Considering the sheer number of people who browse the internet on mobile devices, it should come as no surprise that creating mobile-friendly websites has become the norm. One of the ways to achieve that is by creating a dedicated sub-site for mobile devices.
“What is a Mobile Sub-Site?”
Essentially a mobile sub-site is an entire website in its own right that is created for mobile devices – but is structured so that it is stored in a ‘folder’ on the main website. As such in a URL it would appear as www.example.com/mobile or with the use of a subdomain could appear as mobile.example.com. For example, the website casino.com has a mobile subsite at mobile.casino.com. As you can see here while casino.com mobile sub-site may share aesthetic similarities with the main website, its layout, interface, elements and code can all be optimized for mobile devices alone. Needless to say, that is a big part of why it is so beneficial.
Because of how optimized it is for mobile devices, sub-sites are better in several ways. Some of the main benefits include:
- Faster loading speeds
On a very basic level the code (both HTML and CSS) of a mobile sub-site is simplified because it need not cater to other devices, and that will boost its performance. On top of that, other elements on the website will also be similarly optimized including the images, fonts, and so on – all of which will help to improve the loading speed further.
- SEO boost
Coupled with faster performance and improved loading speeds are the SEO benefits since generally pages that load faster are ranked better by Google. Additionally mobile-optimized websites will also enable them to rank higher on mobile-based searches too.
- Improved user experience
If designed properly, a mobile sub-site will provide a much better user experience. It will display information much more clearly and everything from the navigation to the type of content can be engineered accordingly. Of course, having the entire site load faster will obviously appeal to users as well.
“Is a Mobile Sub-Site the Best Option?”
Make no mistake, there are other ways of creating ‘mobile friendly’ websites – one of the most notable being using a responsive design. With a responsive design there is no dedicated mobile website and the main website instead adapts according to the screen size of the device.
The advantage of that approach is that there is no need to maintain two versions of a website. However that being said it is much ‘bulkier’ and tends to load a lot slower – especially for large and complicated websites.
In contrast, a mobile sub-site can simplify things as required and reduce (as opposed to increase) the elements and code that is used. For example, if you contrast mobile.casino.com with its main website, you’ll be able to see just how much of a difference exists.
At the end of the day if you want a website that is truly optimized for mobile devices, a sub-site is definitely the more attractive of the two. The benefits that it offers should make the case for it – though you should still evaluate the options available based on your requirements.
March 25, 2016
February 21, 2017