There is no question about it, mobile internet use is on the rise. Years ago in the previous century (you know back in the 1990s) we wouldn’t have even thought about browsing the web on a portable device. Fast forward to the year 2012 and it’s not only a reality, but internet use with all these gadgets is growing at a rapid rate as well. So much that we should at least start thinking about a mobile version for our websites.
Even if you are not ready to jump into a bunch of programming and modifications to make it happen you should at least start thinking about it, and doing a little research in your spare time wouldn’t hurt.
Personally I am not that tuned into the whole smartphone and tablet thing, but I can’t ignore it. I see it everywhere I go. What was once popular with the younger crowd, is also attracting the attention of the older generation. I see young kids around 10 years old all the way up to people in their 60s and 70s using mobile devices all the time now.
Granted I doubt young kids or older people are doing a lot of internet browsing, but that could change as people become more familiar with these devices with age. If you grow up using them most of your life, and starting at a young age you are more likely to continue using them as you get older.
It might be a different story for the folks that are already old who didn’t have all this modern technology when they were younger. It might be intimidating and a little scary for them to jump into it now, but take someone that is 20 ish now that uses a smartphone regularly and adapts to the latest technology as it becomes available. It is much more likely that some of these people will continue or at least won’t be so afraid of technology when they are 60+ years old.
Here are a few statistics and I am sure you can find many more like these.
57 percent of mobile web users had a problem in the past year when accessing a website and 47 percent had a problem accessing an app on their phone;
46 percent of mobile web users are unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone and 57 percent are unlikely to recommend the site;
And 34 percent said they’d likely visit a competitor’s mobile website instead.
Almost half of U.S. mobile subscribers own smartphones, and that’s a 38% increase over the previous year.
38% is a fairly substantial increase in people who have either bought or upgraded to a smartphone in the past year. Of course this doesn’t mean that all of these people are browsing the internet non-stop 24 hours per day.
Actually the number of people browsing with a mobile device is only around 7% worldwide, but 1 in 4 mobile users are expected to access the internet at least once per day.
As mobile internet use continues gaining popularity at some point you might consider optimizing for this type of traffic. If we start seeing numbers in the 15% to 20% range worldwide I’d be willing to bet that the number of sites with a mobile version would quickly increase. It would also become a much higher priority when starting a new website.
Ditesco from iBlogzone has written an excellent post about a free mobile site builder by Dudamobile, which Google recently teamed up with. If you are interested in building a friendly mobile version for your website, be sure to check out:
How To Make Your Site Mobile Compatible In Minutes: Google Dudamobile Initiative