RU Launches Fully Mobile-Optimized Website
Radford University has unveiled a mobile-optimized website that uses code that detects the size of a device's screen and scales the site to fit those dimensions. The project launched in two phases on Jan. 28 and Feb. 5.
All of the content currently housed within the university's content management system is now mobile-optimized. This project makes Radford University among the first universities in the country to have a fully mobile-optimized website.
The optimization eliminates the need for users to "pinch and zoom" when visiting the Radford.edu website with a mobile device. Users will also find the navigation architecture matches that of the desktop site, making it easy to find information quickly while on the go. Further, site owners across campus do not need to take any extra steps to make their content mobile – the code being deployed will create a mobile version of all content automatically.
The importance of having a mobile website is highlighted when looking at the growth in prospective students visiting college sites on a smartphone. According to a 2012 Noel-Levitz study, in spring 2011, 14% of students visited a college website using a mobile device. In spring 2012, that number jumped to 52%. Meanwhile, Radford has seen a fivefold increase in the percentage of traffic to its website via a mobile device.
A mobile website differs from a mobile application in several important ways. A mobile application must be downloaded by users and must be installed on their devices. Sub-applications within the overall mobile app use native features of the phone; access to site and tools are limited to those included in the application. A mobile website does not require users to download anything onto their devices. Any mobile phone visiting the website will see a mobile-optimized version of the site and can access any page on the Radford University website with their device.
A well-rounded mobile strategy includes both a mobile application and a mobile site.