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I am creating a new blog. Nowadays, especially for a blog, it's important that the websites are accessible for all devices.

Now I have to make a choice on what to do. I have seen 2 options.

Option 1 is to go with a normal fixed website, for example 960px wide (grid960). And for mobile users have a mobile version. This takes some more time, but then there are 2 good versions of the website.

Option 2 I haven't seen a lot yet, creating a adaptive website, or also called responsive website. I am now looking into the LESS framework, where the website automatically switches to to required width.

Only downside is that when the normal browser is re-sized, everything re-sizes. Another problem I found is that pinch-to-zoom on devices does not work.

Now the question is, which one would you prefer for a blog. One that constantly changes layout when you move your device, or one where you have the choice to view mobile and normal.

If there are any other options, please let me know.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

My approach has been to stick with the 960/Blueprint designs with a generous gutter on each side. For example, using a 16 size grid, I don't use 1 and 16 for anything. I also prefer a magazine style homepage with a feature slider and single column content pages with a small menu at the top and additional stuff at the bottom (tags, etc). This works well for regular computers, tablets, iPhone and most Android phones.

I don't like regular/mobile sites for two reasons. First, it can dilute SEO efforts since it can confuse Googlebot and people who want to link to your content or share it via email or social media. Second, I find it really annoying to be dumped to a watered down mobile page when I'm using a 10" tablet that can handle regular resolution OK. It's even worse when the site owner doesn't provide a way to switch to the regular site view from mobile.

I really don't like 'adaptive' sites since they tend to look bad on my desktop PC, which has a 28" monitor, and, as you noted, it can kill pinch-zoom functionality on mobile devices. It also tends to interfere with other zoom techniques on regular PC browsers as well.

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+1 really good points there. I did not know about mobile sites confusing SEO, but it sure could be. I guess you only want to do a mobile site when there is no other way, but for most websites that is not the case. - Another great point is the monitor, but are there no max widths in the fluid grids? - Finally the pinch-zoom is a major problem, and I see that it's not only me that is noticing it. I will take these points in consideration for my final decision. –  Saif Bechan Oct 24 '11 at 14:58
    
Some fluid designs do limit width but a lot don't. It's something that gets overlooked and causes ugly results on some reasonably common monitor setups. Pinch-zoom is a big thing for tablet users and it not working right one of the most common UX complaints about sites I hear from my wife who's a big tablet and smartphone user. –  jfrankcarr Oct 24 '11 at 15:46
    
I have been looking at the Skeleton framework. It adds a responsive layer over the 960 grid system. You then have 4 fixed widths. This will eliminate your screen problem, and I like the way it does not continually re-sizes for every small movement. It is quite a handy switch as well if you are familiar with 960gs. Pinch-zoom problem still there tho. –  Saif Bechan Oct 25 '11 at 19:09

Some info from Google about their views, or rather their search engines views - more SEO possibly than benefit to the end user:

http://www.seroundtable.com/google-mobile-seo-official-15264.html

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