Does anyone know of an easy-to-understand tutorial on how to make web pages for mobile devices (i.e. Sideckick 3, cell phones, etc) ? Any specific programs that need to be used? Is it just good HTML coding? Or is this subject taught at Hogwarts by Professor Flitwick?
In most cases you can use basic HTML. Avoid using anything that is going to cause problems for different screen sizes, such as tables and graphics. Use default fonts and colors (let the user of the phone make those decisions). Keep your file sizes down to as small as possible, and provide simple navigation at the top and bottom of every page.
Ok, that sounds easy enough, thanks for the 411.
My next question is, how do sites redirect these mobile devices to the directory where the mobile web pages are? For example, at my desktop, I type http://www.lifehacker.com and it goes to the normal site, but on my Sidekick, if I type the same, it redirects me to mobile.lifehacker.com (or something like that). How is this accomplished, and can someone post a lesson so I can learn how to do it? Thanks for all the help I’ve been getting.
You have to use browser detection for that (yuck), since most mobile devices are too stupid to understand the CSS media type “handheld”. I wrote a PHP script to do that for me, but it relies on me having to constantly update it for new devices. It basically checks the user agent string and Accept header for any sign that the user agent is a mobile device and then redirects accordingly.