Today we've launched a free extension to SilverStripe CMS that makes it easier to build websites for mobile devices.
Most websites now have a noticeable amount of visitors using mobile devices. We've been looking at how to make it easier to build websites that can be accessed through popular mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, and Google Android phones.
The result is the SilverStripe Mobile Module. Once installed, it provides out of the box functionality to render an SilverStripe CMS website using a mobile-optimised theme, with the page width, font size, and menu layout designed for a small screen.
While you can certainly use this out of the box theme, it's mainly supplied so that someone familiar with HTML and CSS can customise the theme to suit your intended look and feel.
The module also provides:
- Automatic detection of mobile devices so that you can automatically redirect people to a mobile-optimised website.
- A simple GUI for configuring the module
You can test-drive the module by visiting http://m.demo.silverstripe.com in your mobile phone.
SilverStripe's templating language has meant developing mobile templates has always been possible. However, there is considerable effort in achieving cross-browser compatibility across mobile devices. The goal for this module is to reduce the time it takes people to build websites optimised for browsing by mobile devices. It's not intended to grow into a module that allows people on mobile phones to perform content authoring (although we do see that this could be useful for certain CMS tasks, like approving a request from a colleague to publish website content.)
At this stage, the mobile module is in beta. This means we're inviting people to download, test, and offer feedback on the module. Once we've incorporated your feedback, we hope to release the module confidently knowing that it provides website developers with a stable and useful tool for quickly creating mobile-optimised websites.
If you're interested in creating HTML/CSS templates suitable for mobile phones, there's an article on A List Apart, Put your Content in my Pocket, that serves as an excellent introduction. It's still entirely relevant despite being written a few years ago.