10 Tips

10 Tips to make your site wireless ready

Build your site for wireless platforms

  1. Create a Liquid design – make sure your site is comfortably viewable at all resolutions and, especially, make sure it is scrolling-free at 640×480. The simplest way to achieve liquid design is by using relative (%) widths in your tables and keeping image widths small so they don’t force scrolling.
  2. Make your content easily accessible – make sure your site’s content is readily available to users with small browser windows, or browsers that do not support images. One idea is to place your important content at the top of the page, with the less important content (ie. images) at the bottom.
  3. Avoid frames – frames take up valuable real estate on the small displays of wireless devices. A better solution, in most cases, is to create a Liquid design (see 1. above)

Be Bandwidth-Friendly

  1. Use few images and animations – images and animations require far more bandwidth than text.
  2. Optimize your images – optimize your images to have few colours, as in the case of gifs; low percentages, as in the case of jpgs; and few frames, as in the case of animated gifs. Programs such as Macromedia Fireworks and Adobe Photoshop allow you to easily optimize your images.
  3. Streamline your html – if you use a WYSIWYG tool such as Microsoft Frontpage or Macromedia Dreamweaver, your html may be littered with excess lines of code which will increase the download time of your site. Go through your source code and make sure all the unnecessary bits (and bytes) are removed.

Build for the Browsers

  1. Scripting caveats – IE for Windows CE supports Javascript and Jscript, but not VBScript, just as the latest version of Pocket IE supports Javascript and Jscript. However, older versions of PIE do not support client-side scripting at all. To avoid any scripting support problems, do a browser detect (link to browser detect code) on the server side and serve up pages built for the specific capabilities of the client, or move your script processing to the server side using asp, cgi, php3, etc., or avoid scripting entirely.
  2. Code your HTML for compatibility – IE for Windows CE supports an HTML implementation very similar to HTML 4.0, while Pocket IE supports an HTML implementation very similar to HTML 3.2. To make sure your site will be compatible with your users’ browsers, check out the list of features supported by Pocket IE . Again, a browser detect will solve any HTML compatiblity problems between the two browsers.
  3. Say no to Plug-ins – for now, very little plug-in support is available for wireless computing devices, so your site will need to communicate your message without using plug-ins.
  4. Java/ActiveX support- For now, Windows CE has no Java Virtual Machine, meaning your cool Java app will be invisible to wireless users. One solution is to port your Java app to an Active X control, however you’ll need to make sure your control works with the subset of the Win32 API that is present on the user’s platform. For more information on Active X support, see http://www.microsoft.com/Mind/0599/webCE/webce.htm