Mobile-friendly websites and mobile optimized websites are two different types of websites. If a website is Flash-based, it falls into neither of these categories. As the mobile space continues to see unprecedented growth, the importance of understanding the difference is becoming crucial.
A mobile-friendly website is an HTML based website that doesn’t contain Flash. At the very least, this type of website is recommended. It means that a website is viewable on a smartphone, but it is not optimized for a smartphone. The viewer has to pinch-to-zoom, scroll left, right, up, down and figure out how the site “works” on a smartphone.
This is where a mobile optimized website becomes relevant. A mobile optimized website is a website that is designed specifically for smartphones, not a desktop computer.
A mobile optimized website doesn’t require that someone scroll left/right. It doesn’t require that someone pinch and zoom to read text, either. On a mobile site, the navigation is built for efficiency, the images are optimized for quick loading and the content is minimized to be most effective. Additionally, mobile-only functionality includes tap-to-call, tap-to-email and tap for Google Maps functionality.