RedWolves RedWolves - 5 days ago 5
HTML Question

Planning and Building a mobile enabled site for your main site

We are in the initial planning stages of building out a mobile site for one of our clients. This mobile site will be in addition to the main site that we have already built for them. We've determined that the content is going to be a small subsection of the main site and will target the main audience that is expected to use the site.

While looking through some sample mobile sites we noticed that a lot of site that have WAP in the url are actually just simplified HTML files. http://wap.mlb.com is not really WAP enabled but simple HTML.

My question is WAP a think of the past? With smartphones and the iPhone having the ability to render sites as is do we need to worry about WML and WAP or will a stripped down html version be enough?

Also can you recommend a blog or tutorial or answer below how best to check for mobile devices? Do we as the programmer need to know each variation of user agent in order to redirect them to our mobile site?

Finally, would you program a mobile site for the iPhone/Touch Safari browser or just leave the site as is?

Answer

Newer phones come with WAP2 which uses HTML Mobile Profile (XHTML MP), which is quite similar to normal HTML. Older phones use Wireless Markup Language (WML).

Depending on your audience I would consider making a mobile phone friendly version of the site using XHTML MP and drop WML completely. By mobile phone friendly I mean light graphics, little JavaScript and simple navigation.

To check capabilities of different hand phones, take look at WURFL.

Also, you might want to take a look at Mobile Web Best Practices from w3c.

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