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"Are you Ready for WAP & WML?"

Article courtesy of MediaPeak,

Acronyms make the computer world go round. Things like HTML, DHTML, XML; it's enough to make a grown man cry. Well, look out! There's a new player in alphabet-town: "WAP." So what is it and why should you care? -- Merle  

WAP stands for "Wireless Application Protocol" and it allows people to access the Net using wireless devices like mobile phones and other gadgets. 

It's estimated that by the year 2002 there will be over 800 million wireless users around the world. Eventually all wireless tools will come equipped with WAP as standard issue. That's a lot of possible viewers for your website. The problem is that wireless net-surfers will not be able to access your HTML-driven site. Their devices can only read sites built in (get ready for another acronym!) WML.

WML stands for "Wireless Markup Language." (Are you taking notes here?) So if you presently have a website built in HTML and you want mobile users to be able to view it, you'll need to make another version of it in WML. The good news is that WML is not hard to learn and can be picked up easily. Plus, there are plenty of sites online that will teach you everything you'll ever want to know about this new technology.  Some of the better ones are:

    Learn what WAP is (and isn't), how to write WAP "cards" 
    (not "pages"), and best of all, you'll find some free 
    software you can download to make your own WAP site. Free.

    Contains Wap articles, links, tools and more.
    Make sure you stop in the developers area for all kinds of 
    webmaster tools for creating your own WAP pages.

    A ton of helpful information here: learning WML, books,
    where you can host your new WAP sites and more.

    100% wireless application development: archives, news,
    books, and more. Sign up for their helpful newsletter
    to keep abreast of what's going on in this new field.

As far as building your WAP site, you can download free software or use an online editor available at some websites.

Nokia has jumped into the arena by offering "The Nokia WML Studio", a free download that adds on to Dreamweaver to create WML content from within Dreamweaver's interface. Get it at 

For hosting your new wireless-enabled site, check out:

Keep in mind that the viewing area on a mobile device is a whole lot smaller than that of a computer monitor.  So you need to be short and concise. Plan on about 10 text lines per WAP "card" (instead of "page.") Due to slow transmission speeds, typically 14.4 to 19.6 Kbps, you need to keep text and graphics down to a bare minimum.

Wireless phones use "microbrowsers" to surf the web, so you need to make sure the web cards in WML look good on a wireless device. But what if you don't have that kind of luxury? No problem, hop over to and you'll find something called "The Wapalizer" that will allow you to look at any WAP site using your regular browser. Just type in the URL and a new window opens up that imitates a mobile phone's interface. You can browse through the entire site to make sure everything will be viewed correctly by your mobile guests.

So there you have it. WAP and WML, two good things that just naturally go together. If you presently have an HTML site, you might want to consider making a version of it in WML as a sidekick, thus opening yourself up to a whole new audience: a mobile one. After all, we're a society on the move . . . and you'd better keep up!

About the author

Merle's Cyber Promotions 
"Creating Visibility Online for Small Businesses"
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Last updated: Monday, June 05, 2006