I have a full site and the mobile site is set to launch pretty soon.

I am autodetecting if the user is on a mobile and redirecting them to the mobile site automatically. I will have a link in the footer as standard practice which says "Full Site".

The question is - On the full site, there is no link to get back to the mobile site. What are the best practices? Do you guys know of good examples?

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    @Sylar's answer is good -- I would only add that you should give the user the option of viewing the full site on their mobile device. Particularly if your mobile version does not offer 100% of the content included in the full site. Jan 3, 2013 at 16:29
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    And please PLEASE make sure that when you redirect, you go to the same page that they were on. It's very frustrating when someone sends you a deep link to a site, you open it on your phone, and you get redirected to the mobile 'front page'. Jan 3, 2013 at 17:07
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    Don't force me to the mobile site just because I happen to be using a mobile device! Let me go to the normal site. Maybe show a hint that there is a mobile version, but do not assume that you know better than I do where I want to go. Jan 3, 2013 at 19:09
  • @MarjanVenema well if you have both a mobile and a desktop site you have to make a decision which version you're going to serve up to whom. You have to assume one or the other. Working on the assumption that 'if you're on mobile, and we have a mobile site then we'll give you that one' isn't really a wild assumption to make.
    – JonW
    Jan 4, 2013 at 17:01
  • @JonW: If the two sites have different addresses, ie m.mydomain.com for the mobile site and www.mydomain.com for the browser site, you should respect the address I typed in, regardless of the device I use. Especially when the sites have differences in functionality. Some mobile sites do not offer "preferences" or whatever, while the main site does, and then force a redirect on me when I am on my mobile regardless of the fact that I typed in the main site's address in my phone's web browser, making it impossible to change my ... when on mobile. Jan 4, 2013 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


It is a good idea to have a link back to mobile site on the full site. Its a good practice. Sometimes the auto-direct doesn't work, and hence this might come in practice.

Here is a good read - mobile site Vs full site

The third point here states that you should have a link back.

As for an example, ope up gmail from your mobile browser, they have a link to the full site. And when you are on the full site, they have a button called "standard" instead of full site on the bottom which redirects back to the mobile version. So its a pretty good practice and gmail does it. (though I disagree with using standard as the button name, it should simply say "Mobile".


Keep in mind how your desktop site will look on mobile devices. Making your mobile link large enough for mobile may make it rather obtrusive on desktop. Tucking it out of the way in the footer is a reasonable solution.

Another device that I've found helpful in getting those mobile visitors to the redirect link is showing them a device icon. It's just a cue to let them know what the link will do, even if they can't read the link text when scaled on the phone.

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