Four methods for building a mobile site

May 26, 2014 3:24 pm

There are really 4 ways you can build a mobile site with Freedom:

  1. As a networked site
  2. As a custom directory
  3. Using "responsive design"
  4. Using mobile display types

1. The network site is easy and quick to set up, but it does require a lot of copying and pasting. It also is very easy to understand and work with. So, this is always a good version for customers that may not want to pay a lot for a mobile version, not very technical, or need one right away.

2. The custom directory is the method currently used by Accrisoft. This one is very easy to set up as well and can have some very cool features, but it does limit what you can include on the mobile site. For example, you really can't display content from other modules, such as events or blogs. But, it does keep the mobile site in a single spot in Blue for easy update and it does not affect the rest of the site.

3. The responsive website is a single website where the site design that changes dynamically based on the device and display sizes. So, you can have the site look different on smartphones, tablets, and desktops, even changing based on the size or orientation of the browser. But, these take a long time to build and usually require some compromises in the design. They also require a lot of testing to ensure they work right. So, this is a great method, it just limits the design a bit and takes a long time to build. It also requires the the customer using Blue be more technical as well as they will need to add content in the right way to display properly. For example, no tables in the content.

4. The display type method can also be used to build new display types and module layouts specific to mobile devices. This works well, but can be very confusing to build out and maintain. Some modules like events and blogs just have new mobile layouts, but other features like web pages may need different copies for the different versions, which makes HURLs a bit more complicated. It can also mess up search results if it is not built properly. So, this one takes more time to build as well.

There are lots of options with mobile sites. It's really just a matter of what will work best for the customer and how much time and money you want to put in the mobile functionality. Networked sites take a few hours to build. Custom directory mobile sites take a few hours as well. But the responsive and display type mobile sites take about the same time it takes to build out a full new site plus a few more hours for testing and tweaking. So, this is why we usually just offer the networked site version of mobile sites as it is quick and easy to build and manage.