Make Your Joomla Site PDA-Ready!

pda-mambot-article1Personal Digital Assistants, and web-enabled Cell Phones, are everywhere it seems. Yet most of us create elaborate websites that look painfully awful on the small screens of our computer’s little brothers and sisters. Wouldn’t it be great to simply flip a switch and have your CMS instantly create a PDA-ready version of itself? Well, it may require a bit more than 1 switch, but the solution I’ve found for this website has made me extremely happy! Read on for more information!

Joomla is an off-shoot of the popular Mambo CMS package. Joomla! has inspired numerous authors to create their own modules (e.g., what goes on a page), components (specialized feature-adding plugins), and mambots (sub-processing software that allows you to do a bunch of neat features, such as automatically linking to Wikipedia). One of the neatest new Plug-ins created for Joomla and Mambo is the PDA Mambot and Template, available here. By installing a template (Which you can modify to your heart’s content) and a simple mambot (Which requires really no configuration at all), you have a ready to go pda-site. Here’s a simple walkthrough for the installation process:

1. Download the PDA Template at the author’s site . Also grab the PDA Mambot.

2. In your Joomla configuration, go to Installers, then “Templates – Site”

3. Upload and install the PDA Template.

4. In your Joomla configuration, go to Installers, then Mambots.

5. Upload and install the PDA Mambot.

6. Make sure you set the Mambot to “Published” to activate it.pdamambot

That’s it, you’re done! Now you’ll probably want to edit the template file that you installed (It can be downloaded with an FTP client and edited as you would any other template). I’d encourage you to keep it simple, so that you can render quickly in your user’s mobile browsers. Here’s what the mobile version of JonWestfall.Com looks like on my Treo 750v.

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Update!. Since writing this article, the author of the PDA Mambot has expanded it to a 2.0 Beta Release, which supports creating a special subdomain that will always show the PDA template, and other cool features. Check it out!

This article was originally published at Pocket PC Thoughts.

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