The data is clear. More and more people are accessing the Internet via mobile devices. Total mobile access of the Internet exceeds that on desktops. Therefore, it is important for all Church communicators to be sure that when mobile users access their website, it is a user-friendly experience.
User-friendly means several things:
- That the content users are seeking is easy to find and succinctly presented
- That the website loads quickly
- That the presentation of the content adapts/responds to the screen size of the mobile device
Content Needs to:
- Answer the questions and address the needs of your specific audience
- Be direct and to the point: providing who, what, where, when, how information
- Be supported with good images
- Be up to date
A website or app needs to load quickly. You can find out the page speed score (out of 100) of your website at this link; https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/. This site will tell you the page speed score for both mobile devices and desktops. Enter the url for your site to get your report.
According to seochat, the normal speed for top ranking websites is 78.52 to 83.04 for their Google Page Speed score. This does not mean the speed is necessarily great, but good. Anything above the 83.04 score is very good. The Google Page Speed indicator makes recommendations on how to improve your score if you are interested.
The Layout of the Site Is Suited to Different Screen Sizes
A website with a responsive design automatically adjusts to the size of the screen whether it be desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. (If you are not sure if your website is responsive, read my previous post Responsive Websites Are Here for a Reason.) For many current websites, a responsive design requires a whole new design. This may not be the best option for you at this time, so you may consider creating a separate mobile website. You would select the content that would go on the mobile site and repurpose it for mobile. One of the issues with this is that you have to keep two separate websites up to date.
The other option is to create a mobile app for your content. This would not replace your website, but would complement your current or future responsive website and could draw content from your website.
In the technology world where all this gets debated, there is much discussion about mobile apps vs. websites (mobile or responsive). But from what I have been able to discern (not being a techie myself), it seems that both mobile apps and websites will continue as users switch between devices all the time.
If I lost you any where in this post, I apologize. Even if we are not technology experts, we do need to know enough to bring mobile technology into any discussion about a new website for a ministry and we need to insist on getting technology professionals to help us create it. Some of us may prefer not to have to think about all of this. In our personal lives that may be okay, but in our professional ministries, we do need to think about it. If we are not the ones who will implement it, we have to be the ones who support it. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and hope this all goes away. That is not going to happen.
I will be writing more about mobile apps, because they do have some advantages over mobile/responsive websites and those are good to know.
Your comments and questions are always welcome.