by Cory Albertson
As smartphones continue to transform the way people use the Internet, there remains incentive on webmasters to create a mobile version of their site. Here is a step-by-step checklist of what you need to do to make sure your site is fit to go mobile.
1. Decide what you need. The mobile world can be overwhelming as there are many providers happy to take your hard-earned dollar to help deliver your mobile site project. But don’t go on a needless spending spree. Chances are high that your needs are fairly basic. A downloadable app is unnecessary if a simple mobile version of your site will suffice.
2. Use the right create mobile website tools. Creating mobile websites is basically a giant pain. Thankfully, there are plenty of start-up companies who have done the hard work for you. Creating a mobile version of your site can now be done in literally minutes by utilizing the right software tools. Mobify is one such very popular tool but can be costly ($250 a month or higher) to receive premium considerations such as their logo not appearing at the top of your mobile page.
3. Bear in mind SEO. Webmasters should understandably be concerned about how a mobile version of their site can impact SEO efforts. Google’s disdain for duplicate content renders it important that the mobile URL of a page is not indexed. This can be fairly easily achieved by using robots.txt to preclude Google from indexing the mobile versions of your site.
Alternatively, your site can be re-engineered to deliver the correct version of the page to mobile users while keeping URL pages the same. However, this method requires considerable more effort. In the absence of strong programming skills, a developer would need to be hired to redesign the site via CSS.
4. Enable your forum to go mobile. Tapatalk is a very convenient tool for enabling your forum users to create posts through an efficient mobile application. Installation is as easy as registering with Tapatalk, providing them with your forum info, and installing a plugin on your forum software. They recently teamed up with VigLink to provide webmasters with a means for monetizing their forum links.
5. Use the right plugins. If your site is WordPress based, WPTouchPro is a great and necessary tool for creating mobile and tablet versions of your site. It’s as easy to use as any WordPress plugin and will deliver your content to mobile visitors in an attractive format. The plugin can be integrated with AdSense or your own custom affiliate deals in order to monetize your mobile marketing efforts.
6. Use an emulator to test the site. Finally, you want to check to be certain that your site is going to look right on a phone screen. Mobile web emulators allow you to test what your site looks like on different smartphones without having to go buy them all yourself. The user agent switcher Firefox plugin is great for viewing mobile versions of your site.