Is It OK to Redirect the Mobile Version of your Website in 2017?

Back in the day, mobile internet users were far less numerous than they are today. Mobile data plans were very expensive – they still are in many countries – so people preferred to use their desktop computers to access most websites. The advent of the smartphone turned mobile broadband more accessible, adding millions to the ever-growing pool of connected users. Today, it’s not unusual for people to only particular visit websites (mobile version) using their cell phones. The guidelines and technologies needed to create valuable mobile-friendly web properties have been tried and tested years ago, making it easy for any web designer to create a publication or a shop that will behave equally well on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers alike. There are many websites that, instead of directly loading a mobile-friendly interface when visited from a smartphone redirect their visitors to a subdomain purpose built to handle such requests.

Is this practice still justified or is it just a remnant of times that have passed?

Mobile User Interfaces

Mobile User Interfaces

Sometimes you Have to Redirect to Mobile Version

There are times when redirecting visitors to a mobile-friendly subdomain or page is justified. Not publications, of course – even the free templates available for use on WordPress-powered blogs can quickly adapt to the screen size of the device they are visited from. But there are online services like that need to redirect their visitors to a separate mobile version to be able to serve them with the right kind of content for their needs.

The Vegas Palms is a gaming portal that serves desktop and mobile visitors as well. Its desktop website lists over 300 of its games so they can be tried and played by its visitors without any restriction. Its need to redirect players to its mobile version comes from the different content formats supported by the two kinds of web browsers. While desktop browsers can still play Adobe Flash content after the installation of a plugin, mobile browsers will not be capable of the same things. Leaving players on the adaptive home page of the Vegas Palms would only provide them with access to a series of games they wouldn’t be able to play anyway. In the Vegas Palms’ case, redirecting to a dedicated mobile version is not only justified but also recommended.

Most of the Times it’s not Justified

A few years ago, there was a debate going on whether the adaptive or the responsive approach to creating websites was the better one. While the debate is far from being settled, both types of sites have been in use for years. This means that, unless they are justified, redirects to dedicated mobile versions of websites have long ago become obsolete. Using them for websites that do nothing but publish news is something that should finally be phased out completely.


I'm a network and Information Security instructor. I would like to write and share my experience through this website for computer enthusiasts and technology geeks.

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