February 24, 2010

How to Build a Mobile Web Site


Hostway Team

By Monique Martin

Neilson recently released its 2010 Media Industry Fact Sheet, and the numbers are staggering. There are currently more than 60 million mobile Web users in the US. They project that number to double within the next year. That’s 120 million customers who won’t see your business unless you have a mobile-optimized Web site.

That’s a potential customer base no one can pass up. Whether they’re surfing on their BlackBerry, iPhone or Droid, mobile users are on the Web, and you should be too. Happily, creating a mobile-optimized Web site is easier and cheaper than ever.

Building a Design

Hiring a designer who specializes in creating mobile-optimized Web sites can vary from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the size and complexity of your site. If you’re just dipping your toe into the mobile world, you can do it gradually to test the waters. There are special converter sites that can help you get your mobile site up and running pretty quickly. Here are two of the most popular mobile conversion sites.

Mobify – Mobify offers a variety of plans from their bare-bones, free basic plan to their “call for pricing” Enterprise solution with ecommerce. While no programming skills are required, it’s best if you have at least a basic knowledge of CSS. If you’re not sure what CSS is, you can head over to their job board to find a designer. If your site is small and doesn’t require additional applications, you can be up and running in minutes.

MoFuse – MoFuse is another option if you want to create your mobile Web site yourself. It’s a bit simpler than Mobify, but there’s no free option. Plans start at $7.95/month for a basic, 5-element Jumpstart site and run all the way up to $199/month for its Ultimate package. The Jumpstart, Basic ($39.00) and Small Business ($89.00) should offer than enough functionality for most small businesses.

The MoFuse interface is extremely simple to use and you can even add a Google Checkout Buy Now button anywhere on the site. It’s easy to keep your site current too. MoFuse uses your RSS feeds to regularly update your content. MoFuse also offers an auto-redirect code that you can install on your main Web site so that mobile visitors will automatically be redirected to your mobile site.

Whether you choose to hire a designer or do it yourself, creating a mobile-optimized version of your Web site is the savvy thing to do. The mobile Web is still young, and the earlier you stake your claim the better.

About the Author

Monique Martin served as chief operating officer for a successful online insurance marketing firm for five years.

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