There is no question: you should be optimising your website for mobile devices. As more people switch, or at least supplement, their PC with a tablet or smartphone (or both), they use their PCs less. Further, spending increases with mobile devices. As a whole, people tend to shop on their smartphones (check prices, look for product info, and find vendors) and make purchases on their tablets. Businesses can’t afford to lose out on that type of traffic and sales opportunities. You could create a separate website for each platform – which would cost a fortune and drive you crazy. Or you could test your website with emulators to see how they appear on different browsers.
Here are the best emulators for testing your tablet and smartphone-optimised websites:
- Screenfly. This very popular emulator allows you to test your website on a variety of different device screens and at various resolutions. All you do is go to the website, enter your URL, and GO. Your website will appear, and you can select the platform on which you want to view it.
- Mobile Phone Emulator. Again, you can view your site across a variety of mobile phone platforms. You start by entering your screen size (of your computer, if that’s where you’re doing your testing) and then entering in the platform info from the drop menu on the right side of the screen.
- Mobile Moxie. This is a good one for mobile phones. It allows you to compare your site across three phones, which can give you a good look at the landscape you’re creating.
- Tablet Emulator. Not surprisingly, this one allows you to see what your site looks like on a tablet. There are also options for Blackberry, iPad, Android, and iPhone emulators.
- MobiReady. This is a tool that offers more than an emulator – though that’s important too, and you can certainly use it exclusively for that. The drill is the same: enter your URL and GO. MobiReady goes a step beyond and offers a comprehensive test results page, showing you how it does on dotmobi compliance tests, and much more. There is even a markup test to help you sort out your semantic data.
These are free tools that will help you make necessary changes to your website to ensure they are mobile-ready.