I've been reading a lot of the posts on this forum and elsewhere and have some tips for anyone out there who's struggling with the same problem....
1) The first step is to accept that you may have to make a "stripped down" version of your site. Why? Because Visual Site Designer is too complicated for most mobile browsers, and although there are
conversion tools available I've found none of them works reliably for all my pages. If you want to guarantee that all devices will be able to read your content then the easiest and quickest way to get going is to start using a HTML editor to make really simple, mobile-friendly versions of your main pages. If you've never done this before it can be a bit tricky but there are some great sites like http://www.echoecho.com/ and http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp which contain lots of helpful examples to use until you become confident.
2) I've created a new directory using http://filezilla-project.org/ called ".../Mobile" where I can upload pages and they don't become mixed up with the ones which VSD generates.
3) Once you're done that, there is an easy trick which you can use to direct mobile users to a simplified version of your site. Simply copy and paste the following into the header:
4) That should work for most browsers but in case it doesn't I've written a bit of HTML which you can copy and paste into an HTML box using VSD and put at the top of the page. It reads "To view the mobile friendly version of this site click here"
<font size="2" face="@Arial Unicode MS" color="#999999"><b><div align="center">To view the mobile friendly version of this site click <a href="http://wYOUR_MOBILE_SITE_HERE.html" title="Access the site from your mobile" >here</a></b></font>
I hope that helps. If you want to see it in action go to http://www.noveltea.co.uk/.
How will it redirect mobile device users to the correct pages?
My website is somewhat simple and i made it with VSD but when i run it off my phone it works fine. Well as fine as fine can be from a mobile phone but it works pretty well (3g Standard Droid with Froyo). Also yes a lot of people are visiting sites from mobile devices but i think most people know that websites aren't going to work as well on there cell phones and hand held devices as they will on there PC. Most people would like a website more if they could pull every piece of it up on there cell phone, but if your site is offering what they are wanting then once they get home they will most likely pull it back up on there PC's and buy your products then. I mean yes, people are becoming more and more lazy every day and some dumber too but most of them will pull it up on there PC if they cant on there phones......
Now im not saying that i don't want it view able on mobile devices, i most certainly do, but I dont see it as all that big of a matter, if a client is wanting it then you could always explain it like that..... But like i said my VSD website pulls up fine on my phone, but it is a simple website.
Or ask for help :p
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I do hope this is acceptable to forum moderators. If not, just remove this post or contact me; I'll understand and won't throw a screaming fit like a toddler in a toy store.
A couple of points to keep in mind at the outset...
=> It's important to go light in your design ie. avoid heavy graphics - just a header or logo, some bullets perhaps, etc.
=> Also, it's best to design single-column pages.
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In this thread above, Scott S confrims that WAM will have (or now has) the ability to redirect users to a mobile site, but doesn't specifically address the main issue of the thread -- MOBI WEBSITE CREATOR FOR MOBILE WEBSITES.
Can someone please clarify this for me? Is this WAM redirect feature nothing more than a simple redirect to some other page or site, or does this feature actually translate and reformat the VSD code so that it's mobile compatible for the mobile user.
It's 2012 people. If VSD sites aren't both desktop & mobile compatible, from an e-commerse perspective, the software is pretty much usless. I think in this day and age every user expects the moble version of a site to be a near replica of the desktop version.
We use VSD because we're a start-up, we don't know HTML, and have been trying to avoid paying a professional $10K for a site redesign. If we can't resolve this moble compatibility issue ASAP, I'm afraid we will have no choice but to hire a pro.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Look me up if you decide to go that route, other than that I'm sure some VSD users here can help you out on your questions. For the most part though, I'm pretty sure that the WAM program only redirects, it doesn't redo the site at all so you would need to redo the site pages to make them mobile friendly and then setup the redirect. This can also be accomplished using HTML 5 now to have it render in different ways for different browsers, but I'll be honest to say I haven't played much with it yet.
There are lots of options though for what you can do to make it mobile friendly that will be doable by you, and I'm sure that VSD should be able to render a site for you and others that can be mobile friendly also. Not sure what that setup would be as I don't use VSD, but it's a pretty powerful little program, and if you have WAM already, then redoing the pages & using WAM to redirect mobile users to the mobile pages shouldn't be too difficult to do.
We ended up making a scaled-down mirror version of the desktop site in VSD. We inserted some code in the homepage of the desktop site forwarding users to our "mobile friendly" site.
We're still concerned it's not going to work, though. We had to constantly tweak the lay-out of the mobile version until it rendered correctly on my iphone. Now, the VSD template file looks like a broken puzzle in order for it to upload and render properly on my iphone. Of course, given the whole VSD liquid layout issue, we have no idea if the site is going to still look different on other smart phones or even on different generation iphones. We're going to try and test this afternoon.
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