My first SEOmoz post is live!

So this is a bit belated, but I realised that I hadn’t yet posted the link to my SEOmoz blog post. It’s a checklist for optimising a mobile site when responsive design isn’t an option.

seomoz post screenshot

There are a few reasons for why you might choose a mobile site over a responsive site; I mention some of them in my post, although a full analysis is best saved for another day. But the short version is, pure responsive design can be quite limiting, and many large sites are restricted by their content management system or development process or any number of other things.

One aspect which I don’t think is discussed enough is the nature of the industry your site belongs to. For instance, responsive is excellent for publishing sites and blogs, since most people accessing the site on their phone want to read an article that they’ve seen a link to. But for a local business or even a major retailer, the focus may be quite different from your desktop site, in which case you might not find pure responsive a good fit.

I’m increasingly a fan of RESS, or responsive design + server-side elements. This is where you have a single URL but serve custom CSS stylesheets depending on what device is being used to access the site. An extra bonus with this approach is that it seems quite scalable as screen sizes/resolutions become more varied. But I also want to learn more about all three design approaches on a technical level, to get a better sense of what is involved in designing these types of sites.

It’s also been a really great experience to interact with the SEOmoz community, and I’ve already got ideas for more topics to write about! So hopefully my next post won’t be so long in coming.

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