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Web Design and Hosting Creating sites, scripting, and hosting discussions.

Do I need to create a mobile version of the website?


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mguise

 
Member Since: Mar 31, 2011
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Hi Community

I've been building a few websites here and their as a part time freelancer. I am starting to do this more and more as a full time job.

I have a very novice question and please forgive if i am posting this in the wrong area.

1. Do I need to design a mobile version of the website I create? or I should say mobile versions of the site.

2. Should this be handled as standard practice or do I need to charge my clients more? I mean should I handle it as an option and openly acknowledge that I have to design for mobile phones?

I test for IPhone, IPad and Android but that can hardly be categorized as designing a site for a mobile phone since these phones have the ability to display websites almost the same way as a regular site.

Which actually leads me to a third question.

3. Should I design a separate web site for an IPhone, IPad or Android.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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chas_m

 
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Broadly speaking, modern SMARTphones (like iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 devices) don't need to have "mobile" versions of the sites created for them. The exception to this is a flash-based or flash-heavy website. Even though some smartphones support Flash, none of them do so particularly well; if possible, using HTML5 rather than Flash will lower the "overhead," on the processors, increase the available audience, etc.

Non-smartphones (still in wide use) *do* need a "mobile" version of the site designed for them, though often the cell provider takes care of this (crudely) for you. Whether you want to "leave it to them" or design a custom mobile site is a question for your client and you to decide. If you've adhered as strictly as possible to web standards, I would say you don't need to worry about this much unless your target demographic is non-smartphone users.
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schweb

 
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The answer to your question depends on the audience for the site and its intended use. Sure you could always create a mobile optimized version, but that could be a huge waste of time and money if it's not really important based on my first to points.

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mguise

 
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Thanks for responding.

I have thought of implementing HTML 5 but how widely is it accepted at this point? Have we all jumped on board? I like Flash but I agree. Right now it's on the fence.

I am thinking about offering mobile design as an extra option to clients and bill them accordingly. At this point I'm just not sure how to approach this.

I might advise them that although I will adhere as strictly as possible to web standards, which should be good for smart phones, there are a number of hand held users they will be unable to reach. At this point I will give them estimates as to how much I would charge for building a site depending on the number of cell phones they would like to target.

What do you think? I see I have allot of research to do because I have no idea how to charge for mobile devices as I have limited experience in this area.

Again, thanks for your feedback.
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mguise View Post
Thanks for responding.

I have thought of implementing HTML 5 but how widely is it accepted at this point? Have we all jumped on board? I like Flash but I agree. Right now it's on the fence.
It's not a question of popularity. ALL modern browsers can use HTML5, so implementing it isn't going to lose *anybody* except those on really outdated browsers. Flash requires a plug-in to be installed ahead of time, but for all practical purposes everyone has already done this, except those who can't or won't.

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I am thinking about offering mobile design as an extra option to clients and bill them accordingly. At this point I'm just not sure how to approach this.
Start by locating some sites that also offer custom mobile versions, take a look at the source, try to reverse-engineer how much work that will be to do and if its worth it.
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MR.MAC

 
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As long as you dont use advanced scripts such as jquery etc you will be ok but I guess it always comes down to the decision of the client
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