Easy steps to creating an iPhone webapp for site promotion

Wifi

iPhone webapps are an excellent way to create inbound links. How you say? Simply create your webapp and submit it to the dozens of sites that feature webapps around the internet, including apple.com

Not only will your webapp give mobile users a better web experience and keep them coming back, but it will also build your page rank with a little promotion.

Let’s see how we did it.

Specification:
Firstly we checked out what was possible in an iphone webapp and that is pretty much anything that can be rendered as a small web site in the safari browser. Armed with our new found information our team sat down and decided what we needed our webapp to do.

It was decided we would need the search form , search results and coupon display pages. The team decided it would also be a good idea to redirect any user on an iPod or iPhone to the iPhone version of the site.

iPhone web app

Implementation:
We started by researching the redirect based on which platform the user was browsing our site from. After some research we found that javascript supports a userAgent matching function:

We then placed this code into our homepage and redirected the users on iPhones and iPods to an alternative homepage
which is designed specifically for the small screen.

All of the pages inside our site except for the homepage are dynamically generated using PERL scripts and MYSQL databases. So to implement the webapp skin for the site without creating a while new site, we used some PERL code to detect the device the user is visiting our site from and change the template which is displayed to the user to be an iphone specific one.


my $userAgent = $ENV{“HTTP_USER_AGENT”};
if (($userAgent =~ m/iPhone/i)||($userAgent =~ m/iPod/i)||($iphone eq ‘1’))

The team also added a url variable that can be specified on the command line or via an URL parameter to force the system to display the iPhone template when viewed in a normal browser which helped a lot in testing the application.

Our designer then created all the templates for the required pages using the same variables and urls that are available in our full website’s templates and we are now able to maintain a single set of code with two templates. This also easily
allows us to create yet another version of the site for say Blackberry down the track with minimal work.

Now that the framework for mobile coupon browsing application is in place, it should be easy to work with and expand to a range of devices. Now that your iPhone webapp is finished, you can go and submit it to Apple and the other webapp sites!

Want to see the end result? Visit CouponMeUp.com with your iPhone.

This is a guest post by the Team at CouponMeUp , you can follow them on twitter @couponmeup

Article by ZK

ZK has written 939 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stan Johnson May 25, 2010, 1:48 pm

    Thanks for the post – I’ve been wondering if there was a way to make apps specifically for your business. It seems like it would be a great way to advertise to your target market.

  • Shiva | Web Magazine May 26, 2010, 3:32 am

    This method seems to give business holders a nice way to promote their sites on iPhones too but I am yet to know the significance of iPhone apps for blogs
    .-= Shiva | Web Magazine´s last blog ..Motorola Droid Shadow Leaked Pictures and Specifications =-.

  • CouponMeUp.com May 27, 2010, 1:38 am

    For a blog, I think you could show your posts in a smaller format so that your visitors can read them while on the move. I know I love reading my news on the go, some of the news sites have a small screen version 🙂

  • Mathew Day June 1, 2010, 4:12 am

    That’s pretty cool, thanks for the tutorial. 🙂
    .-= Mathew Day´s last blog ..Are You Choosing the Right Keywords (Buying Words) =-.

  • custom-web-design June 1, 2010, 6:04 am

    pretty useful tutorial. This iphone app will really help Ecommerce business by promoting websites…

  • Episode June 3, 2010, 2:29 pm

    I thought it costs a lot of money to publish your app in the store and that’s the only way to really get an app :S But I’m probably wrong here.
    .-= Episode´s last blog ..American Dad Season4 Episode 3: One Little Word =-.

  • Komodo Dragon June 3, 2010, 6:07 pm

    And you know what the best thing of all is from doing this? It could really go viral and catch on alot of popularity, and sometimes… if you’re lucky enough… you don’t have to do much work besides getting the App on there 😀

  • Aracely Gorrill January 26, 2011, 10:40 pm

    I’m the least bit shocked one bit that Steve Jobs and his tyrant of a corporation have already hit ten billion apps for the Mac network and when the new year slides around the iPhone application download numbers will assumingly tip the one trillion mark. Vague estimates show that stock in AAPL will reach nearly $550 a share by then, wild!

  • Jesica Wills April 7, 2011, 8:10 am

    Thanks ZK for this wonderful post. It is interesting to read on application. Nice Writing.

  • Arthur Kukri November 23, 2011, 11:29 pm

    I really appreciate this little tidbit of wisdom as to getting an iPhone app up and running. When I first hear about iPhone/Android apps, I thought “Not another thing I have to learn!” but this has made it a lot more simple to plan out.