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Redirects between mobile and desktop websites

What's the best way for setting up a mobile site?

9:41 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Excuses first for asking this again. I'm aware that this has been asked in many many topics before but I'm just starting with my first mobile website and the more I read the more questions I have. Moreover what has been actual information 6 months ago might not be up-to-date anymore.

So my first question is, what's the better way to handle mobile content?

1. Through an own mobile website?
2. Through different css declarations but using the same URL's?

I'm kind of hesitant to use option 2. My desktop website has some heavy stuff like slideshows. I could surely hide those with a special mobile css but doesn't it mean it's loaded anyway, only hidden from users? Meaning high bandwidth usage and slow loading. Also, how would I handle DOCTYPE declarations in this case? As I understand a mobile site needs a different one than a desktop site. And last but not least, while I want to automatically redirect mobile users to the mobile version, I also want to give them the option to open the desktop version. How would this be done with different css files?

So back to option 1, an own mobile website. I understand that there is Javascript available that automatically redirects users on a mobile phone to the mobile website but also gives them the possibility to view the full version if they choose to do so. But what about desktop users who for some reason end up on the mobile site, for example when they find the mobile site in search engines? Does this need an automatic redirection, too?

Thanks for all kinds of input...