mojoPortal Tips: Mobile Kit Vs. Responsive Design

With the rapid proliferation of mobile devices, it’s increasingly important to make sure your website is mobile-compatible, across a wide array of platforms. With mojoPortal, you have the option of using the Mobile Kit, or relying on responsible design. Today, we’ll go over points by Joe Audette, the chief architect of mojoPortal, of why using both methods may be your best bet.

Recently, I reached out to Joe Audette, the creator of the mojoPortal CMS, to get his take on the new responsive design available via the Bootstrap framework incorporated in the latest CSS3/HTML5 templates from mojoPortal, vs. the Mobile Kit Pro for mojoPortal. This was his response:

“My take is that responsive design is [not] so simple (at least for phones), it is difficult to achieve. Especially with things like menus that may have any arbitrary hierarchy and any arbitrary depth in the normal site view. Making that adapt and look good for the small display of a phone is very tricky in my opinion. I think it depends on the site and how many pages it will have, for a small site with relatively few pages (and with some rules about the page hierarchy) it may be feasible to do responsive design but the larger the site the harder it gets.

I think the menu in Mobile Kit handles it about as [well] as possible in adapting to arbitrary page hierarchies. The other downside of responsive design is how much css does it take to override it for all the supported screen sizes? If the total payload of css is very large it starts to diminish returns on the responsive design, because the bandwidth and connection speed on phones is usually lower and performance can be impacted.

I think responsive design can be used to good effect in the main site skin to adapt for tablet sized screens or even for very large monitors, but the limitations of a phone size screen are much more difficult to deal with.

… [F]or me it seems good to use a different skin altogether for phones and this allows reducing the total css payload because you can leave out things that are not needed for phones.”

Some other things to consider:

  • Mobile Kit Pro is designed to detect a mobile device, and display accordingly.
  • When leveraging mojoPortal’s mobile detection features enabled by the Mobile Kit, you can determine whether or not to display content formatted for a specific UI, such as sliders or galleries that may not be mobile-optimized.
  • Most responsive design templates (such as the ones generated by Artisteer 4), only detect screen size; this may or may not be appropriate for all devices.

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Author Spotlight

Carole Bennett

Carole Bennett

Carole Bennett is the founder and principal of IndigoTea. As a professional IT consultant, Carole has provided solutions for companies as diverse as Verizon, Frito-Lay, Capital One Auto Finance, and Zales Jewelers, parlaying a unique talent for acting as a translator between the worlds of business challenges and technology solutions. She considers multi-tasking skills gained from simultaneously 1) managing a fire performance troupe, 2) raising a family, and 3) working as a full-time IT consultant excellent preparation for her current career incarnation as the driving force behind IndigoTea. "Fire-breathing redhead on a mission" is not just a metaphorical description!

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