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How to make a website for mobile users by device

No one can close our eyes to the growing use of tablets and mobile devices, increasingly more used in web browsing. As time goes on gain share in internet browsers for mobile devices, and this forces, those who manage a web site, personal or professional, to give them due attention. Adapt the content of our websites, to the characteristics of these new devices, perhaps the channel that guarantees a new flow of users to our websites.

Until shortly, the design of a web site is modelled, usually thinking in desktop computers, without losing sight of the slight difference in inches of monitor, laptops. We have thus come from development for resolutions of 640 x 480 to 800 x 600 monitor, almost finally standardizing the format of 1024 or 1280 width. Thus web portals, are currently designing in a large number of web sites for widths in the range of 800 to 1000 pixels in width.

In the case of mobile phones, the screen is quite more smaller than a traditional monitor, even a Tablet!, the order between 2.5 and 4.5 inches. Very away of the approximately 9 inches NetBooks or Tablets and much more than the minimum 17 monitors for desktop PCs. Halfway, the 12 to 15 inches of most laptops.

The mobile web, forces us to change the approach to both design and development. Mainly due to three limitations. The screen size, the type of connection to the Internet on the device and software compatibility.

In addition, recently there are domains .mobi, requiring to use a particular specification and follow a restrictive policy on how to display the contents. So it is recommended that you use this type of domains in position a mobile site.

As regards the first limitation, arises the need to design pages adapted to a query "small" area, even taking into account that in most cases, the user will have query screens in horizontal or vertical format just by turning your mobile phone 90 degrees.

Therefore, elements such as the size of the letters, size of images or total content of the page sources, are decisive. The decorative elements are dispensable in a mobile web, at least those used traditionally.

As there are services with a speed limited to a certain number of downloaded MegaBytes on a monthly basis. In many cases the connection speed is reduced drastically consumed once this amount of traffic. This means that if our pages for mobile web are light of content (in bytes), we will be giving the user the ability to smoothly navigate through them at any time and in any place.

Other Hardware elements mark the pattern of design. A mobile phone user, rarely have a mouse connected to your phone. Integrated, or tactile keyboards are small and rough. Think about this when generating the page navigation structure

Therefore it is very important to detect the "user agent", so that the webmaster can fine-tune the information displayed on a particular page, depending on the device from which you are accessing, or redirect the user to a completely different URL that has been specifically designed for that device or "user agent".

One of the fastest ways to update a web site, is to add scripts to the templates page for the detection of user agents, so that when new pages are generated, these contain the script. There are generators of code for the detection of mobile browsers. For example, detect mobile browsers which allows you to specify how you want to display a web site in an iPhone, Android, Opera Mini, Blackberry, Palm OS or Windows Mobile.

Web search engines also are using specific searches on sites for mobile. The more important what they already have acquired, and even some of them already have an option to only show results tailored to mobile terminals:

Google Mobile: it has an option to filter content for mobile.
Live Search Mobile
Technorati Mobile
Yahoo! Mobile: has an option to filter content for mobile.

XHTML Mobile

One of the first items to bear in mind is that the format of the site cannot be equal to normal. There is a XHTML designed for mobile terminals which do not allow some elements common in other versions. To learn all about this type of sites you can visit site for developers.

Some of these limitations are:

Screen width: 120 pixels minimum
XHTML Basic 1.1 (application/xhtml+xml)
Encoding: UTF-8
Image format: JPEG and GIF 89a
Maximum weight of the page: 20 kilobytes
256 Colors (minimum)
CSS 1 and 2
HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1
Scripts are not allowed

In this case it is very important for the web site to validate correctly, since although the browsers for desktop allow you to skip some of these rules, mobile browsers are much more strict. To verify that a site is compatible and to see how it looks in some mobile phones we recommend using the validator.

Energy consumption Redirect mobile users

The current batteries are not at the level of processing power. When designing for mobile devices, care must be the level of processing that is him requires the team. As far as possible avoid performing several tasks simultaneously (for example, the iPhone does not support more than one application at the same time), as well as also to open links in a new tab. If it is absolutely necessary that the link opens in another tab, it is recommended to make a notice for the sailor.

Do not abuse Flash or JavaScripts

The Flash format is not supported by multiple mobile platforms, especially for the Apple family, so it is recommended that you use other formats or directly abstengas you put animated content. With regard to the JavaScripts, many smartphones require the implementation of a Java virtual machine to run them, this consumes much processor and battery, so as far as possible is necessary to avoid or to limit its use.

Many of the iPhone and Android phones are able to interpret traditional web sites, but usability studies have shown that the users of these devices prefer specific sites for mobile. Make scrolling towards one side or another and zoom that is required to view the details of the page on traditional sites from mobile devices is still very difficult, so redirect to a specific page for mobile or adapt the content are the best options for the user.

Following are some online services that can create a version for mobile devices from any Web site.


It is one of the most easy to use and unlike other services, in addition to smartphones, also supports basic phones. It has free accounts and paid.


This service cannot do the work ourselves or we can hire them that do them. Payment is a service.


It is one of the faster services and according to them, it supports more than 13,000 mobile devices. The service is a payment.


This is a little more complicated and requires the user sending the PSD file of the web site to convert. Take many days for the conversion. The final product, in many cases, was very close to the line of sight of the current web page. A service is payment and with respect to others is expensive.

Redirect mobile users

Recommended for e-commerce sites. It provides HTML5 and converted according to the order of each of the clients. You have a free account and you pay.


It gives us a version of our site for mobile HTML5. Several themes and customization support for WordPress, Blogger, Drupal and Joomla. It has free accounts and pay.