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Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices

Look around you: chances are, someone is using a  web-enabled mobile device nearby – just one of a billion-plus handsets in the market last year. And those iPhones, BlackBerry  Storm’s, Palm Pre’s and other smartphones are clearly and completely redefining the way we search, purchase, make reservations and communicate via the Web. It is a true phenomenon.  That’s why designing for the mobile web to create a great user experience on these devices is more important than ever. For email, texting, IM and navigation, handhelds are now a regular part of our on-the-go lifestyles; now their ability to browse the web makes the smartphone a “must have” for more and more consumers. Smartphone design has all but conquered the problem of small screens by intensifying the resolution of each displayed page, along with an interface that lets you zoom and drag, cut and paste, or pan. So the newest challenge is to ensure your website is optimized for viewing and functioning on these mobile devices.

ThinkVitamin offers up points to consider when Coding for the mobile web.  Constraints with mobile devices include: limited controls, memory, bandwidth, typography, and color palette. The screen size, of course, is also restricted; so viewing a website on the normal 1024 x 768 screen instead may be reduced to 240 x 320 pixels or smaller, depending on the size and shape of the phone in use.

Site designers and mobile web experts agree that phone users have different needs and requirements. They also agree on three basic approaches to mobile web design (though there’s no consensus on which way is best): 1. Just use good web standards; 2. Design a separate mobile site; 3. Create one site, with code to optimize it according to the device and browser.

To get started, follow best practices by using standards-based HTML and XHTML formatted with semantic markup, to ensure the site is well structured and clearly organized. Separate content from presentation using CSS so that information displays cleanly and is accessible from any mobile device. Option #3 above may present the best overall long-term solution for your design – utilizing media types and media queries within the CSS of a single site that adapts to the mobile user, regardless of the browser or type of device. ThinkVitamin provides still more tips for handheld CSS to “Make your Site Mobile Friendly”.

Get ready for this one: it’s a mobile world out there, getting faster and more likely than ever to change the way we interact, surf and see the web.

Social Networking Hosting Discounts

 In an effort to promote our social networking sites’ membership, Net Link Hosts will be offering discounted hosting services occasionally through Facebook and Twitter.  Simply join our Facebook fan page or Follow us on Twitter to be alerted about money-saving coupon codes for discounts on web hosting and hosting related services.

Easily Install Scripts Using Fantastico

Do you want to install scripts on your website, but aren’t very familiar with mySQL databases or PHP scripting?  Have no fear, Fantastico is here!  There are shopping cart systems, photo galleries, content management systems, blogs, and much, much, more.  The following scripts can be autoinstalled using Fantastico De Luxe. Installation procedure takes seconds and can be performed by novices without the need of setting up MySQL databases, importing structure, chmoding files and without the need of other tasks usually associated with installations:

Blogs:
b2evolution (3.3.1-stable) (website)
Nucleus (3.50) (website)
WordPress (2.8.6) (website)

Classifieds:
Noah’s Classifieds (V8 (3.2.0)) (website)

Portals/CMS:
Drupal (6.14) (website)
Geeklog (1.5.1) (website)
Joomla 1.5 (1.5.15) (website)
Joomla (1.0.15) (website)
Mambo Open Source (4.6.5) (website)
PHP-Nuke (7.9) (website)
phpWCMS (1.4.2 r345) (website)
phpWebSite (1.6.3) (website)
Siteframe (3.2.3) (website)
TikiWiki CMS/Groupware (3.3) (website)
Typo3 (4.2.10) (website)
Xoops (2.3.3b) (website)
Zikula (1.1.1) (visit site)

Customer Support:
Crafty Syntax Live Help (2.16.3) (website)
Help Center Live (2.1.7) (website)
osTicket (1.6 RC5) (website)
PerlDesk (4.012.2) (Commercial, needs license) (website)
PHP Support Tickets (1.9) (website)
Support Logic Helpdesk (1.2) (website)
Support Services Manager (1.0b) (website)

Discussion Boards:
phpBB (3.0.5) (website)
SMF (1.1.10) (website)

E-Commerce:
CubeCart (3.0.17) (website)
OS Commerce (2.2 Release Candidate 2a + buySAFE) (website)
Zen Cart (1.3.8a [Patched]) (website)

FAQ:
FAQMasterFlex (1.51) (website)

Hosting Billing:
AccountLab Plus (2.8 r14) (Commercial, needs license) (website)
phpCOIN (1.6.4) (website)

Image Galleries:
4images Gallery (1.7.7) (website)
Coppermine Photo Gallery (1.4.25) (website)
Gallery (2.3) (website)

Mailing List:
PHPlist (2.10.10) (website)

Polls and Surveys:
Advanced Poll (2.03) (website)
LimeSurvey (1.85+) (website)
phpESP (2.1.1) (website)

Project Management:
PHProjekt (5.2.2) (website)
dotProject (2.1.2) (website)

Site Builders:
Soholaunch Pro Edition (4.9.3 r17) (Commercial, needs license) (website)
Templates Express (website)

Wiki:
PhpWiki (1.2.11) (website)

Other Scripts:
Dew-NewPHPLinks (2.0.1.0b SEF w/Thumbshots) (website)
Moodle (1.9.6) (website)
Open-Realty (2.5.8) (website)
OpenX (2.8.1) (website)
PHPauction (3.2) (website)
phpFormGenerator (2.09c) (website)
WebCalendar (1.2.0) (website)

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

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