You are here

My first mobile site, in Drupal of course

In 2008 I built my first Drupal site, for a furniture business. The site proved to be a big success and we started some other furniture sites as well later on. I also worked on many other Drupal sites and the web in general hasn't been standing still. So last year we decided it was time for an upgrade. Not as easy as thought with a site that is ranking extremely well for a wide range of keywords. It also appeared more difficult to get to a new design.

I moved the entire teakdump site to, which is super easy with Aegir, added the new theme, and many of the custom modules I had developed for the new Meubels website. With that most of the site was ready except for some settings that weren't easy to grab in code.

As early adopters of technology (especially within the furniture world) we'd also been entertaining the thought of having a site that works well on mobile phones. I had already seen and heard of Mobile Tools, so I gave it a quick try.

The Drupal modules

I was pleasantly surprised by the integration with Display Suite and Context. That plus the Fusion Mobile theme gave me fairly decent mobile site in a very short time.

The mobile build mode make it a snap to get a slightly more usable rendering of nodes on mobile devices and the mobile context makes it easy to quickly rearrange the entire site for mobile devices.

I noticed an issue though: the Display Suite build mode was showing on the desktop site! I had to disable Mobile Tools and look back into this the next day.

Then I checked WURFL but that seemed to just complicate matters a bit more.

As it seems now there was a little bug in the code that sets the build mode, at least I wrote a patch for the Mobile Tools that works very well for me!

The main other thing I ran into was the caching of the theme. I'm using two different themes, one for the desktop version and one for the mobile version of the site. This doesn't work at all if you have the same URLs. So finally I had to take the redirect out of Aegir and into my nginx configuration so that also points to the same install (without a redirect).


From blog posts I gathered that Google doesn't seem to consider the same content on both desktop and mobile URLs as punishable duplicate content. I just wonder how Google is supposed to detect the mobile URLs (which is one more reason for a nice blog post about my first mobile site).

Now things still need some work here and there but overall I think this site looks great, both on the desktop and on mobiles. And I wonder where to put the iPad and other tablets, as I think the desktop site is just fine on an iPad but Mobile Tools probably considers it mobile hardware anyway.