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More sites now seem to have a mobile version and a desktop version of their website. When I'm on my phone, I'm redirected to the mobile version of applicable sites, and when I want information, I find there's more information available on the desktop version of the website than there is on the mobile version, yet I don't find any option that stands out on the mobile to switch to desktop version.

My question is why don't websites provide such an option?

I mean I understand mobile restrictions and the need to access information without scrolling or zooming, but to me, I'd rather have the information I need from a working desktop site than try to get information from mobile sites that sometimes don't work properly or don't provide enough information.

  • Mostly its depend on site owner I think. Some build mobile + desktop both compatible and some build only for desktop. – Helping Hands May 7 '15 at 8:59
  • Because it's easier not to make this functionallity. – Martijn May 7 '15 at 12:39
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I'd rather have the information I need from a working desktop site than try to get information from mobile sites that sometimes don't work properly or don't provide enough information.

You are saying, then, that the same information isn't available on both and that's not true for every site including all those I work on. I consider that a design and user interface error and nothing else. While you may need to do some additional tapping to get to the same information, if it's usable on a mobile device, then you can and should be able to access it.

But not everything you see on a desktop is usable on mobile and that should be the only reason to disable it on mobile. Notice, I didn't say hide it. Hiding something only causes confusion to those who know it exists.

Attempting to view the same information on mobile is different because mobile devices can't display information the same way. Giving you the desktop version, in all its glory, is wrong but, not giving access to the same information and tools, is also wrong.

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You can use the settings tab on your mobile phone to view the desktop version of any website.

More info on how to do it: http://www.techtip.org/desktop-version-of-websites/

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    funny thing with mine is that its an old samsung smartphone and there is no settings tab. However with Opera Mobile installed, I had to go to settings and choose to visit the desktop site. Its a pain to have to constantly switch settings when one needs more info about a site. – Mike May 7 '15 at 16:09
  • I use the menu button in chrome browser, left button on this picture: link – AnaLog May 7 '15 at 21:20
  • my phone is older than that tho. Mine comes with a slide-out keyboard – Mike May 7 '15 at 21:50
  • The Opera 'user agent' setting is permenant, but some sites will be unusable on such a small screen in desktop mode. I struggle with the same problem all the time, some mobile websites offer no info at all, even websites from a lot of larger companies. – AnaLog May 8 '15 at 12:47
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Why do mobile websites not offer an option to view the desktop version?

As @HelpingHands suggests, this would seem to be at the discretion of the site owner. There might not be a strong technical argument for not doing this, apart from if they don't know how to do it (see #3 below) or the site is responsive, in which case you're already on the desktop site!

Either:

  1. They do not think they need to, or do not want to, link to the desktop site.
  2. They forgot to link to the desktop site. (!)
  3. They do not know how to link to the desktop site. If their redirection is purely based on the user agent, and they have no overriding logic, then this might not be trivial.
  4. The site is responsive, so it's not possible to link between the two. The same information should be available, but that is not a given.

Most mobile browsers do provide the option to "request desktop site". Although this will not always work, depending on the type of mobile site/redirection. I think it just sends a desktop user agent?

I'd rather have the information I need from a working desktop site

Yes, I agree.

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