Lettingweb.com is the UK's favourite letting only property portal, by letting agents, for letting agents. Their aim is to offer an easy solution for letting agents around the country to advertise their properties for rent.
Lettingweb's mobile traffic currently makes up 27% of their overall web traffic and was not being optimised for these users. In January 2013 alone, new visits from mobile devices totalled 46%; this caused Raymond Davies (Lead Developer) and his team to look at offering a mobile experience for their users browsing through smaller, touch-screen enabled devices.
Lettingweb's initial problem was deciding whether to develop an app for their mobile users, or to create a mobile web solution. App development involves a lot of time and resources as you now have to develop for the increasing amount of different platforms(iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BB10). Apps also don't capture users that come to the website organically from search engines. Raymond and his team determined that a mobile web solution would suit their needs and looked at responsive design to adapt their current content for mobile.
Raymond stated: "Responsive design is fine for blogs and smaller, text-based content website, but our website has a large amount of property images and we would much rather deliver smaller, optimised images for our mobile users. This is far more difficult to do with a responsive design based website and would not be an effective solution for what our website offers. The payload would also be heavily increased for everyone visiting our website if we went down the responsive design route. This is why we have opted for seperate mobile websites."
After hearing about 51Degrees.mobi’s Device Detection from Scott Hanselman of Microsoft, Raymond chose to use 51Degrees.mobi over competitors:
“51Degrees.mobi device detection came to us highly recommended and it hasn't disappointed. The price, ease of setup and implementation was perfect for us, allowing us to easily identify the devices our customers are using and serve them content optimised to give a great user experience on their specific device. I downloaded the sample data, plugged it onto our site and had it working within half an hour. The ease of setup and having it work so quickly was a big thing for us. We managed to detect all the devices in our office perfectly, first time round.”