It's really simple to put together your own WAP site. We'll show you some tips and give you a finished site that you can easily customize.
PROS: Only you know the things you need on your cellphone. Customizing your own WAP site will get you there quickly and save keystrokes, airtime minutes and money! All of the tools here are free.
CONS: If you are unfamiliar with websites, FTP and any kind of scripting, you will need to invest a few minutes learning some basics.
Build Your Own WAP Site...new file added to Downloads
We've added a NEW "Quick Wapscout" which can be downloaded at the right. It's a small text-only WAP site that includes modified code to run a bit faster. It resembles what's already on our test sites here.
You can download it an simply modify it to your own needs. It's two pages, or cards. You will upload it to a directory on your web server like /wap. There's the main index card and a "favorites" card in the same file.
If you already have Wapscout, it would be better to give this index.wml file a different directory than /wap or /wap2...
We are in the process of updating all of the Wapscout, Wapscout-PHP files to get rid of links that don't work and clean up the code.
The Wapscout has a lot of nice default features you can customize. Here's a basic rundown of what comes with the Wapscout Menu System...
- Two directories you can switch between for "Graphic" or "Text-Only Menus. The switch is just a link at the bottom of the main page that will instantly take you to the other Menu Style
- Basic links for Yahoo, Google, GMail, Weather and News plus links to other Menus
- Tools Menu has links to things like a Currency Converter, DHL, FedEx package tracking, Price Grabber (for comparison shopping when you're out and about...) plus MSN, and Super Pages Phone and Reverse Directory. There's also a link to a Dictionary to look up words or get basic phrase translations.
- Fun Menu has links to live Webcams around the world, Movie Showings, E-Bay, Games, Trivia, Hangman, Jokes, The Onion and ESPN Sports.
- Travel Menu includes the U.S. FAA site that has links to all major U.S. airline wapsites plus their 800 numbers. There's a direct link to Google Local, Yahoo Driving Directions and Lonely Planet plus a Hotel Guide, City Guide and the "Go 2" service.
- In addition, from the Main Menu, there's a customizable list of "Links" you can set to your own favorites by editing the code. Handy.
- On the Graphics version, you can switch between 5 files for your default image, including network cameras, family photos etc. You can set the default image within the code of the "index.wml" file
The downloads fall into a couple of categories.
If you are using the free website you got from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) you probably do not have a PHP enabled website. Stick to the files marked Wapscout, or go ahead and get a free PHP-enabled site somewhere else.
If you have your own domain name and have a PHP-enabled server, you can use the files marked Wapscout-PHP. It will work well if the GD Library is installed as part of PHP.
All files should be un-zipped in a local directory, first. The directories structure will be there. In addition, there is a directory named /local that includes the buttons for customizing the graphic images, links for WAP sites, and code snippets for quick insertion in your WML pages. You don't need to upload that to your website. You can get it from the downloads link on the menu.
Upload the directories /wap and /wap2 to the root of your web server...like www/wap or public_html/wap2
Before you even begin, the Gearscout advises you to download the Openwave Simulator. It' free, but you have to register.
The Openwave Simulator V.7 is the best we've ever used.
It allows you to check the creation and customization of files on your computer or already on your site for "look and feel." In addition, there's a Console that shows you what you browser is seeing and where any problems may lie.
Undoubtedly the greatest benefit is that you won't have to burn up your airtime minutes to view your site and check on your changes.The Openwave Developer Site also provides a lot of information valuable to experienced users. Highly Recommended!
There is a link to register and download the simulator on the download menu.
The Basic Site
It's pretty easy to get what you really use and need every day on a single page.
To the far right, you can see the graphic menus. Here, you can see a simple text page that will load quickly. They are essentially identical menus, presented in different ways. Both have everything we use every day -- like the wire services for news, Google's mobile site, links to both Yahoo Mail and GMail mobile.
Three other links will take us to other menus (Tools, Travel and Fun & Games) that contain more links to more sites. At the bottom, we've customized a keypad to insert a link to another menu that will look at traffic cameras from our local Department of Transportation. (See the Traffic Watch...)
With this text-only menu, the user can navigate with either the UP and DOWN keys or by pressing the numeric keypad on their cellphone. Wapscout give you the ability to easily toggle between a Graphics version and the text-only version with a small link at the bottom of the main page.
This enables us to move on to other pages, which are actually other "cards" within the same "deck." That's how WML differs from HTML...all of our main menu items are contained in a single file: index.wml
We could have separated them out into individual, (like tools.wml, travel.wml or url.wml) But this way, all of them will load at once...and moving between them will be faster.
This "How To" Guide isn't meant to teach you how to write WML code. You can learn that by visiting some of the links provided on the Menu to the right.
Customizing the Code
This is simple.
Pick any menu item within the script and substitute your own WAP LINK in place of the one already there. Then, change the display text so that it reflects what you want to appear on the menu.
For absolute beginners, here's a quick example.
Let's say you wanted The Los Angeles Times to be your main news link.
You would go to the first item with accesskey="1" and change the URL from:
Similarly, you might change the text for the link from News (Yahoo!) to News (LATimes)
Just be careful to leave in all the quotation " marks and < or > code symbols.. If you accidentally delete those, your page won't work.
Similarly, you might change the title "Gearscout" to your own site name. Each card has a title listed at the top of the card. It's not advisable to change the actual card names that appear as <card id="index"...> Doing that will "disconnect" the menus from one another, unless you edit every instance of that name in the decks.
The Graphics Menu
Spice it up a little! This template allows you to add family photos or your own webcam images to your cellphone pages. You can also use clip-art from the internet...just about any .gif or .jpg file will display.
We created an image using buttons to represent the numeric keypad of the phone. Pressing those numbers works fast to get you where you're going. But, essentially, it's the same menu as the text-only version.
You'll find that it gets you around very quickly. Yes, the loading of images does take a few seconds, but if you've got something interesting to look at, it makes all the difference in the world.
Try using your webcam or network camera to upload an image to your site and insert that image on your homepage.
For More Colors and Button Styles!