We all know what the internet is. We surf the net to research everything from academic homework up to answers to life’s problems. One can quite literally, do everything and anything online… play games, make friends, buy items, get married, work. You name it. The big bad World Wide Web has it. Traditionally, this is done while sitting down infront of a desktop computer or a laptop with internet connection in tow. However, with the advancements in technological gadgets hand in hand with the creation of new ways to gain internet connection wirelessly, anyone can go online on-the-go. Cell phones became capable of internet browsing but not in the same capacity as computers; thus, mobile websites were born.
Surfing via mobile internet is not entirely the same as surfing the common way. There are traditional websites which are the websites or the version of it that you would be able to access were you online using a desktop or laptop. On the other hand, there are mobile websites are the version of websites that can be navigated with the use of cellular phones, smartphones and the recently introduced tablet pc’s. Since these have lesser processing power than desktops and laptops and have weaker or slower internet connections, traditional websites are scaled down to be able to serve mobile devices. Scaled down means its size in kilobytes is normally constrained to below one hundred kilobytes. That is less than a third of the average traditional website size. This translates to poorer graphics and simpler design. The essence of the website is to squeeze in what are the essential features.
The web browsing experience is also different due to the obvious reasons that phones have smaller screens and lesser controls counting that not all phones have a stylus or touch screens to select icons similar to a computer’s mouse. Remember, the websites are designed to cater to all phones capable of surfing the net not just the fancy touch screens and smartphones. In terms of navigating through the page, mobile websites move horizontally in other words, left to go back to the previous page and right to move to the next in contrast to traditional websites that scroll up and down or vertically. Smaller screens make for harder reading panes and full-view of lay-outs.
But the biggest difference is that on the mobile internet, one cannot find and do everything and anything. There are websites that do not have mobile website versions. Do not worry because most sites which deem themselves to have business and information sought by people on the move have mobile versions. These include email, road maps, restaurant, movie and the like guides, online selling sites and of course social networking sites. Next time you find a website that your cellphone cannot open, it is probably best to reserve surfing that unavailable site for when you get home.
Fortunately, smartphones and tablet pc’s are getting better and better that pretty soon the mobile internet experience would catch up in terms of quality.