Does Your Website Look Good on an Apple iPhone or iPad?

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Mobile Friendly Website

Make your website compatible with ipad and iphone

If you are a website designer, you may start to worry how your designs work on iPhones and iPads.  That’s because iPhones now make up an incredible 71% of all Mobile Browser traffic.

Designing sites that fully take advantage of the iPhone web environment will require more than just designing for a small resolution screen.  You must remember that the iPhone automatically resizes, flash is not available, nor are animated .Gif images.

But fear not!

Apple offers a iPhone Software Development kit you can acquire through the $99/year Developer program that includes a fantastic iPhone Simulator you can use to test and preview your websites.

Download Apple’s Free iPhone SDK

WHERE!!!

Even though Apple has featured the simulator in its iPhone software roadmap presentation presentation, the application itself is actually semi-hard to find.  First off, it is not named “iPhone Simulator”.  It is called “Aspen Simulator”, and is tucked away many folders deep in the newly installed Developer directory.

Developer/Platforms/AspenSimulator.platform/Developer/Applications

Launch the Aspen Simulator app. It takes some time to load, and once it is running you have a genuine iPhone simulator on your Mac. The only applications installed on this simulated iPhone are Photos, Contacts, and Safari. Launch the iPhone Safari web browser and start checking out websites.

How to Use the iPhone Simulator.

Rotate your simulated iPhone: To rotate your iPhone, choose Hardware > Rotate Left, orHardware > Rotate Right from the menu. iPhone’s Safari web browser will automatically rotate the website you are viewing.

Pinch-to-zoom Gestures: You can simulate the iPhones ‘pinch to zoom’ gesture by holding down the Option key while clicking and dragging with your mouse. This brings up a pair of dots that represent your fingertips.

Double-Tap Gestures: Users can double-tap any part of a webpage to zoom in on that section. Simply double-click in the simulator to replicate this zoom. From testing, the iPhone’s zoom feature appears to be impacted by the DIV structure of your web layout. A useful detail to watch for if iPhone users are an important audience.

If you have not played with an iPhone yet, make sure to check out Apple’s excellent iPhone Guided Tour videos. Pay particular attention to the web browsing multi-touch gestures about half-way through the tour video:

Apple: iPhone. A guided tour.

Find Your Perfect Website Designer

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Everyone wants their website to look professional. Companies want prospects calling in, inquiring about products and services. Moreover, they also want their website to be picked up by search engines as easily as possible. Before any of this can happen, like anything else in life, there is work to be done! It is crucial to find and hire a website designer who is a good match for your company and its individual needs. This person must have available time to build/update your site, (and do so in a reasonable time frame,) maintain a professional image throughout your site, and do all of this within your company’s budget!

How do you find the perfect website designer for your business?

1. Start with what you like - Dedicate some serious time towards looking at websites. Talk to business owners who have websites that you like, gather some business cards and contact information for the creators of these sites. Get right down the the nitty gritty. Don’t be afraid to ask the site owners how happy they are working with their present web person or company. Also, find out their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be shy when it comes to finding out about the price; politely ask what they are paying for the service - it could potentially save you from wasting time looking into web developers who are way outside of your budget.

2. Make a list - Create a log of websites that you find attractive, and note what it is specifically about each site that you like most (i.e. simple navigation, color usage, style of the graphics used, etc.) The more insight you give your developer into your wants and needs, likes and dislikes, the easier it will be for them to get a handle on how to best create your website.

3. Take good notes - When you see sites you like, focus your attention towards the bottom of the pages. There you can usually find the name of the web development company that has produced it, or at least gather some sort of contact information.

4. Know what they do - To many peoples’ dismay, the web developer does NOT write your marketing content…and if they do, they most likely won’t be very good at it. If you do not have the manpower to create this stuff internally, you may need to consider hiring a temporary professional to create your site’s editorial content. The main purpose of your website is to market your business, but your web developer will spend his time designing and programming the skeleton of the site itself, not writing the guts for your site!

5. When you’ve made a decision, get it in writing - Sign a contract that spells out all the specifics and details you have discussed. This helps ensure that you don’t end up with less than you had bargained for. Make sure the contract gives you (and allows you to retain) full copyright ownership of your site and the work done for you. You always want to maintain the right to change your web developer if you are not satisfied, feel like its simply time for a fresh take on things, or any other reason for that matter! Make sure to read and understand any fine print in your contract. A battle over copyright law is not something you want to encounter. The last thing you want is the developer ending up owning the work they created for you.

6. Finally…trust your gut - The key to playing match maker when finding yourself a web designer should be a mix of simple logic, well thought out research, and gut instinct. Always select a person that will not only do the job well, but that you feel comfortable working with. Even the best web designer will be close to worthless if you do not trust him, or if he is too busy to give your company the attention it requires. Make sure this person fully understands the core values and overall image of your company, and will make this all consistent with the feel of your website.

Now that you know how to find a suitable web developer for your company’s unique needs, the next challenge is knowing how to make the most out of that relationship. Stay tuned for my upcoming post on how to make the most out of your web developer. For more information on this post, please contact [email protected]