Using ASP.Net to Develop a Mobile Friendly Website

A constant increase is being noted in the number of people accessing websites on their smartphones, tablets, and phablets. So it has becomes essential for web developers to optimize the look, feel and performance of websites for different types of mobile devices. Microsoft has upgraded ASP.Net with a set of features that makes it easier for developers to create mobile friendly websites within a shorter span of time. If you are planning to build mobile friendly websites using ASP.Net, it is time to understand its features relevant for your project.

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ASP.Net Features that Effectuate Mobile Friendly Website Development

Mobile Web Server Controls
You have option to create mobile web pages directly from the MobilePage base class. After creating the pages, you can add mobile web server controls from the System.Web.Mobile namespace. The .NET Framework provides several adapters that support these mobile web server controls. As most of these controls adhere to unified adapter architecture, they will behave differently based on the requesting device. Thus, it becomes easier to create mobile version of websites by targeting different mobile devices.

ASP.Net Mobile Controls
While developing a mobile friendly website, developers often have to write lengthy and complex code. But ASP.Net allows you to avoid writing additional code by creating mobile pages using Visual Studio. Like ASP.Net Web server controls, you have option to use several mobile controls to accomplish specific tasks without putting any extra effort. You can optimize the mobile version of a website by using controls like Calendar, AdRotator, Image, Link, MobilePage, ObjectList, TextBox, TextView and Form. The data submitted by the users can also be authenticated using controls like CompareValidator, CustomValidator, RangeValidator, RegularExpressionValidator, and RequiredFieldValidator.

Browser Detection Support
Both ASP.Net Web Forms and MVC are designed with built-in browser detection support. So you can use the properties of Request.Browser object to identify the characteristics of requesting mobile device. Along with the manufacturer and model of the mobile devices, these properties can also be used to identify their screen size, supported media and data formats, and input methods, i.e., keypad, touch or joystick. The option to identify the features of the requesting device will help you optimizing the mobile version of a website for new mobile devices.

Option to Keep Website Content Unaltered
Normally, the web pages are designed for large desktop-sized screens. Also, most users access these websites through fixed-line broadband connections. So many operators alter the content of web pages dynamically through proxy servers to make them the content relevant for mobile devices. When the HTML markup or CSS is altered by operators, it will have a huge impact on user experience. ASP.Net enables you to keep your website content unaltered by simply by using the Response.Cache.SetNoTransforms() method. The methods can also be used while creating mobile friendly websites using ASP.Net Web Forms and MVC.

Maintaining Sessions without Using Cookies
Unlike web browsers, most mobile devices do not support cookies. So developers find it daunting to save information about a particular user session across multiple requests. Normally, ASP.NET locates the user session across server round trips through an identifier. The identifier is stored by the ASP.NET session object through client-side cookies. However, ASP.Net allows developers to capture the session ID, and redirect the user to a new URL that contains the session ID. You can simply configure the session state to store ID in session state without relying on cookies.

You also have option to use the System.Web.Mobile namespace provided by ASP.NET to create mobile friendly websites without putting any extra effort. The mobile web server controls further makes it easier for you to create web pages supported by a variety of mobile devices. On the whole, ASP.Net comes with a set of features to meet the most recent trends in mobile friendly website development.

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