B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

Web sites for handhelds and mobile phones

Wed, 07/29/2009 - 14:06 -- scott

Lately I've been developing a site for small businesses to make their presence known on the web (http://www.onepagers.net). I believe there are a large number of business with owners and managers that have little or no interest in the internet. Nevertheless they would still benefit from a web presence. My project is to create one page mini-sites that concentrate on who and what the business is about. The pages need to be effective on both large and small screens.

Aside from developing web sites and other web applications, I work in retail. I've noticed that few people bother with phone books. I see large numbers of customers wandering the aisles with phones to their ears or with a blue tooth. I see them looking up web sites and texting. My thought is to bring these two populations together.

At the risk of appearing neolithic I must admit that I only just recently obtained my first cell phone. I had never given much thought to the appearance of my web sites on such tiny screens. I tried it and found that I didn't like what I saw. If I wanted my one page sites to be usable to all those people wandering around with their mobile phones or other handheld devices I would need to make some modifications.

Onepagers.net is a drupal site, as is this one. I did some googling myself and found a module, mobile_tools, that detects if a site is being accessed by a mobile device. These tools allow the site developer a number of options. In my case, Onepagers.net uses a theme specific to mobile devises and a theme for the usual screen. Mobile_tools seems to work just fine on a Samsung. My job now is to fine tune my CSS for small screens.