Do you have a mobile version of your website?

December 12, 2011 / Updated: December 12, 2011 / Lena Shore

What does having a mobile version of your website mean?

You may have heard talk about having a “mobile friendly” or “mobile version” website design.

Mobile Friendly

A mobile friendly website design means that your website looks good on a mobile device such as an iPhone, Blackberry, or iPad. You would also want to avoid programming that would not work well on a mobile device, such as Flash.

Most smart phones are pretty, well, “smart” at showing your website the way they appear on a computer as long as your design was created with current website technologies. Your website is usually reduced to fit and can be zoomed in to read when needed.

Mobile Version

A mobile version of your site means that you have a specific web design that is triggered when your website is viewed from a mobile device. It happens automatically for the user. The goal of the design is to be easy to read on a mobile device. This may mean removing animations, dumbing down the navigation or removing excess design.

There are a couple of ways to implement this.

  • New design: Create a specific web design for your mobile device and instruct your website to see where the request is coming from so that it displays the correct version.
  • Tweak existing design: Tweak your current design so that it works better on mobile devices. If your site was created in the last couple of years, this might be a good option.
  • Add a plugin: If your website is on a content management system (like WordPress) there are some excellent and inexpensive plugins that will make it happen almost auto-magically.

So, what might it look like?

The first image is the My Two Cents front page on my iPhone without a mobile theme. The second image is a mobile theme being used. It’s not fancy, but easier to read.

Lena Shore

Lena is a full-time freelancer and nerd that specializes in web development, graphic design, and illustration. She enjoys building things, learning new things, pursuing creative endeavors, and giving free advice.


  1. Kim on January 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Good article Lena because I’ve been seriously thinking about a mobile website for a bunch of my customers. Thanks for showing the images too so I get a visual of what it might look like…I’ll have to add these to my new years resolutions! 😀

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.