but I think there are a lot of people out there trying to convince everyone they come across that they need one.

                I've done them for clients when they make sense. I just did one recently for a mobile truck repair business. Hell, n his case the mobile website is far more important than his main website. Truckers are not sitting at home looking for him. They are looking when they are brokedown on the side of the road. It has click to call functionality, quick load time, and everything they need to know is right there on the homepage.

                On the other hand... a furniture store. Do they really need a mobile site? In the past 6 months, even though they rank #1 in the local market, they have had zero mobile visitors. Yet someone called them a week ago trying to tell them they are losing "tremendous amounts of business" by not having a mobile site.

                I did not mean to imply that every consultant selling mobile sites is deceitful. And if that is the way my post came across, I apologize. Not my intention.

                But if you have been doing this for any length of time, you know as well as I do that there are quite a few consultants out there who are either deceitful or honestly have no idea what they are doing. They think they are doing the right thing, but are just following some $27 WSO that led them to believe they have all the knowledge one needs to hold someone's livelihood in their hands.
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    • Profile picture of the author SiteSmarty
      Originally Posted by MarkDorrill View Post

      Your right on the money. It seems the WSO pushers have either not yet herd of responsive websites or its too much for them.

      I would never advise a separate mobile site. Bad idea.

      Responsive is the way to go.. Beginner’s Guide to Responsive Web Design | Think Vitamin
      Responsive design doesn't make a mobile site. Responsive design just resizes your regular hosted site so it fits the viewing apparatus. A mobile site is totally different in every aspect and is used for a completely difference reason.

      If you're a business that sells something, you need a real mobile site, because people will be buying just about everything using their mobile device.

      I just bought a house a couple a days ago. The Realtor opened the locked door with an app on his phone. Now, when you walk past some stores, your phone notifies you that the store you're walking past has a deal on special just for them. Mobile does a lot right now, soon it will do everything.

      If you think businesses don't need a mobile site, then you're missing a huge money making opportunity. Huge!
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      • Profile picture of the author WebPromoCenter
        Originally Posted by SiteSmarty View Post

        Responsive design doesn't make a mobile site. Responsive design just resizes your regular hosted site so it fits the viewing apparatus. A mobile site is totally different in every aspect and is used for a completely difference reason.

        If you're a business that sells something, you need a real mobile site, because people will be buying just about everything using their mobile device.

        I just bought a house a couple a days ago. The Realtor opened the locked door with an app on his phone. Now, when you walk past some stores, your phone notifies you that the store you're walking past has a deal on special just for them. Mobile does a lot right now, soon it will do everything.

        If you think businesses don't need a mobile site, then you're missing a huge money making opportunity. Huge!
        The above statement caught my eye. That must be this new augmented reality technology I heard about from a WSO a month back or so. That is really sharp!

        Flash that type of add-on feature to business owners and they would either a) be so awestruck that they will buy every service/product you offer, or b) become so mystified of what has been happening online tech-wise, that they close the door and scramble back to the comforts of an old html/frames website.

        I have a business friend who gets so stressed out everytime I try to explain what is available now, that I just don't talk about online stuff anymore. The friendship is more valuable than the money. There are a few like him out there today. But most businesses are eager to pay someone to stay on top of what is advantageous to their bottom line.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
        Originally Posted by SiteSmarty View Post

        ...Now, when you walk past some stores, your phone notifies you that the store you're walking past has a deal on special just for them...
        That's pretty amazing. How do they do that? Do you have any links to more information regarding this feature?
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Fridsjö
    Lol are there actually people selling sites that don't automatically redirect? geez...wow
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    I think for most business owners, unless they have some crazy sophisticated website that just is not user friendly on a smartphone or tablet, there is absolutely no reason for a mobile site. That goes for about 99% of the businesses out there. I think the whole mobile thing is just a bunch of BS created by people selling WSO's. Almost any website will work just fine on a smartphone.

    Unless you are using a lot of Flash, and then you have the whole issue with Apple products.

    Or like David pointed out, there are much simpler solutions than any WSO.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      Start thinking in terms of WHY someone NEEDS a mobile site rather than assuming everyone should have one. It gives more meaning to your sales call if there's a sound reason for having one.

      For instance, calling a bankruptcy or tax attorney and telling them that their website looks awful on an iPhone won't get you very far.

      However, calling a DWI/DUI attorney is a different story. His next client isn't likely going to be close to a laptop anytime soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author John W.G.
    I just came across wptouch - WordPress › WPtouch « WordPress Plugins

    anyone tried this?

    I don't have a smartphone so I can't really see what a website would look like that has it.

    Apparently it works seamlessly with an existing wp theme and shows the mobile version if someone on a smartphone is viewing it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pierre!
      As a Computer Service company, I have very specific requests for a Mobile Site...

      First is - 'Tap To Talk' button so that when their computer is *down* they can easily call me!

      Line card of services, Access to forms they can review prior to my arrival, and access to my blog articles so that they can read up while I am on the way...

      That's my short list, and as long as it's lean and rather fast I am pretty happy.

      Still haven't found the 'Holy Grail' template yet... and I am a very basic coder so I will probably be visiting Quintin's site soon to pick up a template that way!

      I am running the WPTouch for now, but it doesn't offer an option to put up a call me button. I should get off my behind and customize the template that WarriorBen offers in his signature (or used to offer in his sig)... it has worked well for me in the past.

      I also don't understand why the mobile site would have to be on a different 'domain'... but then I am still a n00b with Mobile Sites.

      HTH

      Patrick
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    In most instances an existing site can not be just made to be "responsive" - so what do you do there? In that instance it is necessary to redirect to a separate mobile site.

    Bottom line not everyone wants a brand new website built and more often than not a mobile site is an addon or after thought...
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  • I have a couple .mobi domains that are redirects to sites that are mobile compatible. My idea was the .mobi would attract those who are heavy into mobile devices catching the .mobi in the search engines and going there first.

    That was my reasoning a couple years ago but with the popularity of WP sites and plugins or using code similar to what David suggested above to allow mobile friendly sites to be built easily why bother with the .mobi unless you plan to leverage the term for some reason.

    It's late and I think I just created a nonsense post. Sorry!

    ld Dog
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    P.S. If I can be of any assistance in your "Off" or "On"- line sales and marketing please PM me or email at WinnersChoice-Warrior@yahoo.com . Old Dog

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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I've used an iphone to look at some websites that didn't have mobile versions, and yeah, it wasn't the end of the world.

    However, when I came across sites that had mobile versions, it was so much easier and enjoyable for me to surf a site like that. I did come across some sites where I just couldn't be bothered to navigate their site with the iphone, because they didn't have a mobile version.
    So, whats a MAJOR factor that Google looks for in web sites aside from optimization?

    Usability and user experience!

    Truth be told most regular web sites are going to look like utter crap. Lets not talk about how utterly fail most conversion scripts are as well.

    Why should a company have a mobile web site?

    The answer is very easy if you as a consultant are doing your job correctly, the answer is...

    Because businesses need to have exposure on as many venues and devices as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Look at PC based site, when youre out walking or travelling, looking for somewhere to spend your money NOW, you really want to read through all that 'we are so effing brilliant' BS you get on such sites, you really want to have to mess around trying to click the right menu options to get three pages deep to find what should be easily available to mobile users, can you honestly say the PC based content is relevant to people on the move , on their mobiles .

    And thats forgetting all the more technical reasons , content and call to action differences alone say a different site is required
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    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    People are using their phones for internet search more and more because they don't have to find a wifi hot spot to connect to the internet, their smartphone is always connected and they can usually search from anywhere. It's all about convenience.
    Every business should have a mobile optimized website for this reason alone.

    Keep in mind one of the largest segments of the population is baby boomers, and they need to be able to read the websites they search for without the use of a magnifying glass.

    Smart business owners will recognize these things. They will get a mobile optimized website because it benefits their customers, and in turn it benefits their busine$$. A mobile website is a smart lead generation tool for their business.
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    • Profile picture of the author lint631
      Originally Posted by digichik View Post

      Smart business owners will recognize these things. They will get a mobile optimized website because it benefits their customers, and in turn it benefits their busine$$. A mobile website is a smart lead generation tool for their business.
      Great point. A mobile website for a local business can be a simple 1 page website that has a click to call button (or another call to action button) that connects the mobile user with the business. That user hopefully turns into a customer making that simple 1 page mobile website a lead generation tool.

      As for WP touch it's meant for blogs. Great tool but not the right one for local businesses like restaurants.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
    We do agree then. I certainly agree not all businesses need a mobile optimized version. Case in point, your furniture store. But... part of me also thinks it wouldn't hurt for them to have a mobile version with #1 phone number #2 address (and direction) #3 opening hours #4 coupons all easily available

    In a small city/rural area, no, probably not needed at all. In suburbs and cities, I do think it would still be a much higher R.O.I. for that furniture store to have one compared to the investment. Again, looking at smartphone search data Google can give a clue if it's useful or not.


    BTW, on the other end of the spectrum, small businesses with still NO websites at all could take care of both aspects with a mobile website that looks decent on a desktop. For that purpose, I always make sure there's a max width of about 500-650 pixels to the site, and voila, it looks good on desktop too.
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  • When I build sites for clients I make a regular site as well as a mobile site. The mobile site usually has only 3 pages, compared to a standard site that would have 5-7. Also mobile is not just about the site "working." People viewing sites on mobile devices are looking to CALL, BUY, VISIT, or CONTACT you, they don't care about your company's history and other BS that may be on your standard homepage.

    Mobile is a different experience, and while you can get a responsive WP theme, (there are a ton of them) sometimes it's not the best solution. Visitors have different expectations for mobile sites than standard sites. I work a lot with restaurants, and while they may have neat sliders and galleries on their standard sites, that doesn't usually go as well on mobile. People want to know where you're at, and see your menu, and call to place an order. SIMPLE.

    I use the WordPress dotMobi theme, got it for $15 at themeforest and you can create UNLIMITED amounts of mobile sites, with custom colors, headers, and integrate social media, etc. This is the ONLY theme you will need to create mobile sites using WordPress. You set the layout to a 100% liquid layout, and VOILA, it looks great on ANY size screen.

    Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by unlimitedmarketing View Post

      I work a lot with restaurants, and while they may have neat sliders and galleries on their standard sites, that doesn't usually go as well on mobile. People want to know where you're at, and see your menu, and call to place an order. SIMPLE.
      Here's a restaurant whose website is "responsive":

      The Brasserie - Restaurant & Bar | Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

      It looks great on my 27" desktop monitor and on any smartphone.
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      • Profile picture of the author modernjazz
        some themes respond better than others I've noticed. 35 Best Responsive WordPress Themes is an article by tripwire showing 35 responsive themes, and also at themeforest you can do a search on the term responsive to pull up gads of them, but notice for example the theme Propulsion, and how that menu system responds when you narrow your browser to form a dropdown menu. That kind of functionality in a responsive theme is handy and they don't all perform equally well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I'd like to point out that people NEVER carry their desktop around with them when they...

    Leave the house or leave work!

    But what do they almost ALWAYS have on their person?

    A device that has your companies information stored in
    it and its just a couple taps of the screen away.

    So the question isn't really why do all businesses need a mobile site.

    The question is, why you need a mobile site and WHAT to do with it
    once you have it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Creativegirl
    Wow! Unless there is no reception, internet access or smartphone sales and use in your neck of the woods it's pretty reckless to assume most businesses do not need a mobile-friendly website. Every business with a website absolutely needs a mobile-friendly version. Sorry, all I can say is "wow!" A year or more ago, these assumptions could fly but not today. Most businesses do not need a .mobi domain or additional hosting today, but even that could change in 2 years.

    Thank goodness some of you chimed in with reality.
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  • Profile picture of the author 919492
    Sometime I prefer a regular website instead of a mobile site because alot of the time the mobile sites are limited in the amount of information compered to the regular site. Example tmz.com
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