Frequently Asked Questions

New to Moovweb? Here’s a list of some frequently asked questions and answers.

FAQs


Top 3 FAQs

What are the prerequisites for using Moovweb?

Using the Moovweb platform and SDK is incredibly easy. However, if you want to get the most out of the platform, there are a couple of prerequisites listed below. Some knowledge of these will enable you to use the SDK with minimal difficulty:

Web Development

  • HTML
  • CSS (and authoring frameworks such as Sass and Bourbon)
  • XPath
  • Browser page execution flow
  • Web debugging tools (e.g., Chrome Developer Tools, Firebug, or IE Inspector)

General Computer Skills

  • Regular expressions
  • Command line tools
  • Git versioning system (Only required for Moovweb 4.7 and earlier)

If you’re aiming to develop a mobile site, it’s useful to have knowledge of mobile design and mobile web development practices. If you feel comfortable with all of these, then using the Moovweb platform will be a cinch!

Why not use Responsive Web Design?

This is one of the most common questions developers ask us. The fact is, if your site is relatively simple, then responsive design is a legitimate option. As sites increase in scale and complexity, however, they need to run on a more powerful platform. For any site that needs to consider the optimal experience for every user regardless of their device, responsive web design isn’t enough.

That’s where Moovweb comes in.

With responsive design, you can’t alter the actual HTML of a page. “Well, my 115 lines of JavaScript can do that”, you say. Maybe it could. But that approach will only further bloat the performance of your site. Not to mention how difficult it will be to manage the interaction between your JavaScript and your responsive design. With Moovweb, your code works smarter, not harder!

  • Awesome User Experience
    With responsive design, you are constrained in the user experience you can provide your mobile user. For example, you can’t change the fundamental layout of a page, or create a totally new mobile-only page. You can do that easily with Moovweb. With Moovweb, you can create a highly tailored user experience, using responsive design techniques plus the various other tools Moovweb provides.

  • Optimize Performance
    With Moovweb, you can centralize that entire transformation process by removing the scripts you’re not using for mobile and compressing the scripts you are using into a single file and a single HTTP request. Your HTML transformations will correspond to your CSS that is cleaned up and empowered by Sass.

  • Cleaner Code
    A streamlined approach keeps your codebase nice and neat. A responsive approach, on the other hand, inflates your codebase into an overwhelmingly muddled pile of code-on-top-of-code for the various views that are being added or transformed.

  • No Heavy Lifting
    We optimize images for you via spriting and optional scaling, format, and quality adjustments, and bundle your CSS into a single file and single HTTP request.

  • No Duplicating Assets
    Like Responsive Web Design with Server Side components (RESS), Moovweb is a server-side solution. Using a powerful language called Tritium, Moovweb dynamically transforms a page before it even hits a visitor’s browser. You have all the benefits of RESS but without the duplicated web assets. When you need to make a change, you do it in one place and when it’s transformed for mobile visitors, that change will automatically flow through.

  • User-Centric
    Shrinking down a display to work on an iPhone does NOT ensure you are giving the user what they need. By altering the front-end elements, you’re more intelligently considering the mobile use cases over what your users need on desktop.

  • Scalable Solution
    Moovweb’s technology is built on the basis of HTTP and HTML, the foundation of the web. This gives it the unique ability to adapt to future devices, whatever they may be (Google Glass, TV, Kiosks, and beyond).

In short, Moovweb enables your business — and codebase — for the future. The end result is a mobile-optimized site that is built to scale and built to last with an ability to adapt to and optimize for new technology.

We call this the Agile Web approach.

More reading: Why Responsive Web Design Isn’t Enough, and How to Fix It

How can a complete beginner get set up?

If I am completely new to programming, what are all the necessary software I need to download to get the Moovweb SDK up and running?

You’re on Moovweb’s Developer Center, and this is perfect place to get you started. We cover everything from downloading and installing our software to creating a complete mobile website on our platform.

If you’re completely new to programming, we suggest you learn some basic HTML and CSS before you start diving into Moovweb.

We also offer a comprehensive online training course at Moovweb University. These courses are currently restricted to Moovweb partners and customers. Please contact us for more information.


Local Development Questions

What is the standard way to transform a desktop site for mobile?

The standard way to create a mobile-optimized webpage is to take the existing content and remove items until only the essentials remain. For example, we commonly remove excess ads or awkward navigation bars.

Standard Transform

The next step is to redesign the elements you do want to keep. This usually involves moving from horizontal to vertical navigation, creating large show/hide buttons that allow you to serve only the content asked for by the user, and generally finding a way to keep your site simple yet still understandable.

For more hands-on instructions on how to transform a desktop site into mobile, take a look at some of our tutorials.

How do I debug an issue on a Moovweb site?

If an issue is observed on the mobile site, and the source is unknown here is a standard approach trying to find the source of the unwanted behavior:

  1. In Chrome/Safari go to the mobile URL in question, and on that page use the inspector and try to look for unique pieces of information in regards to what changed or are related to the behavior in question (e.g., classes, IDs, structure, etc.).
  2. Use Safari or Chrome to inspect elements in question, look for the ID or class and search your Tritium for that class or ID. Whatever unique information you find, look at its associated rules and adjust accordingly.
  3. In the inspector, the Resources tab allows you to search JavaScript, so you can search for that ID or class as well.
  4. Go to the Tritium file in question using debug statements to see which files are getting mapped.
  5. Attempt to search entire project for that item or class.
  6. Check existing site to see how it’s changed: styling, structure, functionality. JavaScript may have a file that has been removed by Moovweb.
  7. Adjust or add new Tritium.
  8. Test your changes.
  9. Use content-based selectors, don’t write the fastest selectors possible. It’s more important to be able to maintain a site and keep its functionality throughout updates and releases.
I get an error when running the Moovweb server; something about port 80?

Moovweb uses port 80 so you’ll need to stop any other programs from using that port first.

Here is a list of common applications that may be using port 80:

  • Skype
  • Apache
  • IIS
Why does Moovweb use port 80?

This is so that you can test your mobile changes in the browser, which helps you develop Moovweb projects quickly and efficiently.

How do I add mobile-specific content to my site?

We find many users want to enable brand new features on mobile. There are several ways to do this, here are three common options:

  1. Use a homepage URL with an additional query parameter. For example, “?page=newpage” and then create a mapping for your new URL that replaces the container’s content with an HTML template of your choice.
  2. Use our static paths feature! All you have to do is define the path in your config.json file and then create the HTML template to be served if this path is hit.
  3. Create the controller logic on the desktop site so it can be used on all your future devices. Then, in your Moovweb project, add links to that content and mappings to those URLs so that they can be transformed accordingly with the look and feel of your mobile site.

Cloud Management Questions

Do I still need Git to deploy to the Control Center? (Moovweb 5 and later)

As of Moovweb 5 or later, you can now handle this with the moov deploy command. This takes whatever is currently in your local development directory (whether it is part of a commit or not) and deploys it to the Control Center.

On the command line you will still see the progress of your build. The Control Center will update with a new version each time you deploy. See the documentation for moov deploy for more details.

Can I still Git push a branch to the Control Center? (Moovweb 4.7 and earlier)

If you are using Moovweb 5 or later, this is now done with the moov deploy command.

In Moovweb 4.7 and earlier, you can still push your master branch to the Control Center with:

git push moovcloud master

Where “moovcloud” was a remote pointing to your Control Center Project in our moov@git.moovweb.com Git server. If you are developing locally on a new_feature branch, you could also push your other branches to the Control Center. However, the only branch that would be automatically built and deployed would be the master branch. If you wanted your new_feature branch to be built and deployed, you would have to push that branch into the remote’s master branch like this:

git push moovcloud new_feature:master

Likewise, you can push the contents of a Git tag to be deployed by doing the following:

git push moovcloud +feature_tag:master

How do I prepare for production?

When you first begin a Moovweb project and are preparing for launch, there are a few operational procedures that need to be completed.

Here is a checklist of areas that can cause problems:

  1. Check CNAMES are set up correctly
  2. Check SSL Certificate is valid
  3. Moovweb is hitting a firewall / Whitelisting IPs
  4. Setting up a Moovweb project correctly
  5. See “How do I debug an issue on a Moovweb site?”

Tools Questions

What’s Sass?

Sass is a CSS pre-compiling language! Check out our Sass documentation on how to use it!

Why isn’t Git working?

If you are on Windows, make sure you are running Git Bash as an administrator (right-click and choose “Run as administrator”) and not the standard Command Prompt.

Check out our Stack Overflow articles on some other common Git failure modes.

(Note: If you are using Moovweb 5 or later, Git is no longer needed to deploy a site, use moov deploy instead)

For anything that wasn’t covered, please feel free to join us at our live Beginner Chat Room or send us an email at help@moovweb.com.