KillerSites Blog

Building webpages for cellphone browsers

December 10, 2008


When looking at building web pages for cellphones, you have to consider a few options these days. Why? Because it is a moving target.

Moving target … what the heck does that mean?! Read on nerds to learn!

Way back, a long time ago …

In the old days, cellphones were only able to read pages built with a language called WML. WML is short for: Wireless Markup Language.

WML is basically HTML for cell phones. Along with WML, the nerds in power also came up with a Javascript-like language for cellphones called WMLScript. I am mentioning WMLScript for no particular reason other than to be complete. Anyway …

How useful is WML?

Well, I’ve created web applications that made heavy use of WML … and I have to tell you, it is a pain in the butt. A better solution would be to use either:

  • J2ME – Java Micro Edition
  • Flash for mobile devices
  • Plain old HTML/XHTML

The problem with the options I’ve listed above though, is that not all cellphones support these technologies: many use J2ME, many use Flash and many use XHTML, but non of the technologies are universal.

So when choosing the language you will use to create your cell phones enabled pages, you really have to consider your audience and what phones they will likely use to visit your web site/application.

I haven’t looked at this recently, but I would just use strict HTML because a lot of phones can read this and all the smart phones can as well. Besides, as far as I can tell, I would imagine that most cellphone traffic would be smart phone traffic: iPhones, BlackBerrys etc …

Hope that helps,

Stefan Mischook