The first step in choosing a mobile web vendor is determining how robust your mobile site needs to be. If you just need a mobile friendly version of your blog you can go with a vendor that is specifically focused on doing just that. However, if you need a mobile site that has its own look and pages that are content-specific to mobile, or if you desire a more intricate interface with something like live online chat, then you need a mobile site builder. If you require an enterprise level solution, check into one of the Mobile Platform Providers. Check out the options below in each category for my recommendations.
MOBILE SITE BUILDERS
Mobile site builders allow you or your team to easily build a mobile site without having to worry about the technology of mobile site building (which is a bit mind boggling to tell the truth). These builders range from free to $49/ month per site. And, yes, it is 100% worth it to pay the monthly fee for the amount of stress it takes off your shoulders to use a builder that just works. A lot of free builders (which aren’t listed here) are just plain frustrating to use.
It is a JOY to use MoFuse to build a mobile site. Not only does it work like a charm, it is intuitive and easy to use. It allows you to create sub pages with a drag and drop movement that just feels right. You can add images, make maps pages, put in RSS feeds, link to other mobile sites and create content pages.
MoFuse makes creating a smart mobile site so easy that you’ll likely want to build more once you do the first one. This is a good idea since the price per site goes down when upgrade your package. MoFuse Premium is not free, but it is worth every penny. If you want to try it out, take advantage of their free 14 day trial.
Another free mobile site builder that quickly and easily helps you build a mobile site. Winksite offers its publishers the ability to monetize their mobile sites using Google Adsense, AdMob, mKhoj, BuzzCity, GetMobile, Admoda, Adshandy or Mo’Jiva. Your Revenue Share is 100%. Winksite does not take a share of your revenue that your mobile site generates.
With WinkSite you can also generate your own self-service ads. You can create a landing page, click to call option, link to a video, survey or another mobile site. This opens up the option of selling ads for a fixed price to sponsors or creating your own ads for you own products.
MOBILE PLATFORM PROVIDERS
If you are looking to develop a mobile site on your own domain that is a true mobile media property, you will need a mobile platform. These are services provided to businesses with at least $10,000 available to invest in their mobile site. You do get what you pay for as the mobile sites produced by these companies are fabulous.
iLoopMobile’s mFinity platform is a multi-channel platform that builds mobile sites and has an integrated text messaging component as well. The iLoop platform can also build out a mobile content storefront allowing you to build a mobile site to sell ringtones. iLoopMobile is a very strong option for your needs.
CrispWireless specializes in mobile sites for media companies – newspapers, magazines and television. Their robust mobile sites are top notch and perform well. If you choose to work with Crisp Wireless you are in good hands.
MOBILE WEB DESIGNERS
If you don’t want to do it yourself with a mobile site builder or go with a platform builder, then you are building your site from scratch. In that case I recommend working with a web designer with mobile experience. Here are a couple designers I can recommend.
Mobile Web Up
Mobile Web Up offers a full-service mobile website upgrade for your existing site, making it work great for visitors using handhelds and mobile phones. You continue to use and update your website as normal; it “just works” for prospects and customers on the mobile web.
There are also affordable Mobile Web Up offerings for organizations that do not yet have a web site, and want one “ready for mobile” from day one.
Brian and Cyndi Fling are the mobile design team at Fling Media. They do excellent work and have great creativity. They also do iPhone app work as well. You can’t go wrong with Fling.
Little Springs Design
Barbara Ballard and her team in Lawrence, Kansas are top mobile web designers. Barbara has even written books about mobile design and they host a Mobile Design conference. They know their stuff.
Not Listed Here?
If you are a mobile site designer, have a mobile platform or have a mobile site builder and would like to be listed, please contact me so I can find out more about what you offer. I am open to reviewing companies worldwide even though right now I only list U.S. companies.