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What if the user really wants to access the website rather than the mobilesite?

The solution I'm thinking of is this:

Having a special root page on the domain http://example.com. Here I detect when a user access the website with a mobile devices, and then redirects to the mobilesite (http://m.example.com). I also detect non-mobile devices and redirect them to the main website (http://example.com/frontpage). This way it's possible to access the main website with a mobile device and the mobilesite with a browser.

Is there a better approach to automatic redirect?

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Don't forget tablets - they're somewhere in between. Also be sure to have links in your footer that allow manually overriding the auto-redirection. As a tablet user, I hate when sites force me to use the mobile site, which stretches a UI designed for a phone across a 10" screen. Most sites work better in their "desktop" mode on tablets, but still consider tablets to be mobile. –  gregmac Nov 10 '11 at 20:47

2 Answers 2

Having a root page that redirects whenever you're on a mobile device sounds like the way to go (try surfing to facebook.com with your mobile device, it will serve you http://m.facebook.com :)

...But I'm not sure if having a 'special' root page like http://example.com/rootpage is the best solution. Your homepage could also include a redirection script. SEO purposes being one of the reasons, I'd keep your example.com page in place. If you Google for 'redirection to mobile devices', you'll find plenty of solutions on how to implement this without having to use a special root page.

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I think your best solution in this case is to put a link to the full site on the footer of the mobile site. This way advanced mobile users can access either version while casual visitors will get the best version for their device. If a desktop user wants the mobile version (and I don't know of a reason why they would) they probably have a user agent switching browser extension. This would be the simplest solution and require the least action by your users to get to the proper version of the site for their device.

A good example that I've seen is REI. Browse to their mobile site and notice the 'full site' link on the footer of the page. It seems to be a fairly well established convention to allow mobile users access to the full site.

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You think or you know for definite? –  Agi Hammerthief Apr 4 at 8:15

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