You can’t fail to have noticed that over the last year or so, mobile devices have turned up everywhere. Smartphones are more powerful than ever before and there are many more tablet devices coming on to the market to rival Apple’s iPad.
Combined with faster mobile data connections and the introduction of 4G technology in nations around the world and what this means is a lot more people are accessing websites primarily via their mobile devices. This is a trend that isn’t going away any time soon and so if you don’t have solutions on your web servers to cater to mobile visitors, you’re going to be at a disadvantage.
Boom in mobile traffic
If you’re not convinced, consider the latest figures from networking specialist Cisco about the future of the technology. The firm forecast that between 2012 and 2017, global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold, reaching 11.2 exabytes every month by 2017.
An exabyte is the equivalent of one quintillion bytes of computer storage, which is a simply huge amount. To put this in context, the annual forecast of 134 exabytes of mobile traffic a year would amount to 134 times all internet traffic generated around the globe in 2000, or three trillion YouTube clips – one for each person on earth for every day of the year.
Readying for mobile
With so much traffic being accessed via mobile gadgets, you need to optimise your website for this usage. Although data connection speeds are getting faster all the time – with Cisco estimating this will rise from an average of 0.5Mbps in 2012 to 3.9Mbps by 2017 – you still need to take into account that download speeds to mobile are still likely to be slower than for Wi-Fi or wired connections.
Therefore, you need to make sure your site is as efficient as possible – which may require creating a dedicated mobile site with a streamlined design and fewer large images or autoplay videos.
You should only make sure your site is IPv6 ready, as the number of mobile gadgets capable of connecting via this technology will increase from 14 per cent last year to 41 per cent by 2017.