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


  1. Hey Smith, not to keep asking you the same question, but just as a test to shut me up, how about changing the two Flash ad spaces (up top and lower right) to either text or a static image for a 24 hour period just to see how the total clickthrough is affected?

  2. Yes, I read this site on my mobile 99.9%.
    While the loading speed has improved, the left side has no margin, and all the text is up against the side of the screen. Minor complaint.
    Otherwise keep up the Great work.

  3. Thanks for that. So you’re on a Dell Streak, right, running Android 2.3.3? That means VGA res (480×600) and you can’t run Chrome. I’ve still got my trusty Nexus One which has the same width and try to make the theme work on the stock browser.

    Five percent of screens visiting this site have the same resolution or worse than you which is a large enough figure to get my attention to throw some effort at this. At the very least to make it cleanly usable on landscape…

    Tricky when Smith wants a 768px-wide ad banner up top with the logo squished in. But something that substitutes ad formats sounds doable.

Comments are closed.