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Apple prides itself in allowing laptop and desktop enthusiasts to enjoy fast network connectivity and a beautiful 9.7” screen with the iPad.  Although Safari on iPad uses the same WebKit layout engine as on a Mac or PC, a few things about your Joomla website may look a little hiccup-y on Apple’s new pride and joy if you don’t take a few precautionary measures.

Put Information First
Keep your website clean-cut and to the point.  One of the benefits of Joomla is unadulterated graphics but keep in mind that the most important part of your site is the information.

Mind the Screen Resolution
Try using fluid width design that can help with hiccups owing to varying screen resolutions.

Make Links Visible
An iPad user doesn’t have a mouse—just a point and tap of a finger.  Make links easy to see (i.e. larger text, and try not to make it a Where’s Waldo experience by hiding it in text).  Also, avoid hover effects.

Use Only Supported Video
The rule of thumb is that audio and video that an iPod supports is also supported by the iPad.  That means movie files with .mov, .mp4, .m4v, and .3gp extensions and the following compression standards are supported:

  • H.264 Baseline Profile Level 3.0 video, up to 640 x 480 at 30 fps. Remember, B frames are not supported in the Baseline profile.
  • MPEG-4 Part 2 video (Simple Profile)
  • AAC-LC audio, up to 48 kHz

This means staying away from Adobe Flash.  Just like the iPhone, the iPad doesn’t support Flash and viewers on the iPad will just get a blank box in place of animation.

Remember Your Audience
The iPad can be used either in portrait or landscape mode; although you see less in the latter mode, most users prefer this because websites and text are bigger and easier to see.  What does that mean to you, the Joomla user?

It means stick with the same principle that novelists, short story writers, and bloggers (well, the good ones) adhere to: use the first sentence to hook the reader, and the rest to reel them in.  In your case, it means keep the first post on a blog or the header of your site interesting, or you’ll bore viewers away.  This is actually not a bad principle to apply to your site, even without regard for iPad viewers.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She spends much of her days blogging about Education and CollegeScholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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Chris Szabo On October - 3 - 2010

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