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Desktop to mobile website conversion with jQueryMobile

By Sam Deering

jQuery Mobile is a powerful framework for making mobile web applications. But can we use it to convert existing desktop website into the mobile representation?

It’s possible using MobilizeToday.com online service. They offer widgets based model of representing any existing HTML content into the mobile view.

jQueryMobile Widgets by MobilizeToday.com

The technology behind is XSLT transformation. The conversion process is simplified due to online tool called Mobile View Builder.

Mobile View Builder

Using Builder you may easily select elements you want to see in the mobile version. Once the content is selected it automatically generates XPaths values for jQueryMobile widgets. If you know XPath / XSLT you may use it in full extent, but this is not a must. For instance, you may get the view like this one from the typical list of items by just clicking the mouse:

jQueryMobile Widget Example

The resulting mobile website is in sync with the desktop website. This means that if the desktop website content is changed, the mobile website will automatically be updated as well. The solutions supports submitting forms like login, contact and checkout with optional secure https connection (which is definitely good for e-commerce websites).

In order to start you may create new account or submit the form on their home page. To create mobile website based on jQueryMobile framework you should go to “My Websites”, click “Add New Website”, type in desktop website URL and select jQueryMobile as a framework. Uncheck “Automatically generate mobile version” if you wish to build mobile website from scratch. After that click “Add Website”.

add-jquerymobile-website

If you create mobile website by yourself it will cost only $49 annual per website. First website can be published for free. Optionally you may hire developers to do this for you. This option will cost about $390. Resulting mobile website can be accessible by any domain. Redirection script for mobile users is available. Resellers may work under their own branding (white label).

There are drawbacks or constraints though. Solution doesn’t support flash websites, nor websites based on framesets. If your website contains lots of JavaScript, especially for submitting forms, it should be manually adapted for mobile browsers. This makes optimization process expensive.

To sum up MobilizeToday.com provides a platform for any website owner to bridge the mobile web gap and make their businesses mobile ready with a minimum investment. For the resellers MobilizeToday.com provides an opportunity to add to their existing portfolio mobile web option to refresh relationships with existing and/or acquire new customers. The resulting mobile websites are made with jQueryMobile framework that guarantees compatibility with all modern smartphones and tablets.

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