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4 Nov

Choosing an address for a mobile website

When setting up an address for a mobile website, there are a number of options, each with their own pros and cons. One might think that there is a best practice, however all methods are valid. With that said, I propose that there are different situations which benefit from a specific solution.


New subdomain
eg. m.folio1.com.au

The subdomain is an extension of your root domain, with popular options being "m." or "touch.".

Pros:

Cons:
This is a popular option and may work best for you, depending on what is required. The "m." gives the appearance that the site is separate from the desktop site, so you may want to leave it up to the user for which is best for them to navigate to.


Subdirectory
eg. folio1.com.au/mobile

Pros:
Cons:
This method can be used when your mobile content does not completely mirror your desktop content. The freedom is there to put whatever you like into the mobile website. It also gives the appearance that both sites are related (indeed they are), given that they are both using the exact same domain.



Independent domain
eg. folio1.mobi

Pros:
Cons: Using this method all depends on how confident you are with branding the .mobi domain. In most cases, I would suggest using the "m." subdomain or subdirectory instead of this, as both are more popular.



Responsive site that resize easily

One attractive option may be to develop the site so that it will respond and display for any device in which it is loaded. You may like to load different stylesheets and images based on the device, with the mobile version of the site obviously being lighter than the desktop version.

Pros: Cons:
I would suggest using this technique when you want all content from the mobile site to duplicate the desktop site. Each desktop page corresponds to the same page on a mobile, just displayed differently. Functionality can be stripped back when needed. This enables seamlessly moving between the desktop version and the mobile version of the site. It is worth considering whether the complexity of this solution is worthwhile to implement.

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