As a follow-up to my previous post on redirection behavior of the Alexa Top 50 sites, my coworkers suggested that I run the same analysis when accessing those sites from a mobile browser.
Of course I didn't gather the data in the first study manually and the only way to fetch the contents of a URL from the command line is curl, obviously. So, the first step in conducting this data analysis was reading the curl
man page to figure out how to include a custom user-agent string in requests:
(HTTP) Specify the User-Agent string to send to the HTTP server. To encode blanks in the string, surround the string with single quote marks. This can also be set with the -H, --header option of course.
If this option is used several times, the last one will be used.
I chose to use the UA String from Fenix:
Mozilla/5.0 (Android 9; Mobile; rv:71.0) Gecko/71.0 Firefox/71.0
The results were surprising: Only 15 of the Alexa Top 50 used HTTP redirects to send a mobile user to a custom mobile-friendly URL. The other 35, presumably,
- Use JS redirection to send the user to a mobile-friendly version of their website;
- Use responsive design to build their website;
- Give the same user experience to desktop users and mobile users.
As before, the results are available online.