To go mobile or not - informational site

Developing an informational site, I’m wondering if its really worth it to design for mobile. The site has to do with legal information (terms and concepts, though statewide info is slated at least a year off).

I see where iphone by far is the largest user device, but doesn’t the pinch feature do just fine with tables and columns? Or am I also contending with Google’s coding prerequisites for mobile search results?

Then there is the issue of content/page size – the articles are 600+ words. Mobile users don’t want this. And do I want to have to come up with whole new set of reduced pages for their eyes – and what about the risk of having dupe content from this?

If the mobile site is not tested on all main devices - is there a format that covers “most of the bases”? Would it help to put everything in div tags and forget the tables? I’ve done xhtml .mobi sites but the bones are too naked for desktop.

There is a reasonably quick CSS fix to get things to fit nicely in an iPhone or iPad screen.

Take a look at your analytics and see what kind of user agents you’re getting. If you’re finding that a large percentage of users are accessing via a mobile device than it’s definitely worth spending the time to fix.


  • as I said its being developed

There is a battle happening. Developers are constantly trying to dumb down a site for mobiles and mobiles are constantly trying to improve to perfectly handle a made for desktop site. More than anything I run into wordpress mobile versions and hate them with a passion. They are a pointless waste of time. I switch to full site and each new page I hit I have to switch again. It’s a irritating process. I look forward to the day when mobile versions and everything in between are one in the same.

I look forward to the day when mobile versions and everything in between are one in the same.
With you there.

From a developer’s perspective…

Right now I develop for regular desktops/laptops since the data is showing that 90+% still browse on these kind of machines but I ALWAYS test on iPad and Android.

Honestly, Smartphones and mobile devices like Xoom and iPad are catching up with how the web has already been built.

There was a time when we all thought “I need to compress those images a little more, I need to make an ugly mobile version only, skip this or that because mobile devices are not as fast or have enough memory”. GUESS WHAT?! Smart phones and mobile devices are adapting to the web, not the other way around.

So YES, keep an eye on how your sites display on these devices but don’t be afraid to push the limits as the mobile devices will sooner or later be able to handle your site as it was originally meant to be experienced.

Proper coding and technology integration always apply.

Regards everyone,

-Daniel O.
eCommerce Developer

Well then are <table> 's out ? Or might these devices adapt as I tend to agree.

Tables are fine. They handle anything you you can throw at them except flash on the iOS.

Tables are fine.
If tables are okay with mobile devices, then I really don’t need to place everything in <div> tags.

Only real difference, then, is loading of images, to use quicker loading ones, mainly.

Of course there are the narrower screens. So two columns are better than one. Right?

Developing with tables will cause you more problems in the long run and they cause accessability issues.

Have you seen this entry on the SP blogs yet? It’s a very interesting reading, and the 320 and up concept looks promising. I haven’t had the time to test it out yet, but I like the ideal.

I think you do not need a version of your website for mobile devices, since most new smartphones handle “desktop” web content without problem.

Have you seen this entry on the SP blogs yet?
No, but I will.

Okay – bottom line – does Google exclude sites having tables on their mobile search?