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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why Your Camp Needs a Mobile Website and How to Make One

The principal way people will access the internet in 2014 is through their mobile devices. Even though most websites can be viewed on mobile, how they look and function are different stories unless such websites are optimized for mobile devices.

How to Optimize Your Summer Camp's Website for Mobile

Mobile users are on the go. They generally don't have time or patience to pinch, scroll, widen or otherwise manipulate their mobile screens to view or use your website. If they get too frustrated, you're likely to lose that potential enrollment.

But even if your website is not currently optimized for mobile, you still have options.

The first is to simply do nothing. Just keep things status quo with your current website while basically ignoring mobile visitors. (I probably don't need to tell you this isn't a great option, but it's technically an option nonetheless so I'm just putting it out there.)

Another thing you could do is upgrade to a full-feature "responsive website." A responsive website means your single website looks and functions seamlessly on any device whether a desktop, laptop, cell phone, etc.

Now even though a responsive website is the ideal option you should eventually shoot for, it's probably too much trouble and potentially cost-prohibitive to convert your current site into a responsive website now. (If you're building a new website from the ground up, that would be the ideal time to make a responsive site. But going back to basically gut or "retrofit" your current site into a responsive one could be extremely difficult at this point point.)

So let's assume for now your current website is ready to go for the current 2014 marketing season, but it's not optimized for mobile and you're also not interested in spending the time or money to turn your current site into a responsive one or build a new website from scratch.

Good news, you still have one extremely viable option: Build a new mobile website, separate from your desktop site, with its own domain name (such as m.mycamp.com) using one of the current DIY mobile site builders out there like Duda Mobile.

Under this scenario, you'd basically have two sites, your traditional desktop site and your new mobile website. Then, when someone visits your regular site on their mobile device, they are redirected to your mobile site with the help of some simple HTML code.

While this last idea may not be the best solution (because you have to maintain two sites, rank in the search engines for two sites, market two sites, etc.), it's better than nothing and can help you reach at least some of your mobile audience until you're ready to upgrade to a single, responsive website framework and design.

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