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Mobilizing Your Art
By James M. Theopistos


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Since my last blog post, What’s Up with your Website, I’ve received great feedback from artists and photographers who are in the process of creating a mobile version of their site.

Here's a great example: An artist who also owns her own gallery quickly realized how much business she might be losing after reading my last post. In her case, 30% of her visitors were coming in on mobile devices but of that percentage, 75% were leaving immediately after landing on her home page, so she had her webmaster implement a mobile solution. Unfortunately, her webmaster responded by telling her it wasn’t necessary because her site could be viewed on any mobile browser. But, based upon what she’d read in my last blog, she continued to push until she eventually found out that it was simply beyond his ability. Don’t let unskilled webmasters hinder your business’s success. Assuming they have the basic html skills needed for standard web-design, implementing a mobile version of your website is not all that difficult for a web developer.

If you are relying upon a website for leads and sales,  I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to have  a mobile version of your website.  If you are using a Analytics service like Google Analytics to track your visitors, you can actually see how many visitors are accessing your site via mobile devices.

I’ve personally witnessed a pattern in a few of the websites that we host through FinerWorks Media. One company, a shopping site, had only 10% of their visitors accessing them via mobile devices in Jan of 2012, whereas today, anywhere from 20-25% of the site’s visitors are accessing it via a mobile device. Thanks to this valuable insight, the  owner is realizing how detrimental a mobile version of his site is to maintaining a successful business.

Getting your work in front of the mobile audience is becoming just as important as presenting it via a standard website viewed from a home computer or a MAC. It’s true that some of your visitors may be computer-literate enough to navigate your non-mobile friendly website from a mobile device, but what about the rest of your visitors? If you can’t present an enjoyable web-experience for your customers, they will eventually find a new place to go.

This leads me to my next topic: Your options. While they may be too technical to tackle personally, at least know that you do have options. If you are paying someone else to handle your website for you, it’s especially important to be aware of what these options are.

Mobile-friendly websites rely on HTML code, just like any other website. The only difference is the way pages are displayed (accommodating the smaller area of your mobile-device’s screen). With a mobile version you don’t necessarily need to have as much detailed content as you would on your main site.  But if you find that this detailed content is needed anyway, give your visitors a link to the original desktop version of your site.

Pages, menus, and graphics have also been designed for touch rather than navigation by mouse, and though much of this relies on JavaScript, the code is already written for you. You  or your web developer only have to load them on your web host and use the readily made examples.

Here are a just a couple of these JavaScript systems (more accurately called frameworks) which you can look at and discuss with your web developer.

jQuery Mobile: Still in its early stages but powerful. It has easy to follow examples. The demo is both the documentation as well as a working example.

The-M-Project : Is quickly gaining in momentum as it relies on heavily on HTML5 which the majority of mobile web browsers handle very well.

For a more detailed list of great mobile web site development systems, check out http://sixrevisions.com/javascript/mobile%C2%A0web-development-frameworks/

While it may be too technical for some, a good web developer should have no problems implementing these when designing your mobile website. But if your current web developer can’t handle the task, then find someone else. Your work and your business,  is too important to leave up to an amateur. 

Category: Selling and Self Promotion
Created: Friday, October 5, 2012, Last Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012


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About James Theopistos Aside from being an enthusaistic promoter of the visual arts field as it relates to individual artists' success, he also serves as the acting Chief Development Officer for FinerWorks.com, an online color print lab for artists and photographers.
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