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24tips: build a mobile version of your site

24 Dec: in the rush to build apps for everything, it’s easy to lose sight of the easier, simpler and cheaper approach to making your content accessible to mobile users: a mobile version of your site. Huh – isn’t that an app? Not necessarily: with a bit of inspiration and tweaking of your templates, you can serve a different HTML page to visitors on phones (smart or otherwise) including some pretty fancy visual tricks.

guardian mobile app

  • CSSiphone is a nice gallery of inspiration for how mobile sites can appear on the iPhone, and there’s another gallery from Smashing Magazine
  • WPTouch is a free WordPress plugin, which switches your site to an iOS-style layout for visiting iPhone and iPod Touch users, for virtually zero effort
  • Mobify offers visual tools to help you identify which parts of your site you want to reformat into a mobile version, and counts some pretty serious web designers and CSS purists among its users

In 2011, I’m hoping to have a bit more to say about this space, and share a little something I’ve been working on to make it really super-easy to build a mobile site. Stay tuned!

24 helpful tools and techniques for doing web stuff cheaply