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For this particular website there's no current mobile version.

My question is: by creating a simplified mobile version of the site, with obviously less content but more accessible, wouldn't the site be hurt?

Google seems, from what I've read to rank mobile versions higher in mobile searches, but with a limited content, should I even bother?

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I would say this is a question many web developers come across and in the end it comes down to the service they provide. First of all, having a mobile version of a website that makes your page look better on mobile devices is never a bad idea.

BUT you usually have to be very careful with the way you implement that mobile version. Usually developers/webmasters tend to remove a lot of useful stuff that users really liked to use or need hence many users use the normal web page anyways or at worst case they believe they can't get the full experience on a mobile device and don't visit your page on mobile devices at all.

The questions you have to ask yourself are:

  1. Can I provide a mobile version with all essential parts that makes my website what it is?
  2. Would a mobile version help my users to experience my website in a better way?
  3. Is it really worth the effort to create a full mobile version or could I use that time better on additional features or maybe even on some minor css changes so that my normal design looks better on mobile devices.

Never create a mobile version of a website just because you can. There are tons of websites that are perfectly fine the way they are on the other hand many websites benefited from a mobile version. So the points I mentioned above are usually what I try to figure out before I make a final decision. Page ranking based on mobile or desktop design are only secondary if the user leaves your page after a couple of seconds because he/she doesn't like what they see or can experience.

Regarding search ranking you would have to find out what is responsible for a good ranking on your page. Which aspects of your page make google index it to which searches. If you can track that down you can use these information to make sure you use these parts on a mobile version as well.

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I side with you on all points. I see nothing wrong with a regular site on a phone or tablet, and quite frankly with these huge screens nowadays, I really don't see an issue. That being said, things like a button to place a phone call are really useful I think. But all and all, I just don't think its worth removing a lot of the good content we have to make a simplified version. Thanks for your answer. –  guisasso Dec 13 '13 at 12:17

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