Thanks to @mihaela_v, I got a chance to read a comprehensive article about comparison of 3 methods of building mobile-optimized websites. As I am very interested in building mobile-based websites or apps, I would like to take a brief notes about pros and cons of these methods for quick reference.
Method 1: Responsive web design
Same HTML, different page layout.
- Pros: Same content; A single URL
- Cons: Content won’t be fully optimized for mobile devices; Slow; Difficult navigation.
- Examples: Starbucks, World Wildlife Fund, & The Boston Globe
Method 2: Dedicated Mobile Site
Different URLs: desktop website redirect to mobile website. Mobile-version website is basically a separate website from the desktop version.
- Pros: Easier to make separate changes; Fast; Easy navigation
- Cons: Multiple URLs; Different content and functionality; Content forking; Redirection required
- Examples: Walmart, Amazon, & BBC.
Method 3: RESS (responsive web design + server side components)
Two sets of code (HTML and CSS) for different devices, loading depends on server-side programming.
- Pros: Easy navigation; Less page bloat; Fast
- Cons: More server resources; Device detection required (which is unreliable)
- Examples: CNN, eHow, & Wikipedia