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Ask The Post
Posted at 03:34 PM ET, 09/29/2011

Q&A: Why won't your Web site auto-detect my phone's browser?

We continue to respond to reader questions in the comments thread and in blog posts throughout the week. You can view (and submit) questions here or on Twitter using the hash tag #askthepost

This week, one Twitter user noted that he’s having issues accessing Post mobile content.

@ouij wrote: “Why won't your Web site auto-detect my phone's browser? I'd read your site on my phone more if it served the mobile page.”

We asked Julia Beizer, our newsroom mobile guru, to respond and here is what she had to say:

Hi, ouij. We’re with you. We’re working to create wide-scale device detection for our site so that we can deliver you a page that’s optimized for your device, whether it’s a smartphone or a big desktop Web computer.

Right now, we’re hamstrung because our mobile site is actually served by a different content management system than the rest of our Web site. To do the type of device detection we want to do, we need to pull the mobile experience into our main content management system so that the mobile pages have access to all of the same content we show off on the desktop Web site every day.

It’s a big project, but one we’re pursuing because the benefits to the mobile Web site are huge. We’ll be able to offer more content to our mobile readers and offer a more robust view of that content (do any of our mobile readers miss photo galleries and hyperlinks as much as I do?). In the interim, we’re working to see if there is some limited device detection we can do before this process in complete.

I know some readers are having trouble getting our heavy, desktop Web pages to load when they click through from social media or newsletters. That’s not acceptable. If you’re among them, please write to us at ideas@washpost.com.

By Washington Post editors  |  03:34 PM ET, 09/29/2011

Tags:  Q&A, Helpdesk

 
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