==== ====Hello from user.www.example.com==== ====It cannot be denied that almost everything nowadays is mobile. Whereas before laptops were notcommon, today these gadgets are abundant and actually cost lower than they used to cost before.Cellular phones were not the trend in the past, but nowadays almost everyone has a cellphone.Recognizing these, cellular companies and website programmers have launched what is nowcalled the Wireless Application Protocol. Abbreviated as WAP, it is the international standard forInternet access using a mobile phone or from a personal digital assistant. The mobile applicationfor WAP is very similar to a web browser in computers (Mozilla Firefox, Opera, atc.) but with somefeatures removed to comply with mobile phone standards.With WAP, mobile users can access services provided by various websites from their cellphones.They can send email, browse through the latest news reports in major news websites, track newsabout their favorite sport events and even download music files to their phones. This is very usefulfor businessmen, who are always on the go and might sometimes find carrying a laptop around astiresome.Despite its similarity to the Hypertext Markup Language used to design websites, WAP sites arecreated using the Wireless Markup Language. Similar to HTML, WML provides web interfacefeatures such as navigation, data input forms, hyperlinks, text and images.How Mobile Internet WorksMobile Internet access works much like its computer-based cousins. It uses a bridge or gateway toaccess the World Wide Web. When the user requests a page, the bridge retrieves the pages fromthe Web. These pages are then converted into a format that the phone can read and recognize.One wonderful feature of mobile Internet is that you can query for phone numbers of certainestablishments through the Web. You can then use the numbers that are returned by the query tomake a call through your cellular phone, saving you from the hassle of having to dial the numberto make a call.The Process of Designing and Building a Mobile WebsiteThere is little difference on how to design and build a mobile website as compared to designingconventional websites which are accessed from a desktop or laptop browser. But it is important toknow these differences before one decides to tackle the task of creating websites specific for WAPbrowsers.For one, designing a mobile website takes a far longer time to complete as compared to its
desktop cousins. This is because the WAP accessing terminals in each phone model varies fromeach other. There is a different terminal for Nokia devices, and different ones for Sony Ericsson,so on and so forth. WML itself has very strict specifications because it is a very different beastcompared to its ancestor, HTML, despite their similarities in the appearance and behavior of sitesthat are built using their codes. Thus, one finds that there are different methods of how to designand build a mobile website that caters to each of these specific phone models.To design a mobile website, you need specific authoring kits for mobile phones. In the beginning,when mobile phones did not support the XHTML standard, content providers needed specificdevelopment kits to come up with WAP-specific pages. This is in great contrast to designingdesktop-accessed pages, where one only needs a text editor and a browser to design and test apage.Fortunately, WAP authoring kits are available and are abundant in the Internet. To search forthese kits, one only needs to type "mobile website authoring kits" in their preferred search engineand will be rewarded by a lot of hits, or search results. These results are links to the various WAPdevelopment kits that can downloaded from the World Wide Web.There also documentation available in the Internet providing information on how to design andbuild a mobile website. For example, mTLD hosts a myriad of training resources including ebookson how to make your websites compliant while mobile phone internet standards.Initially, unlike conventional websites, WAP sites need to be tested using a cellular phone itself.This has made designing and building mobile websites take a far longer time to be completed ascompared to computer-based web sites. Nowadays, however, more and more mobile phones areadapting to the XHTML and XML standards. Plus, there are also mobile phone emulators(software that imitate the environment of a mobile phone) that can be downloaded from theInternet. The mobile web designers can use these emulators to speed up the testing phase of theirprojects. Because of these improvements, the ways of how to design and build mobile web sitesare much easier and faster.To facilitate faster development of WAP sites, the World Wide Web consortium or the W3C hasdeveloped a scheme in which developers can assess if their web sites are ready to be accessedby mobile phones. The registry of mobile ready sites, mTLD has even released a tool, named"MobiReady Report" to test for the mobile readiness of website using established practices andstandards of the industry. These tools can be used as a reference as to how to design and buildmobile web sites faster.There are basic principles and limitations one should be aware of in designing a mobile website.Summarized, these limitations are:oOnly Cascading Style Sheets can be used to design the layout of your mobile website. Incontrast to conventional websites, one cannot use tables to lay out the design of the pages.oXHTML (Extended HTML) and XML (Extensible Markup Language) can be used to hard-code thepages design.oOnly characters encoded using the UTF-8 standard can be readable and accepted by mobile
phones browsers.oThere are specific page sizes for each specific phone. The pages have a resolution of 640x480at most, and 120 pixels on the average.oUnlike designing pages that are accessed by a computer, in which you have the freedom ofplacing whatever information wherever you may want to put them, you have to place the mostimportant information of your WAP site at the top of the page.oWAP users favor the use of radio buttons and list to take their picks, rather than enteringinformation through text entry fields such as text areas and textfields.oOnly the JPEG and GIF image formats are accepted in a WAP-oriented site.oMobile phones can only accept a maximum page size of 20 kilobytes. Any larger than that and itwill cause phones to crash when accessing the pages.oPure HTML is used a mobile page. You cannot provide links to videos, as well as the PortableDocument Format or PDF. You cannot embed Flash and other similar file types as well becausemobile phones are not yet configured to be able to play such files from WAP sites.oMost mobile devices access WAP sites with the speed of a dial-up connection. As a designer,you must be careful to design your pages in a way that it will be too big and take too long for theWAP user to access. Users pay for the time that they access the Internet through their phones, soit is important for your pages to load quickly.oMobile devices do not have the luxury of navigational icons unlike web browsers. Mobile phoneusers are limited to using the directional buttons and scrollers on their phones to navigate througha page. Designers are also encouraged to put in an interface to navigate to the previous pagebecause most mobile phones do not have a "back" button in their WAP interfaces.Mobile websites are hosted using the top-domain name of .mobi. The domain is approved by theInternet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and is managed by the mTLD globalregistry for domain names. Like mentioned earlier, websites hosted on the .mobi domain follows aspecific standard in order to make sure that they are friendly to mobile phone processors. Thisstandard, released by the W3C, specifies how to design and build mobile websites and optimizingthem for users to achieve positive experience in navigating them.To summarize previous information, these are the key points of how to design and build mobilewebsites:oYou need a content editor in order to design the user interface of your mobile website. Theseeditors are available from the World Wide Web. Some of them are free, some are commercial.oThere are limitations that should be remembered when designing websites for the mobilephones, including the screen size (which is dependent on the phone model you are developing for)and the maximum file size that a WAP-ready mobile phone can handle.
oThe content you come up with can be tested using an emulator that is also available inabundance in the Internet. These emulators imitate the environment of a cellular phone so you nolonger have to upload your beta content to a host, and then access them using a WAP-readymobile.oMobile web sites are uploaded and hosted using the ".mobi" top-domain name.Mark Andre Yapching is a freelance writer providing writing services to just about anyone who isinterested in his services. You can contact him through his email address. Check out some of hiswriting in http://immortalundead.multiply.com/journalArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_Andre_Yapching