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Did you know that by next year the tablet PC market is expected to quadruple in size? It doesn’t stop there either, even the following year (2013) it will continue to grow exponentially according to market analysts. If you lost a bet about whether or not touchscreen tablets were nothing more than a short lived fad then I feel sorry for you! This year alone over 50% of all computer devices sold will in fact be tablet computers and smartphones. Even despite the huge impact these mobile devices are having worldwide the truth is we’ve barely seen anything yet. If you own a website these are facts you shouldn’t ignore.

Even if this isn’t the case right now, sooner or later a large percentage of your websites audience and visitors will in fact be tablet PC users. These numbers are constantly on the rise. Today I’m going to share a few tips and tricks on how to prepare and optimize your website for this major shift that is taking place.

Architectural design and structure, the way we retrieve as well as display information and how we code our websites is changing thanks to mobile touchscreen devices. Sure, a lot of similar, traditional and basic approaches will be effective and remain the same (for now), but if you own and/or develop a website, or multiple different websites for that matter, you understand the importance of having a website that is compatible and easy to view on multiple different platforms.

Along with countless new tablet PCs hitting the mainstream market comes an assortment of different types of browsers and operating systems. Not to mention, HTML5 and CSS3 web and application standards which are essentially an improved blend of past technologies created & designed to take advantage of newer technologies in a more current and advanced way. I’m going to provide you with some advice, guidance and resources on ways you can ensure your website is properly optimized and won’t get left behind.

Learning & Understanding HTML5

Along with new technology such as tablet PCs which have taken the world by storm comes a whole new set of standards and developing techniques. This includes methods of distributing audio and video, programming languages and styling & design to name a few.

We’ve relied heavily on technologies such as Flash and Javascript for several years, but you can feel a shift and change taking place. I’m not attempting to discredit these technologies, in fact back in the day I spent a few years creating Flash animations even back when it was owned by Macromedia. Let’s be honest, without these technologies HTML5 wouldn’t even exist and another point is that HTML5 uses DOM scripting (document object model) which actually implies Javascript.

Some of these terms might sound complicated and foreign to you, but you won’t find better or more helpful resources than what I have listed below. These resources will help you get started and teach you to better understand HTML5, how it works exactly and how it can be executed on your website.

Recommended HTML5 Books & Resources

Learning & Understanding CSS3

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) sure have come a long way over the years! I’ve been developing websites for over 13 years and it’s amazing to see how much CSS, currently known as CSS3, has evolved. Along with CSS3 comes a world of new and fresh opportunities when it comes to styling, typography, gradients, giving borders a radius, backgrounds and so much more. You don’t want your websites traffic or audience to be limited so learning the basics of CSS3 would certainly be a great asset.

I highly recommend the following list of CSS3 resources. I’m sure you’ll find them very helpful.

Recommended CSS3 Books & Resources

Test Your Website On Several Different Tablet PCs

In order to understand how your website appears on a tablet PC it’s best to test it on various different models and devices. This way you can see first hand how your website both looks and functions and you can better gauge what changes, updates or adjustments (if any) are necessary. If you don’t have access to one or more tablet computers to run tests on there’s no need to worry because you can also take advantages of free tools and resources such as iPadPeek.com for example.

Of course those online tools mentioned above are helpful, but the best solution which far outweighs and still remains the most effective is by visiting your website on as many different tablets as possible. Reason being, there are many factors involved including different browser types, operating systems, how your site looks in landscape or portrait mode as well as the fact that some tablets have 7″ inch screens while others have 10″ displays or perhaps even other sizes.

Keep Your Layouts & Menu Structures Simple

When it comes to designing your websites for tablet PC displays the best solution is to avoid complex menus and layouts. Ultimately, the more simple the better. It’s important to note that just because a particular style menu or design appears fine on a MAC or PC doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to look good on a tablet. It’s also critical to keep in mind that with tablet computers your website visitors will be swiping their fingers on a screen as opposed to clicking with a mouse.

Let’s be honest, the majority of people who own and operate websites are in some shape or form trying to earn revenue and income. It’s wise that you pay close attention to key conversion points on your website and aim to make them easily accessible for touchscreen tablet users. The bottom line is the harder it is for surfers to access your main conversion areas the less sales you will ultimately make.

Have An App Developed For Your Website

Having a custom app developed for your website is a huge bonus and advantage for both you as well as your visitors. Yeah I know, we’re not exactly leading by example in this case (at least not yet), but having a Let’s Talk Tablets iOS and Android app is certainly on our to do list.

Plain and simple, having an app created for your website(s) greatly increases your audience and exposure. This is another way to take advantage of and optimize your website for the tablet PC generation.

Conclusion

I hope you found this article to be useful and educational. It’s understandable if some of the topics mentioned above are perhaps a bit intimidating or confusing, however my advice is to learn the basics one step at a time and instead of being a victim of information overload simply grasp these new tactics at your own pace. The more you learn the more you’ll be amazed at the endless opportunities available when it comes to optimizing your site using new and effective concepts.

If you have any questions, tips, suggestions or other resources you’d like to share please list them in the comments section below! We’d love to hear your thoughts and input!

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