dotMobi Study Highlights Mobile Web Growth

dotMobi, the mobile web solutions firm behind .mobi, which it notes is the only ICANN-approved internet address created specifically for labelling content that works on all mobile phones, has released details of its third annual study on mobile web trends.

The dotMobi Mobile Web Progress study examined websites available via the world’s most-used global top-level Internet domains: .com, .net, .org, .info and .mobi. The results reveal that the mobile web is continuing its explosive global growth. The 2010 study showed approximately 3m mobile-ready sites, compared to just 150,000 in 2008, representing a two-year growth rate of more than 2,000 per cent, outstripping early PC internet growth rates. The web analyst Netcraft found that, between 1996 and 1998, the size of the desktop web grew from 150,000 sites to 2m sites, a growth rate of 1,333 per cent.

“Many brands and businesses are seeing that mobile is a vital, unique channel and not just a smaller desktop web,” says dotMobi CEO, Trey Harvin. “Big brands are now adopting mobile web strategies, but we still have a long way to go, given the ubiquity of mobile phones compared to computers… Businesses of all sizes need to prepare for the change in how people will access content by embracing the mobile web.

“Small business owners must engage their growing mobile audience as large brands have. Tools like Dreamweaver and WordPress enabled this to happen on the desktop web by making site creation fast, easy and cheap. Developments like jQuery Mobile, DeviceAtlas and goMobi are now making this happen for the mobile web.”

To better understand how the world’s most popular websites are handling mobile phones, dotMobi looked closely at the top 500,000 websites as determined by Alexa, the intelligence company.

Within the Alexa top 1,000 sites, 40.1 per cent of all sites are mobile-friendly. These sites represent the world’s most popular web properties, like Google, Facebook and Yahoo!

Beyond the top 1,000, mobile friendliness still holds strong, but is not yet as widespread. Of the top 10,000 Alexa sites, 29.7 per cent perform well on mobiles. Once the input data is broadened to include the top 500,000 sites, the total number of mobile-friendly sites drops to 19.3 per cent. 

dotMobi’s director of engineering, Ronan Cremin, says: “The study demonstrates that apps are shifting to become a part of a broader mobile web strategy rather than the strategy itself. While some brands build individual apps for multiple platforms like iOS, Android and BlackBerry, businesses are increasingly choosing a mobile web solution for their content, as many of the Alexa top 1,000 have already done.

“As more tools come to market and HTML5 support spreads, mobile web apps will displace most native apps. Brands can now build a single mobile web presence that works across all mobile devices without the limitations, costs and maintenance issues of multiple app platforms. The mobile web lets you address all of your mobile customers, not just those with iPhones and Android handsets.

Cremin adds that companies that have focused on good mobile user experiences and mobile-friendly websites now have strong advantages in competing for visitors, sales, and customer loyalty, and that these advantages are already positively impacting sales via their desktop websites.