The worst practices of the mobile web, part II

A few months ago, I blogged about the worst mistakes I saw on mobile sites. Since this time I have visited and analysed plenty more mobile sites (so that my search crawler can process them better), and I have a few more offenders whose practices can make mobile browsing a nightmare…

The biggest mobile page in the world! (or rather the heaviest one) :

10MB! No, your eyes do not decieve you, do not adjust your set; this is a mobile page that is 10MB in size. Here we have a combo of bad practices: the thumbnails are in fact resized in HTML (a really poor approach, especially for mobile), and aside from that, they weigh in at 3MB for an approx 700x600px jpeg image! Once again, if you do not take care of the full weight of your pages it will kill any chance of a decent mobile experience.

Multiple redirects:

If you try to guess the mobile version of, and go on, you will reach the mobile page after 5 redirections! Many mobile sites use redirection to catch different entrypoints, go through different services or other detection processes, and it's really bad for mobile. Each redirection costs a lot of time on a mobile, so they should be avoided as much as possible, and processing should be carried out on server as where possible. If you need to redirect, do it server side if you can.

Image weight again:

Just one small photo on the site, and it's 35KB! At least in the age of 28kbps modems people knew how to optimize websites; these folk should be hired for the mobile web. (Also why do I need to click two times on the gallery link to reach it?!). It looks like people don't give too much consideration to their mobile sites, and don't spend any time reviewing them.

Not quite as bad:, a good mobile page, but one of the 3 logos is 11KB instead of <2KB!

Domain spamming: has more than 500 .mobi domains redirecting to them! OK, it looks like a thematic parking page, but I saw a couple of real content sites that bought a good number of domains in order to drag some traffic. More entry points to your site will simply confuse users than really add value, and can hurt your search engine rankings.

Well these are some of my findings this time around. A friendly piece of advice: please take care how you build your mobile site, as I’m coming to visit you some time soon, and you might find yourself damned forever in this terrible hall of shame!


 (All the sites have been tested on real mobile phones, but may have changed since I last visited them)

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