Friday, April 9, 2010

Taking Your Website Mobile

Just finished instructional design on the Arkansas SBTDC's newest program: Take Your Website Mobile. The first presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21st, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the ASBTDC classroom at UALR. Online Registration.

This project started as a speaking proposal on mobile website development for the annual Fall Conference of the Association of Small Business Development Centers. In January, we developed a basic PowerPoint presentation on mobile web development and program description, then submitted those back in early February. We won't hear from the association for several more weeks. If selected to present on mobile web development, that presentation won't occur until late September this year.

For those unable to attend one of the upcoming mobile web presentations, some resources you'll find useful for developing a mobile website or transitioning a website for viewing on mobile devices include:

1) MobiForge. This is where you should start. Read the basic introductory materials and get a feel for the limitations of mobile devices and the requirements and standards for displaying information on small screens with limited capabilities.

2) Ready.mobi. If you have an existing website, this is your next stop. Enter your URL in the Ready.mobi evaluation tool and see where you rank and what problems need fixing. Don't be surprised if your site ranks a low 1 or 2 the first time. Most web pages are bloated with images and scripts that mobile devices just can't handle. Ready.mobi produces a detailed report that lists what's wrong and provides suggestions on how to fix each problem. Its the tool we used to make asbtdc.ualr.edu mobile compliant.

3) Instant Mobilizer. The Instant Mobilizer tool from dotMobi creates a mobile web version of an existing website.You get to choose the elements from your existing website that you want to port over for mobile devices. The tool allows you to create a mobile web mini-site with the same logo, corporate colors and branding that you have already established.

4) Ubik.com. Of all the tools for creating a mobile website from scratch, Ubik.com was our favorite. Perhaps because we can create multiple mobile websites, host them for free, and manage them all from a central account. Instead of creating apps, one can create mini mobile web sites for a single purpose. Thus, there is little need for programming or the heartache of trying to get one's mobile app accepted for listing by the device companies and telcoes.

If you found the above helpful, consider adding our RSS feed to your browsers feed reader. Just click on the orange RSS square or click the link to our RSS feed in the grey area in the top right. Also, consider following TimothyLeeAR on Twitter as we post links to several helpful sites each day. Twitter topics include not only mobile web sites, but also information on landing page optimization, and search engine optimization. Why not let me help filter out some of the noise and chaffe and give you links to the "good stuff?"

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