Mobile | Responsive | Native – What Gives?
Mobile Responsive Native are words that get thrown around today, and yet I wonder how many people understand what they mean?
I can remember when just having a website was all you needed. You know, back in the day when your website told about your company and people only went there to see if you were “with the times” enough to have a website. If you happen to think we are still in that era we need to talk.
Then along came mobile devices, or “smart phones” and everything went sideways. Websites have not worked the same way since.
You have all gone to a website from your smart phone that was really hard to read and navigate. It wasn’t sized correctly, and probably took forever to load. That was not a mobile-friendly site.
Just like anything, there is more than one way to skin a cat. So, I will explain three ways to make a site “mobile-friendly” for you.
When you go to a website from a mobile device, you browser can tell. So the first step is to tell the browser what to do. If you do not give the browser special instructions for mobile devices, they wil just load your main website. Not a good idea.
One fix is to build a mobile version of your site. actually you need several mobile versions because of the many different devices out there. Then in your code you tell the browser which version to show for each device. This is not the easiest way, nor the way that I recommend. It is however the most common use in practice. Why you might ask? Well if your website was not built using a content management system (think WordPress) then it can be pretty difficult to go back and make your site responsive.
But what is responsive you ask? You will think I’m kidding, but responsive designed websites will re-arrange and re-size based on the device that they are being viewed on. Sound to good to be true? Well if you are using WordPress it is as easy as changing your theme to a new responsive theme and you are good to go.
On a side note, this is one more reason that I am not a fan of using custom themes, cutomized themes, or “hacking the code” in WordPress. When changes come along (and they will) A clean WordPress site can be up and running with a new theme in under one hour. Think totally new site design in under an hour! Yeah, it’s a thing worth having.
So the last point can actually work with the first two that I have mentioned. We are talking about Native Apps now. A native app in this application refers to a version of your website that people actually download onto their mobile device. It works basically like the first mobile sites that I described, except that being on the device means it will load faster, work faster, and you can “push” notifications to the persons device. Great marketing tool!
So there you have it, now GO MOBILE!