Jeff Turner forwarded me a link yesterday to a great article yesterday called “Mobile Sites vs Apps: The Coming Strategy Shift”. I recommend you take a minute to read it before reading on.

I’ve been a firm believer in the mobile web for years and agree with the article’s premise that mobile websites are the future with one major exception – mobile websites are the NOW too.

Too many companies, both large and small, are jumping into mobile by building expensive apps first without looking at their web presence on mobile. While apps are great for buzz, they are not a long-term solution. Jakob Nielsen does a great job explaining why, although I believe his most powerful statement is at the end: “In the long run, the Internet will defeat smaller closed environments”.

Additionally, optimizing your web presence for mobile need not be complicated nor expensive. By employing responsive web design techniques, it’s possible, easy and cost-effective to create one web design that scales to the user’s device – computer, laptop, tablet or phone. I recently saw a design done by Zeek Interactive that embodies this philosophy. And here’s an article that shows 50 examples of responsive web design done right.

So despite what the high paid analysts are telling you to do (see this article regarding a Forrester Research study), don’t give in to the hype and fear surrounding mobile. Take a step back and recognize what your best strategy is: Optimize your web presence for mobile first, then consider an app if you have a strategy and budget that support it.

(If you’d like guidance creating a mobile web presence, contact us today – we’d be happy to help!)