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How to Design and Build a Mobile Website

 

Did you know that in the world today there are more than 2.4 billion mobile phone users, and a thousand more are added every minute!

About 30% of these mobile phone owners (more than 700 million and growing) have browsed the Internet through their mobile phones. This is the reason why mobile Web browsing is predicted to become the next predominant Internet platform.

Many consumer-driven companies have already seen how promising the mobile platform is and have already equipped themselves with a mobile Web site. A mobile Website today is not simply a passing fad. It is predicted that in the future mobile sites will prove to be a necessity, even the new Internet standard. Right now, there are millions of WAP mobile users browsing the Internet. But, there is an unfortunate disparity when it comes to the number of consumer-focused mobile Web sites that actually load properly on phones.

This is because there are special procedures involved in designing a mobile Web site. The following article is meant to help you learn how to design and build a mobile website.
The Basic Principles of Mobile Website Design

First, you have to know that the Web site design and construction generally used for computer browsers is not compatible with that of mobile phones. For your site to work well on a mobile handset, it must follow the accessibility design guidelines for building mobile Websites which are set by the W3C.

In mobile phones, the technology called the WAP is used for browsing. Because of the limitations of WAP browsers in terms of screen size and allowable download, you will need to strip down your current design.

The easiest way to build your mobile Website is to modify your existing Internet site to make it compatible for mobile handsets. If you decide to do so, expect that there will be big changes in terms of layout, design and construction.

Here are some principles about mobile Web design that you should take note of before proceeding to build one of your own:

  • Websites which make use of tables for the main layout will not look right on mobile phones.
  • Your site must use CSS for the layout to ensure maximum compatibility.
  • It is easiest if your site is coded using either XML or XHTML, with your character encoding set at UTF-8.
  • You have to consider that different mobile phones have different screen sizes. This can be a major headache if you want your mobile Web site design to run on all of them.
  • Remember to put all the most important information that you want mobile users to see on the top of the page. It can be time consuming to browse through a mobile site, not to mention tedious to read through. Make your mobile site design convenient for your consumers.
  • It is difficult to enter text in mobile Web sites. You may want to offer your user the convenience of radio buttons and lists, which they can choose from depending on what they need.
  • If you wish to put images on your mobile Website, it should be in jpeg or gif format.
  • A good mobile Web site design provides back buttons and links. Many phones are not equipped with back buttons, so try to provide one.
  • Keepin mind that the maximum page size for a mobile page is only 20 kilobytes. Make everything fit into that number.
  • Lastly, you should bear in mind that users are actually paying fees to access your mobile Website. Make sure that they are getting their money's worth!
It is difficult to support all the available devices out there. The best solution to keep your mobile Web site as clean and as simple as possible is to allow it to be viewable across as many mobile platforms and portable devices.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider to design and build a mobile website. The principles of mobile design are different than those of conventional Web site design. If you do not have the time or patience to learn new coding practices, then consider hiring a firm that specializes in mobile Web site design. Many firms also offer mobile SEO and PPC services as well, in anticipation for the growing need of instantaneous information.

If you currently do not have a mobile Website, you are potentially losing out on extra business. Consider getting one today!
It is difficult to support all the available devices out there. The best solution to keep your mobile Web site as clean and as simple as possible is to allow it to be viewable across as many mobile platforms and portable devices.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider to design and build a mobile website. The principles of mobile design are different than those of conventional Web site design. If you do not have the time or patience to learn new coding practices, then consider hiring a firm that specializes in mobile Web site design. Many firms also offer mobile SEO and PPC services as well, in anticipation for the growing need of instantaneous information.

If you currently do not have a mobile Website, you are potentially losing out on extra business. Consider getting one today!

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