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Mobile site - New domain or Sub-Domain

 11:36 am on Feb 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not sure where to post this, so my apologies for putting it here, but I was hoping for a quick poll of users

In your experience or opionion, should I launch a mobile site on a unique and new domain or should I launch it as mobile sub-domain of an existing site?




 5:27 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do they still have that limit of - what was it, 10k? - on page size? I remember us struggling with that.


 5:44 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do they still have that limit of - what was it, 10k?

It's a suggested limit.

Why? - Mobile devices have limited screens. Long pages on small screens are confusing, because users can't see the big picture and feel lost. Some mobile devices with limited memory still can't handle pages that are more than a few Kb but, in essence, the 10Kb limit was set for usability reasons. Some screens may be big enough to display pages with more content. The 10Kb limit ensures that the page is still usable on devices with small screens.

How? - Focus on the piece of information that you want to deliver, and build the page around it.

More Information - Severity: low.
Useful improvements are possible.

Category: Keep it small.
Smaller sites make users happier by costing less in time and money.

Best practice: PAGE_SIZE_LIMIT
Ensure that the overall size of page is appropriate to the memory limitations of the device.

I pulled the above from a report for this topic. It's pretty lean weighing in at 12.5kb. :)

When you run the W3C mobileOK Checker (http://Validator.W3.org/mobile/), review the details of the report closely. Click on the alert icons at the left of each row to see full details. I mean, that tool is pretty clear and specific in the instructions provided for suggestions. You'll find all sorts of neat tips nicely organized within each item that was flagged for review.

I remember us struggling with that.

Me too, and I still do. It requires that you carefully plan the alternate stylesheets so that large images are trimmed, replaced, etc. You also have to give consideration to scripts and that is where it gets to be a real pain in the arse. The best you can do is shoot for a smaller page doing everything within your power to reduce ALL files sizes.

Speaking of which, ever look at most pngs these days? I mean, take a look at some of the file sizes. Many folks are not optimizing them for on screen viewing and they are 2 to 10 times larger than they need to be, file size wise. For example, I've mistakenly uploaded PNG8 files that I didn't run through an optimization export. They were small icons that should have been 3k or less. They were 32k before the optimization export. That's pretty extreme and I see it being a prevalent issue with many sites. They're phat!

Mobile-Friendly Comparison

Google at 100%

Facebook at 85%

Twitter at 76%

^ Those are above average scores based on the number of sites I've inspected since that tool was released.

When you are 100% compliant, you can claim conformance using POWDER...



 6:40 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't seem to be able to get it to run, but I still have cache tweaking to do.


 8:45 pm on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just wanted to add my opinion on a common bit of thinking. Yes, in a year or two most mobile devices will be able to handle any webpage. But that does not mean the user is going to like it!

Personally, I love mobile sites that are done properly. I love the nicely scaled pages and fonts. The simplicity of a mobile page. No pinching and zooming.

My advice, don't count on technology solving the usability issue that will always exist with a smaller screen. Give users a choice. Many will appreciate it.


 7:41 am on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some good stuff here people, thanks for the enthusiasm and ideas.


 1:58 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Like most things, I think people need to consider a sites audience as well. Everyone can get excited about smartphones but when you look at the overall world numbers and which phones are out there, the numbers are quite different. The heaviest web users will be on newer smartphones but that still may not be everyones user.

The issue I have with offering a altered main version site is that is still may be a bloated page that doesn't load on a poor connection in a remote place. But that goes back to your audience again and how important access is with slower speeds.

I have tried to stay ahead of mobile and created what I thought was a great mobile site. Very fast with just the most important content that would be useful on the road. Hardly anyone used it and I just saw the mobile users on my main site keep increasing quite a bit.


 2:59 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

A few comments.

Last year we had a similar topic and hardly anyone posted. I'm happy to see a year later that WebmasterWorld is finally catching up.

Newer smartphones sure can deliver full Web experiences, in many case with Flash. But just because modern phones can deliver a 1024 page properly doesn't mean that a user on a 320 screen wishes to zoom in. The mobile site has its uses. Don't require users to zoom in. It's painful.

Not a fan of trying to cram as many services as possible on a mobile sites. That's why we have apps. Put in the necessary on a mobile site. Remove the non necessary. If users want more they can always go to the full site on a larger device later. Phones are meant for on the go consumption, not total immersion.


 7:44 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Can anyone answer the question if you go subdomain for mobile and its a duplicate of the main site's content, will it be treated as duplicate content ?


 9:01 am on Feb 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

As long as you send googlebot and googlebot-mobile to the correct version, there's no duplicate content issue at all.


 12:30 am on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I tend to be with Harry on this one.

I've watched a number of people try to access websites on their mobile phones by entering the URL and it's not a fast process.

Combine that with the fact that a lot of our clients in the tourism industry have online booking forms provided by third parties and it begins to seem to me that if we were going to turn out full mobile versions of those sites all we would be doing is driving people away.

Maybe it's still better to provide cut-down versions for mobile use ... and it may always be that way because I can't see that screen sizes on mobile phones are going to increase all that much.

It's not the technology that's going to be the limiting factor ... it's the fact that people want a phone they can slip into their pocket or purse and not everyone wants to lug around an iPad.


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