Mobile Devices like the BlackBerry and Pocket PC are becoming ever more popular. People are moving away from the office so that they can become more productive.
As this trend continues it becomes even more popular for the webmaster or business to have a website that is friendly to a mobile device.
It’s best to retain those web users and maybe even gain a few new one in the process. Website’s specifically engineered for mobile devices do just that.
Why can’t mobile devices use the same website as pc’s and mac’s?
Well the main reason is that the pages are way to large. Most websites are made to be viewed at a 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. Because we can’t expect 90% of your users that are on PC’s to look at a tiny website on their screen we need to create a duplicate site.
There are a few solutions, but the best one in my opinion is to do it by hand. 1st consider why someone would be viewing your website from a mobile device? There are a few main reasons 1.Looking for email address 2.Looking for phone number 3.Looking for location 4.They want to know more about your company
OK. I’m getting ahead of myself here. So we must create a second website for mobile users. Most people choose to go with the mobile.yourwebsite.com approach. I think that creating a subdomain is probably the best and fastest way to deal with the situation.
Creating Subdomain for Mobile on Apache Web Server
If you are running your site on an apache web server chances are that it has cpanel and in cpanel there is a create subdomain icon/text. If this is the case go there and follow those directions. It will then create a folder on your site like so. http://www.yoursite.com/mobile/ and when users go to mobile.yoursite.com it will show the contents of the mobile folder.
Creating Subdomain for Mobile on IIS Server
Creating Subdomain on IIS Server is a little more tricky that on Apache. First you must create a folder in the inetpub called mobile. Then you need to add new website by right clicking My Computer going to Manage and then Services and Then IIS then Web Sites. Create a new website naming it Mobile Site, then make sure that the properly / Home Directory Tab is showing the contents of the mobile folder. Then go to the control panel and select network devices and right click your network connection and go to properties. Then click the advanced button and make sure the tab is on IP Settings. Add an IP address (a new one not the same one as your other site) and then save all that.
Now you need to NAT the incoming request for mail.yoursite.com to that internal ip address. I may have skipped a step or two but i thing i have all that covered. If you have questions just Google “Subdomain Setup IIS Tutorial”
Now back to what we where talking about earlier, making a few pages specifically for the mobile device browsers You need to create at least 4 different pages
* Email Directory
* Phone Directory
If your organization is not that large you can probably compress Email / Phone directory into 1 contact page.
Assuming that everything has wen ‘t well you should have a mobile friendly website that can be viewed by any user anywhere. Make sure to post a link on your main page linking to the Mobile Page, and give it out to your customers as well.