Jean-Paul Ladage (Zest Software): Plone for your mobile

published Sep 15, 2010

Optimize your sites for mobile devices. The big increase in the use of smart phones makes mobile services interesting by using Plone GoMobile.

Jean-Paul Ladage of Zest Software speaks during the Dutch Plone User Day 2010 in the Euromast, Rotterdam.

50 percent of young people in The Netherlands already uses Internet on their mobile phones. For all ages that is 28 percent. The software on mobile phones has become more user friendly and the costs have gone down. A show of hands in the room reveals: almost everyone has mobile Internet, Twitter more than half, Facebook or similar (Hyves in The Netherlands) on mobile is hardly used.

What do you need to consider? Which mobile devices are the most used in your target audience? If it is an intranet and everyone in the organization uses an iPhone, it becomes much simpler. Symbian is 43%, Blackberry 19%, Android 18%, iPhone 15%, Windows Mobile 5%.

For which screen resolutions do you want to optimize? 176x208 pixels: hardly worth the trouble to support this. 240x320 pixels is the most widely available size currently.

For Plone there is Plone Go Mobile. This is a suite of tools within Plone to manage new content for mobile or optimize current content. Automatic redirection from for example to A portlet that offers managers the option to make an item available specifically for web, or mobile, or both. You can (for some content types) give an alternative title, description or text. Tip: keep the title the same (better for SEO, search engine optimization) and only specify a different description and text field (where needed).

At Zest Software we want to offer mobile websites, so we have recently done this for our own site. (Compare our web site and mobile site.) We have mostly focused on news items, agenda and weblog. We also gave special attention to navigation. You can also change content to for example make a phone number clickable, so that you can immediately call that number on your phone or save it to your address book.

An alternative can be: Mobi, by Infrae. Inspiration comes from MITs mobile web implementation. It is more general, so also applicable outside of Plone. Remark by Kit Blake: this morning we made release 1.0; it uses WSGI.

For some technical notes by Zest Software, see

Testing: partly with the Open Wave emulator, partly simply with our own mobiles.

See the slides (in Dutch).