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Vincent, Managing Director
Mirorcle Pte Ltd
With the mobile phone becoming an essential part of our daily lives, it is not surprising that many predict mobiles to be the most dominant internet browsing platform. According to a recent statistic, approximately 30% of mobile phone users (which makes up more than 700 million and counting) have browsed and do browse the internet via their mobiles. Considering the fact that there are more than 2.5 billion mobile phone users, with the figure increasing by thousands every day, it makes sense to assume the increasing need for mobile websites.
Many proactive, consumer-driven companies have realized the importance of mobile websites and have, consequentially, built their own mobile compatible websites. Some may find this need to create a whole new website for mobiles unnecessary assuming websites can be accessed using mobile web browsers via WAP. However, these individuals are ignorant of the fact that most websites cannot properly load on mobile web browsers, given the size of the normal websites. Therefore, there is a need to carefully design and build an additional website which is accessible via mobile phones or other similar portable devices.
For beginners, the website design used for creating your desktop website is not compatible on the mobile web browsing platform. There are accessibility design guidelines for mobile websites which are set by the W3C. As mobile phones make use of WAP for web browsing, the websites need to be created accordingly in terms of screen size and download limit. The easiest way of building a mobile website is making necessary changes to the existing desktop website design to make it mobile compatible. However, just because you are making use of an existing website design does not mean there won’t be a lot of work. Big changes would be required in terms of website layout, design, and construction.
Some basic pointers for mobile website designs are as follows:
When building your mobile website, you have the option of creating it from scratch independent of your desktop webpage. While HTML can be used, you can also build your mobile website using the WAP or WML format. However, it should be noted that WML does not run with every web host. Therefore, before you use WML to build your mobile website, you have to communicate with your web host to make necessary changes in their web server. WML, which stands for Wireless Mark-up Language, is a light-weight version of HTML. Even though they are both quite similar, it is still difficult to switch from one version to another and WML is comparatively more limited in terms of features and tags.
Building a mobile webpage with WML:
Similar to HTML, in order to create a WML document, all you require is a text editor such as Notepad. In the document, include the following code as the header:
<!DOCTYPE wml PUBLIC "-//WAPFORUM//DTD WML 1.1//EN"
This code will enable the mobile devises to determine they are currently reading a WML document and verify the specific WML standards to use.
Webpages of mobile websites are called cards. A page viewed on your mobile phone while browsing is, therefore, a card. You can include more than one card in your WML document by entering individual codes, for example:
<card id="main" title="This is My Mobile Site" newcontext="true">
This code will create a card with the top title text of ‘This is My Mobile Site’ with the card ID ‘main’, used for the purpose of linking.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when creating webpages via WML is closing the WML tags properly. If any one of the tags is not closed properly the entire website becomes inaccessible.
Building a mobile webpage with HTML:
For those unfamiliar with WML, HTML can be used to build websites as well. The easy step-by-step method is:
Mobile website designing and building is a task which requires a lot of time and considerations. Therefore, it is best to keep your mobile website simple by focusing more on the content. This is not only makes your website easy to create but also makes it accessible by various mobile devices. If you are unfamiliar or do not have time to create a mobile website, the best solution is to hire help rather than give up on having a mobile website. Apart from designing and building mobile websites, some companies even provide additional services of mobile SEO and PPC to cater to the prospective growth in mobile websites.