Advice on optimizing website for mobile devices

I need some advice or expert opinions on optimizing a website for mobile devices. I’ve been reading about jQuery mobile and also Responsive Web Design from A List Apart. When reading about jQuery mobile though my thought is that it’s more for a separate mobile site apart from the desktop version. But then when I read about the Responsive Web Design, I’m wondering if there’s a way to combine the two and one website version that works great for both desktop and mobile? Should I just completely redesign my website using responsive web design and jQuery mobile or should I just design a mobile version using the jQuery mobile? How to I begin? It’s quite overwhelming reading all this and seeing how much more I need to learn.

Does anyone have any advice or tips on what is a good approach to this subject or where to begin?

My first question wold be whether or not you need the jQuery at all. As I understand it (but that’s not saying much) to use the mobile version you also need the main version, which means a big download. Not sure if that’s true, though … (I need to find out).

It does seem that a trend is starting to make one website that responds to different devices. People acknowledge that this may not suit every site (such as the really big ones) but it’s a general principle worth keeping in mind.

So using media queries etc is a good way to go. There’s a really interesting slideshow that takes this issue even further, which is worth a look:

Rethinking the Mobile Web by Yiibu

Basically, the idea is that you start with a plain, vanilla stylesheet that will serve any device, and than layer nicer styles over the top of that with media queries for devices that understand those. It kind of reverses the thinking process, and is a fairly compelling approach, I find.

Yeah I’m thinking to move towards designing a site that will work on multiple devices. The more I read about jQuery mobile the more I came to the conclusion that it’s meant more for a mobile specific site.

I listened to this podcast yesterday which is really good on this subject: SitePoint Podcast #111: Responsive Web Design with Jeremy Keith » SitePoint

Thanks for that post on that Podcast with Jeremy Keith, it was really good.