Return to Blog Home Page

11 March 2009


First off. Yes. That is the Palm Pre.

Second. No. I don't actually have one. Never even touched one. You can thank Photoshop for the visual...

But don't be distracted by the phone. This post is about mobile websites - or the lack thereof.

This week we launched our mobile site ( after going years without one. In the past it either wasn't necessary due to the small number of mobile browsers hitting the site, or we simply focused on other projects that pushed mobile to the bottom of the list.

In my limited knowledge of the mobile explosion it seems like there are at least three ways to do mobile websites:

  • Accessible/Integrated: By creating your html/css pages following strict standards of accessibility your pages should "degrade" gracefully depending on the browser viewing it. Not only older browsers, but mobile browsers too. Adding separate stylesheets for other devices can also help with this. Summary: No new pages. You website is both full and mobile in one.
  • Completely Separate: The other extreme is to develop a mobile site just for phones/PDA's. If the device hits the main site you can check the browser type and funnel them to the mobile site. Summary: Truth be told you have two separate sites. The mobile site is often renamed :: :: for example.
  • Hybrid (our solution): We have a dynamic backend that uses a limited number of templates to present data from a database. Because of this it made sense to try and integrate the mobile site into our weekly processes in our administration console. We created a few static pages that use a mobile template. This rounds out our navigation and static pages. Pages that require daily or weekly changes, are dynamic in that what we create for our main website can be pulled into the "mobile site" but presented on a mobile template. Summary: Best of both worlds...
Another project off the task list - even though there are some sweet enhancements to be made in the future (come on Fellowship Technologies - where's the mobile version of WebLink complete with online giving for mobile?)

But for now I feel we have achieved a much needed sense of mHarmony...