Here are some facts. As of the year 2011, Uganda reached 14 million Mobile subscribers according to the site itnewsafrica.com. There about 3.2 million internet users as of the year 2010 according to the internetworldstats.com. Which leads me to make an intelligent estimation that for every 5 mobile phone owners, only one of them owns a computer in Uganda. It’s not accurate and please don’t quote me, but it’s good enough to present the case that most Ugandans and Africans at large own mobile phones rather than computers.
However, after asking around and surfing the web for websites specific to Ugandan companies, it became apparent to me that most companies do not have websites designed for mobile display. A website among other things is a marketing tool for most businesses. If so, then you go where your target audience is, use what they use.
|Mobile version of the new vision website|
So creating or optimizing your existing website for mobile access should be one of your top priorities right now. This will increase your reach as your audience will easily access your website from their computers and mobile devices alike. Here is a snap shot of the new vision and kawowo websites as displayed on my android phone.
If you don’t have a mobile website, then you are at the mercy of Google mobile formatting servers which will try to format the content of your website for whatever mobile device is accessing it. If the mobile user is using opera mini mobile browser, then opera servers will try to do the job.Google and Opera give the user an option of toggling between the mobile and standard versions of your website just in case the visitor is not impressed by any one of them. My experience is, some times they get it right, some times the formatted website really looks awful.
If you are serious about a mobile site, then you won’t take chances. Your website developer may or may not charge you an extra fee depending on your arrangements.
My prediction is that over the coming years, more Ugandans will be accessing the web over their mobile devices especially with advances in mobile device hardware, operating systems like android, and mobile data access technologies like 3G. Therefore it’s time you seriously considered a mobile version of your website if you have none.