Mobile on subdomain? Or autosizing template?

What is the best practice for a website that strives to be mobile-friendly…

a) A smart auto-sizing template that adjusts to different display sizes…


b) Two different templates, one for the desktop and a separate mobile template on a subdomain e.g.

Which is better for the user, and also for the developer? Being simpler to build, and maintain.

Thanks a lot.

A smart template that auto-sizes to different displays is much easier for the developer, because once you’ve made the two or three different layouts, your extra work is done, and from then on there’s very little you need to do beyond what you would be doing anyone. It also means that you don’t have to worry about any kind of browser sniffing to detect the device and redirect accordingly.

On the other hand, two different templates give you more scope to fine-tune the mobile site so that it is optimised for mobile users, and to avoid making them download content, stylesheets or large images that aren’t going to be used. It also means that mobile users can choose between the cut-down and full-size versions rather than being constrained to using the mobile site.

Thanks. One more thing that came to mind… what about using different images and elements for desktop and mobile? e.g. large images and rich media for the desktop, versus smaller and fewer images for mobile… will a single auto-adjusting template be able to serve less data on mobile devices?

I am not sure how this is done yet, but the CSS “display:none” will still send the data to the client.

Thank you