• Pat Grady

    mob | www

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=743361608 Jesse Heap

    Cindy,

    Thanks for the thorough article discussing the debate around a single URL vs a separate MOBILE url.

    The one critique I would have is the coupling a single url vs mobile url debate with architectural decisions.

    They are really independent decisions.  

    For example, I could create a mobile website that leverages the same URL as my desktop site and avoid many of the issues you point out in your “Don’t Like” section.  For example, a single URL solution could be themed with mobile optimized code to avoid “slow, heavy pages”.  In addition, content could even be slimmed down where necessary in a single URL solution.

    A potentially better way to think about it is to break down a site into three components:

    1. Theme/Template
    2. Code/Libraries
    3. Content

    Most CMS’s like wordpress allow you the flexibility to create different themes for mobile vs desktop or use a single responsive theme for all platforms.  This for the most part is independent of the URL structure you end up choosing.   (In other words I could deploy a different theme for mobile on the same URL or on a different URL)

    In addition wordpress allows you to re-use code where necessary across mobile and desktop while also allowing you to create mobile or desktop specific code.  All this is can be independent of the URL.

    Lastly, in theory wordpress could be used to serve up different content depending on the platform.  However in practice this requires some creative coding as it’s not supported out of box.  Karen has a great article about this issue:

    http://www.netmagazine.com/opinions/separate-mobile-website-no-forking-way

    So net net, I think we should be careful about tieing architecture decisions to the single vs multiple URL debate.  In the end, I’m a strong proponent for a single URL and for me the big reason for that is the one you already mentioned about being able to leverage the existing authority the desktop URL has already presumably already built up.  In addition, the complexity of redirects you mention is also a good reason to think about avoiding a separate mobile URL solution.

    Thanks,

    Jesse Heap

  • http://www.intoto.dk Thomas Zacchi

    I totally agree
    with you Jesse.

    I also think that a single URL is the answer – I hate having someone tweeting a
    link from their mobile only for me to open the link on my laptop to be
    presented with a mobile site. In the end I also think that a single URL will
    benefit SEO – kind of reminds me of the early blog subdomain/directory discussions.

  • http://www.reachsms.com.au/ William Clarke

    Really informative post !!!!. Cindy i think that url selection also depends on the goal of a company which it wants to achieve. If it is being concentrate more on sales then more pages will help it a lot or if it is going to share knowledge then a single url could be a perfect solution for it.