The Mobile Web Part 6: 7 Useful Mobile Site Resources

Over the past five days we have covered quite a few bases in the mobile website area. In case you missed them, you can find the posts here:

I think it’s about time to bring this series to a close, with today’s post “7 Useful Mobile Site Resources.” I have to admit, the biggest reason I wrote this series was because I recently got my hands on an iPod Touch, after far too much waiting. I’ve been thinking about the topic for a long time, well before I got the i’Touch, since before I was seriously considering buying one (since the first generation Touch came out).

Now, where should you go from here? Following are a few resources that you may find useful.

1. Mobile Web Development by Nirav Mehta

Mobile Web Development is focused on non-iPhone mobile sites (I’m not sure if it even mentions the iPhone). It’s fairly current, having been published in 2008, and covers a broad array of topics in it’s 216 pages. It covers WML and WAP, XHTML MP, sending text messages (SMS) via server-side script, PayPal Mobile, Interactive Voice, and a few other things.

I haven’t tried out any of the examples or anything, but I read through the book, and it seems to be good overall. It’s an easy read, and shouldn’t take much time to get through.

2. iPod Touch or iPhone

Now, you can get by without one of these. You can use simulators to get a good idea of what a page will look like on the iPhone (I gave a couple links here), or you can borrow someone else’s for a couple minutes. But if you do a lot of work targetted at the iPhone, especially if you do it professionally, it’s a logical purchase.

The iPod Touch has come down in price, costing $229 for the 8GB model. Not something you want to impulse-buy, but if you’re looking for a new MP3 player it’s a good option.

3. MoFuse

I know, I know. I already wrote an entire post about MoFuse fo this series. It’s a great service, and one ideal for newbies and those who aren’t the Do-it-Yourself type. I’m not saying it’s only for newbies, after all some bigwig blogs (blogwigs?) like ReadWriteWeb use it, but it’s a great option for them.

MoFuse allows you to “Mobilize your blog” in about ten minutes. You simply create a free account, supply your blog’s URL, and pick a URL for your resulting mobile site. The URL will look something like, though you can map it to your own subdomain if you wish ( is a common convention).

Did I mention it generates an iPhone version and a WML version?

4. CiUI

My favorite JavaScript iPhone interface. CiUI was developed by CNET for their own mobile site. Their developers made it publicly available, with a little bit of documentation. A little bit of server-side scripting magic can pull posts from WordPress (or whatever you content management system may be) and display them in the AJAX-y interface. Or you could build a web app with it.

5. Apple Developer Connection

The maker of the iPhone and iPod Touch has plenty of documentation on their website for web app developers. There are tutorials, specs, and more. You need to create a free developer account to access the documents though.


iPhone Microsites is another web location I covered in this series. They have a nice collection of articles, news, and tutorials to help you build iPhone sites. They also offer their services to build such sites for you. (Their services are a little pricey for most individuals, and are more targetted at businesses, I would assume.) Their tutorial section is especially worth a look.

7. A List Apart

ALA is one of the most popular designer sites ever. Since 1998 they’ve been in the business of informing and teaching “people who make websites.” They have a couple posts on iPhone/i’Touch web development.

Definitely worth a read. If you haven’t been to A List Apart before, you don’t know what you’re missing. I’m not a frequent reader (I just drop in now and then rather than subscribe), but I just may end up adding them to my feed reader one of these days…


Well, there you have it. Six days of nothing but mobile web development. Perhaps I should start a spin-off blog, iPhone-Source? (FYI, I’m kidding. I don’t have time for that… :P ). It would be fun though…

If you have any questions about anything from the past six posts, feel free to leave a comment. I’ll do my best to answer it.

  • Nirav Mehta

    Thank you for mentioning about the book. There is a small section on iPhone in the book including an example. It gives basic guidelines about developing for iPhone. But the book is full of practical information and examples for developing for mobile web in general. It also covers many areas related to mobile web – SMS, IVR etc.

  • Matt

    @Nirav, It was an informative book. Thank you for the correction about iPhone sites in the book (I wasn’t entirely sure whether there was a bit about the iPhone or not).