Mobile access is key for your website!

WITH the unbelievable uptake of mobile technology in South Africa it has become important for all institutions and companies to make sure that their websites are accessible through cell phones.

These “smart” phones usually already have some sort of web-browser installed and it makes it easy for you as the user to access websites.

Most phones, however, do not have screens large enough to render the website in its entirety. We are also still faced with very high costs when it comes to the cost of bandwidth to your mobile device. It should therefore be remembered that every image you place on your website will cost money to view. This brings me to the fact that each website should have the option of a scaled down mobile version.

These can already be seen with larger websites like www.facebook.com and also the mobile version of www.volksblad.com and www.ofm.co.za.

If you are the owner of a website or you are planning a website it really is quite important that you take the mobile aspect into consideration. I do have good news for most of you! If you have a website and it runs on one of the better known and supported platforms like WordPress you will easily be able to install free plug-ins that will enable your website to be viewed on a mobile device.

I think the best recommendation that I can make is that if you plan to create your own website, that you first ensure that the necessary plugins for mobile devices exist and that there is an active community or company developing for newer devices.

The main idea is that you need to keep in mind that on most devices you should keep it straight and simple.
. Due to a technical problem this column could not be published last week.
. Nico Baird is an instructional designer: Media at the Central University of Technology, Free State, and New Media and Educational Technology enthusiast and can be contacted at nico@clicksa.co.za.