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Domain Names Forum

Building Websites for the .Mobi Internet
Now what I have a .Mobi domain what do I do with it?

 7:33 am on Nov 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

The following message was cut out of this thread in the Domain Name Forum. [webmasterworld.com] WebmasterWorld offers a forum targeting mobile issues: PDA, Mobile and Wireless Computing [webmasterworld.com] by webwork - 9:28 am on Nov. 4, 2006 (utc -5)

I've read this discussion with much interest as I've purchased a few .mobi domain names.

I have no crystal ball and no way to know how big this may or may not become, however, I do not feel it hurts to have a few choice .mobi names in ones portfolio.

Can anyone point me to where to get information as to the .mobi criteria for building a .mobi site? I want to be in compliance with any and all rules.

[edited by: engine at 4:09 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2006]

[edited by: Webwork at 9:24 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2006]



 2:33 pm on Nov 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Interesting and important question WolfLover.

I don't hold any .mobi domains but by Googling the issue: Building Websites for the Mobile Internet [google.com] I came across a number of references.

I'd likely check the .mobi site, the w3.org site, and Google a few other phrases such as "mobile websites", "designing .mobi websites", etc.

Do a little research and report back. If you find any authority websites, ones that focus on education, (one's that aren't Adsense laden or more about thin content and big ads) I invite you to post up your findings in this thread.


 3:37 pm on Nov 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Try this for starters:


4.1 Mandatory Registrant Rules
4.1.1 XHTML Mobile Profile: When a dotmobi web site is accessed using a URI consisting only of the second-level domain name or second and third level domain name (...) the response must be encoded in XHTML-MP unless the device accessing it is known to support an alternative choice of markup.
4.1.3 Use of Frames: Do not use frames under any circumstances. i.e. in HTML, XHTML or other mark-up languages that support similar constructs, frames must not be present.

There are a lot of very useful indications in there, some mandatory (such as the above), some recommended but not essential.

Bear in mind that if you are parking your .mobi domains and the parking page is not, say, built with XHTML-MP or uses a frame, then you are probably not currently compying with the mandatory guidelines.


 5:43 pm on Nov 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I will not miss that thread!
and post again a question that was left non answered
If one builds a site with an extension of “ .mobi “ then one must assumes that a “main .com” site exists.
So the question is since a brand continuity is by essence required what will be the SE reaction to de facto content dupli


 11:56 pm on Nov 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

It is possible to make your main site automatically redirect people on phones to the mobile version, even when they've gone to your .com address.

From a branding perspective, I think it would be far more effective to give your customers ONE website to remember (the .com one or whatever), but set that website up so that it gives them content appropriate to the device they're using to view the site.

(The BBC does this for example, if you go to bbc.co.uk on your phone it will go to the mobile site, if you go to bbc.co.uk on your PC it will go to the main site.)

IMHO .mobi is a total red herring and unnecessary, it's just there to earn extra cash for the people who run it.


 10:05 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

IMHO .mobi is a total red herring and unnecessary, it's just there to earn extra cash for the people who run it.

That's the key question.

does .mobi have any functional properties - or is it another get-rich-scheme for domain sellers, like .info and .biz?

In other words, does anyone need it?

[edited by: Quadrille at 10:16 am (utc) on Nov. 6, 2006]


 11:52 am on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The request for assistance, presented by WolfLover, is this:

Can anyone point me to where to get information as to the .mobi criteria for building a .mobi site?

What's interesting is the dearth of responsive posts, the absence of posts by mobile design enthusiasts.

Is anyone working on "design for mobile" projects? What say ye?

Will the marketplace be looking for people with "design for mobile skills" sometime soon? That should not come as a surprise. So why not a) begin to hone your skills in a very preliminary way; and, b) report back - here - what you can find about resources for beginning to hone those skills?

[edited by: Webwork at 12:10 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2006]


 1:02 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)


[edited by: Tomseys at 1:04 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2006]


 2:28 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

does .mobi have any functional properties - or is it another get-rich-scheme for domain sellers, like .info and .biz?

You do not get any benefits from running a .mobi site.

My first impression was that by running a .mobi site you might earn higher rankings for queries related to mobile content. But when I re-thought this, I came to the conclusion that this is not true. When you are owner of really attractive content, you can easily approach potential customers (such as mobile network operators) with your content and propose a content licencing deal. But then, they do not care whether your mobile site is on widgets.mobi or www.widgets.com/mobile or mobile.widgets.com or even www.widgets.com. You will provide them with a valid URL, and they will use this in their portal or search engine.

Same applies to Google (or other search engines). When they discover content specifically built for mobile, they will notice this and flag it internally as "mobile content". But my guess is that this is independent from the TLD.

So, the only one who might notice, is the end consumer. But then again, even they don't care whether to access widgets.mobi or mobile.widgets.com (OK, the latter one requiring a few more keystrokes).

So, in a nutshell, I don't think this pays off.


 3:22 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Moderator's Note

Folks, whilst I appreciate everyone's input this isn't a "vote on .mobi" thread, which is fine topic for a separate thread and I invite anyone who wants to go off in that direction to do so. It seems many have an opinion about the URL but few have actual hands on design experience.

The OP is looking for resources and discussion about "how to" design and build to .mobi so let's please keep that focus.

Can anyone point me to where to get information as to the .mobi criteria for building a .mobi site? I want to be in compliance with any and all rules.

What would be a nice addition is IF anyone has actually built to .mobi or simply mobile deployment to speak to the issues and concerns of design and deployment to mobile devices.

I'm getting the feeling that we aren't up to speed and that that is likely not a good thing for some and will be an advantage for others.

[edited by: Webwork at 3:26 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2006]


 4:24 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I suspect those who have the experience are hanging out in the "Mobile and PDA" forum rather than here, and it's really a more appropriate forum for that discussion.

*This* forum, on the other hand, is a good place for a discussion on whether registering a .mobi makes sense.


But let me throw a monkey wrench into the discussion...

What are domainers lacking to effectively use .mobi? Are parking companies supporting .mobi requirements? Do tools and templates for producing "mini sites" support .mobi requirements? What other domainer-specific concerns or questions are raised by .mobi?

Perhaps there is an opportunity here to meet the unmet needs of domainers. As a software developer, this interests me. :)

It strikes me that this is the first TLD to have formatting requirements. The vast majority of tools and software will initially lack support for .mobi's requirements. (I do note on the dev.mobi site that at least one fairly popular CMS now has some specific .mobi support.)

This will create opportunity - for the arms sell... er, tools sellers, and for those who can figure out early how to adapt existing tools to fit the requirements.


 5:35 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

jtara, if you take a look at the PDA, Mobile and Wireless Computing [webmasterworld.com] Forum you will see that the "design and development for mobile deployment discussion" is evolving slowly, very slowly.

The fact that this thread has been moved to the frontpage may reflect, in part, a judgment that the mobile development conversation IS lagging behind the emergence of mobile web marketing as a "topic of interest". Sometimes you have to put it out there and bang the drums a bit to get the conversation rolling, even if the impetus for headline arises from the lowly domain world and the recent six figure .mobi domain sales. ;0/

Yes, sadly, .mobi's "attention de jour" arises from excitement about the domain market. Sleepy world. Lots of PDAs and lots of mobile computing and wireless access. So little chatter about design specifically for that world. I suspect that people carving out a specialization in this design and deployment niche will be in demand in the not so distant future, if for no other reason than companies will likely want to test the market potential.

First mover advantage? Possibly, however the first move would be signs of life in the development and deployment dialogue.

I plan to start testing the waters, not by virtue of a .mobi domain however. I'm not quite sold on their necessity. We'll see how that sorts itself out as the behemouths make policy decisions about how to deploy to the mobile web.

[edited by: Webwork at 5:38 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2006]


 6:12 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Another resource -

One problem in mobile development is the wide variety of capabilities and features from one device to another. The WURFL (Wireless Universal Resource File) is an XML config file with the capabilities and features of thousands of devices (currently over 9000), and libraries for using it in PHP, .net, Java, Perl and several other languages.

It can be found at [wurfl.sourceforge.net...]

There's a link on the WURFL site to a great article by one of its authors called "Global Authoring Practices for the Mobile Web". It's a "must read" if you're developing for that environment!

I'm also 'testing the waters' - I already have a small site up and running on a .mobi. It validates, it runs on various emulators, it passes the dev.mobi "mobile ready" tests. I need to do more actual device testing, add content and rethink the usability of one section, but it's a start...

I'm not entirely "sold" on .mobi, but I bought a couple of them. If the extension is ever to gain credibility, it needs developed sites - not just a bunch of domainers hyping its virtues and trading it amongst themselves.

[edited by: MamaDawg at 6:32 pm (utc) on Nov. 6, 2006]


 6:21 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The dev.mobi website is pretty, but they are not getting off to a good start.

Want to get a copy of XHTML coding standard (XHTML Mobile Profile 1.0) required by .mobi? You won't get it by following the link in the "Switch On Gude"! You will just get a non-helpful page at the OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) website, stating that

The WAP Forum has consolidated into the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and no longer exists as an independent organization.

The specification work from WAP continues within OMA and can be found on the OMA web site at...

Don't bother. That won't get you the spec either. Not unless you can wade through the alphabet-soup of hundreds (literally!) of technical specs listed on tht page.

You can get it here, though:


WURFL looks like a great tool for mobile site operators. It also points-out what might not be obvious: you are probably not going to develop an effective mobile site using static pages.

But that's the nature of the beast. You can pretty easily get away with ignoring differences between browsers, browser window size, etc. on PCs. (Though the best web sites DO take these into consideration).

Screen space and capabilities on mobile devices are so limited and varied, that you really need to take them into consideration to have an effective mobile site.


 6:32 pm on Nov 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm planning on developing a "smaller" version of my site for access by cell phones this winter, and am very interested in how others have gone about it.

One night, camping in the rain, bored and unable to sleep, I discovered my cell phone could access my site. I was excited, but discovered a few problems that needed to be addressed before it could be useful:

  • the formatting all got warped, especially due to narrow width and how the phone addressed this.
  • only a limited number of bytes could show on one screen, so due to my large menus, the submit button wasn't accessible :(
  • typing was a special form of torture, and selecting from menus was only a little better
  • so all the info has to be reorganized for simpler selection with a simpler tool
  • the likely users are not technically sophisticated. At all.

I believe, due to the type of real-time content, that there are a lot of people who will want to access a mobile version, if it's easy to use. How to do that? I'd love your tips. :)


 12:01 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Get some training:


from dev.mobi site

[edited by: Tomseys at 12:04 am (utc) on Nov. 7, 2006]


 12:09 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does anyone here use mobile phones for internet access,

I never dare use mine , but surely some one must be using them,

What do you check for using you mobile internet , just a little brainstorming


 12:20 am on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've had it since about Day 1, being in San Diego where Qualcomm tests out new concepts.

I seldom use it. Too painfully slow. But I don't have a 3G phone. Maybe it is acceptable on 3G.

I've occasionally used it for maps, driving directions, etc. (But using a Verizon GetItNow service, rather than a straight website.) The maps are surpisingly useful given the small screen. (Just a Motorola V710 phone, not a fancy PDA.)

Now, actually, you just said "Internet access". As slow as it is on my phone, it's actually acceptable on a notebook. I can sit my phone next to my notebook (or leave it in my pocket), and browse the web over a Bluetooth connection. It's actually quite decent, though you have to fiddle with your browser settings and do not use their proxy and compression software that is supposed to speed things up but does the opposite...

(The problem is, the proxy fetches the entire page - with all embedded images, etc. - from the website before it can start compression. THEN it sends it over the air. In the mean time, you are staring at .... nothing!)

Obviously, individual browser implementations on phones vary. And that is part of the problem at this point - an uneven user experience.


 5:01 pm on Nov 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I surf often through my phone (a Motorola A630 - about half way between a commodity phone and a blackberry.)

I find that most websites have pages that are too wide or simply too large (byte-wise) to view in my phone's browser. The trick I discovered early on was to use Google, which delivers click-thrus to a mobile-optimized cached copy, rather than the live site. They do a good job of chopping the pages into digestible sections.

Biggest gripes for me:

1) Graphics/images of course - these never get sized correctly on my screen.

2) Left nav menus - scrolling though a list of 30 links to get to paragraph #1 is no fun at all.

I think purpose-designed mobile sites are a must, but there's no magic to them. Just make your webpages Post-It-Note simple, and they'll work.

And dot-mobi makes sense to me, because it gives mobile users a degree of confidence that domain.mobi is less likely to frustrate them than domain.com. Once Palm and Blackberry start mentioning "try dot-mobi" in their "tips and tricks" pages, we'll should see type-in traffic start to climb, making the investment worthwhile.


 11:46 am on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am running a .mobi website <snip>

I have registered the domain when the general registration period started, usually the sites that I develop fairly quickly appear in the top 10 search results.

I beleive that .mobi will be considered by google and given a slight advantage above .com and other domains!

If you go to google.info google.us google.co.uk etc. you will end up at google, but if you go to google.mobi it will actually give you a page on google for mobiles, which shows google have an interest in mobile devices!

My beleive is that mobile content is going to be huge!

[edited by: Webwork at 12:25 pm (utc) on Nov. 10, 2006]
[edit reason] WebmasterWorld TOS and Domain Forum Charter: No personal link drops please. [/edit]


 7:47 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

What do you check for using you mobile internet , just a little brainstorming

Don't have Internet on my phone, but when I did during the trial period, I used it to check news. Oh, and to see what my web site looked like. ;-) My site looks decent in Lynx, so it wasn't difficult to navigate by mobile either.

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