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We Don’t Need a Mobile Theme, Right?

Seems everybody’s got a rather different-looking website when you visit on your phone. Many take it an annoying step farther and prompt you to install an app just to read their website. However, phones have been changing, the web has been changing, both heading in a similar direction, overlapping to the point that the need for a mobile format is dissipating, and I think we’re now better off without it. That’s why we’re seeing more mobile browsers, and the mobile themes themselves, offering to grab the desktop versions of sites.

Odds are 31% that you’re reading this on a phone or a tablet now, but if you haven’t been here on a phone, this is basically what it would look like. Trying really hard to get a cold load of posts down to 1000ms. Not there yet on cellular but it’s getting fast. Thanks to mod_pagespeed, memcached, WebP, some other tricks and this further-minified minimalist theme (also, soon, SPDY), loading with nothing cached on your end, an individual post (not counting the ads) takes maybe 45KB or so over nine requests, not factoring in the roughly 70% HTML/CSS/JS gzip compression that mod_deflate produces for the data transfer to you.

Even fewer bytes involved if you’re using Chrome, Opera or Android as you’ll get served WebPs like you might on Facebook which eat up about half the bytes of their jpeg and png counterparts, depending. It could use more polish to make it look acceptable on both computers and phones, I’m aware this doesn’t have a Park Avenue veneer to it now, but I think that’s time and energy better spent on writing content at this point, content which will hopefully soon include how awesome SPDY is for us once we finally rig it up, plus a few less-boring articles written by someone else. And yes, when that day comes, there will be at least one link to download Chrome somewhere.

Doug Simmons