M-Dot Site on a Not a Smartphone


Does anybody even remember m-dot site technology? Well, it really hasn’t been that long ago, but life moves faster than dog years on the Internet.

Sometime around 2010, “smartphones” really took off and website owners found their pages painfully slow to load or not load at all on mobile devices. The solution was to serve separate content in a scaled down format or a mobile site; m-dot, as seen in the image to the left. Not pretty like the corresponding desktop version of the site, but practical.

Separate mobile sites were pretty much rendered unnecessary with the advent of responsive web design. However, m-dot sites are still out there (Facebook, for example: https://m.facebook.com/) but, if you have one, it’s time to re-think.

If you now have a responsive site, what is the purpose of your separate mobile site? Who are you trying to accommodate? Studies show that mobile users want the big picture and not some scaled down version.

Before you “kill” your m-dot altogether, consider employing a re-direct strategy first. What you want to do is configure 301 redirects on the old mobile URLs to point to your responsive versions, your new pages. These redirects need to be done on a per-URL basis, individually from each of the mobile URLs to the responsive URLs. Something like this: m.mysite.com/about-page re-directed to mysite.com/about-page, and so on, for all of your content. John Godley’s highly used free plugin Redirection will make short order of this task.

You also need to remove any mobile-URL specific configuration your site might have, such as conditional redirects created by a plugin or script (usually) added to your site’s header. Another smart idea is to employ setup rel=canonical on the responsive URLs pointing to themselves (self-referential canonicals). Some of the better WordPress SEO plugins have settings for this.

Moving on is a good thing. I mean, where would we be if dinosaurs still roamed the earth?


The Nokia 7110 is/was a GSM mobile phone announced in February 1999 and released in October 1999. It was the first mobile phone to run Series 40 and to come with a WAP browser. This will take you back, watch:

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