How do I create a mobile website?
Mobile devices such as BlackBerry and Pocket PC are becoming more popular. People are moving away from the office so they can be more productive.
As this trend continues, it becomes even more popular for the webmaster or business to have a mobile friendly website.
The best thing is to retain those web users and maybe even get some new ones in the process. Websites designed specifically for mobile devices do just that.
Why can’t mobile devices use the same website as PCs and Macs?
Well, the main reason is that the pages are too big. Most websites are made to be viewed at 1024×768 resolution or at least 800×600. Well, the BlackBerry 8730e has a resolution of 320×240. It’s the equivalent of looking at a map through a pinhole.
so what needs to be done? We need to lower the resolution of the web page. Since we can’t expect 90% of your PC users to see a small website on their screen, we need to create a duplicate site.
There are some solutions, but the best one in my opinion is to do it by hand. First, consider why someone would be viewing your website from a mobile device. There are a few main reasons 1. Looking for an email address 2. Looking for a phone number 3. Looking for a location 4. They want to know more about your company
OK. I’m getting ahead of myself here. So we need to create a second website for mobile users. Most people go for the mobile.yourwebsite.com approach. I think creating a subdomain is probably the best and fastest way to deal with the situation.
Creating a mobile subdomain on the Apache web server
If you are running your site on an apache webserver then most likely you have cpanel and in cpanel there is an icon/text to create a subdomain. If this is the case, go there and follow those instructions. It will then create a folder on your site like so. http://www.yoursite.com/mobile/ and when users go to mobile.yoursite.com, the contents of the mobile folder will be displayed.
Creating mobile subdomain on IIS server
Creating a subdomain on the IIS server is a bit more complicated than on Apache. First you must create a folder in the inetpub called mobile. Then you need to add a new website by right clicking on My Computer by going to Manage then Services then IIS then Websites. Create a new website and name it Mobile Site, then make sure the Home Directory / tab correctly displays the contents of the mobile folder. Then go to control panel and select network devices and right click on your network connection and go to properties. Then click on the advanced button and make sure the tab is under IP Settings. Add an IP address (a new one that isn’t the same as your other site) and then save all of that.
Now you need to NAT the incoming request from mail.yoursite.com to that internal IP address. I may have missed a step or two, but I think I’ve got all of that covered. If you have questions, google “Subdomain Setup IIS Tutorial”
Now back to what we were talking about earlier, creating some pages specifically for mobile browsers. You must create at least 4 different pages.
* Email directory
* Telephone directory
If your organization isn’t that big, you can probably squeeze the email/phone directory into a contact page.
Assuming all has not gone well, you should have a mobile friendly website that can be viewed by any user anywhere. Be sure to post a link on your front page that links to the mobile page and give it to your customers as well.