A mobile site formats your existing website for browsers on mobile devices, such as Safari mobile on Apple products or Chrome mobile on Android devices. This enables your visitors to easilty view your website without pinching to zoom and panning.
The benefits of mobile websites over mobile apps are:
No App Store Approval
App stores, for Apple in particular, require that you submit your completed app to the App Store for a week long approval process. For any reason, Apple can reject your app; wasting all the time and money spent on development and marketing. Since mobile websites run in the browser off of your existing website, there is no App Store approval necessary. Customers with compatible mobile devices will automatically be redirected to your mobile website.
A major benefit developing a mobile website instead of, or in addition to an app is that mobile sites can run on most of the popular mobile devices including: iPhone, Android phones and tablets, iPad, and the new Kindle Fire. With mobile app development, you must develop the same app for each device you want it to run on. Since many of the popular devices use different programming languages and APIs, this can be tricky (and expensive).
Because it works on multiple devices, developing a mobile site is one of the most cost effective solutions to bringing your business mobile. Therefore, you only need to develop it once. Did you know that by the end of 2011, mobile web browsing will exceed web browsing on PCs and Laptops? This is why it is so important to start developing a mobile strategy now.
Ok so it seems like a mobile website is the way to go. How do I get started?
Not so fast. Check out the next article on the the benefits of a mobile app.
Next Article: What is a mobile app?