by Stephanie Watson
Published on 24 May 2012
As a small business owner, I would be lost without my mobile device. Business owners who have websites to foster enterprise of any kind, face the necessity of optimizing their websites for mobile access.
In the last couple of years, the fast track of mobile phones has exploded over the globe. Did you know that it is estimated that well over 2/3rds of the Earth's population owns a mobile phone? Consumers even have mobile devices in developing countries where electricity is not a given, often using pay kiosks to recharge their phones. The versatility of mobile communication and access is changing the face of some countries and changing how people interact with and do business with each other. With so many consumers using mobile devices as their sole means of connection to the Internet, if you want to do business via the net, it's now become a necessity to offer a mobile friendly website for your visitors.
If you are trying to get someone to pay attention to what you have to offer, having a mobile optimized website is fast becoming essential. Any small business owner needs the service that mob.is.it offers because generally any area of business now needs to be accessed via mobile device. It doesn't matter if you have an online or offline bricks and mortar business, if your target audience has mobile devices (and it's likely they do) it's time to get a mobile friendly website.
A really spectacular point of interest to note is if you're a website designer and are wanting to offer mobile websites as a service to your target audience, mob.is.it offers a white-label offering that is pretty awesome. You can pay as you go, or you can pay for an unlimited offering. Then you can resell the service under your own brand with no mention, what-so-ever of mob.is.it. It's completely your service, your prices, and your brand.
If you are new to the concept of making mobile website for your small business, the task might seem a bit daunting at first. Many web page development tools create pages best viewed on a computer, and tweaking an existing page for a mobile device can cause formatting issues, problems loading or other technological glitches. But, with mob.is.it, it's easy. It does all the work for you, yet you have total control.
If you have a little HTML knowledge, you might be able to work it out. But the best thing to do is save yourself the grief and time and make use of Mob.Is.It's templates and online tutorials. I used it to create a mobile version of my own website, and I was shocked at how simple it truly is. It took minutes. Not days, not hours, but minutes. If you don't have a website yet, you can select from ready-made templates and design your website from scratch also in mere minutes.
Not many other mobile website hosting services will make it so easy for you. Most of the time, you need to muddle through design on your own with something like Adobe Dreamweaver, something not designed to make a mobile website. The service even allows you to create mobile business cards with QR codes to point people to your mobile website, something not offered in many places either. If you have no webpage authoring experience, this is the best place to start, with its templates and tutorials to walk you through the process. It's not confusing at all and quick to grasp with a little effort.
Crucial to any good service is the user interface. I can't say enough positives about mob.is.it's interface. I found it very simple to use, very clean, intuitive and user-friendly. The service can be handled completely within your browser, not requiring you to download or install any software. In the authoring section of the website, you can select various ways to start your project, either from scratch or using a template. As you work, how your mobile website will appear shows up in the preview panel. Once done, there is an easy "approval and publish" selection on the right side, making upload a snap.
All of the fields are clearly marked and self-explanatory, like "title" and "content" for editing. You can even make several pages for one site, such as a home page and a data input page. You can edit the layout by altering the color and images of existing templates, change the font and insert links and fields for data entry quite easily, especially if you viewed some of the tutorial videos first.
When you are finished, you can publish the site, at which point you are given a link to use to direct people to the website hosted on Mob.Is.It's servers. It also produces a QR code for use to direct users if that is the method you'd like to use. It's all as easy as a simple mouse click.
The pros of such a service are obviously the convenience and ease of building a site that will be hosted on Mob.Is.It's servers right there on the server. You don't have to fiddle with FTP transfers or creating files in a webpage authoring program to upload to hosting servers, which are several steps. For beginners, the use of templates makes the process easy and the customer support is also very useful for those who get stuck.
The only real downside is that, with the website hosted on Mob.Is.It's servers, if you ever decide to cancel your subscription, you lose the webpages you have created. You won't be able to transfer the code easily to your own servers or to someone else's servers. Honestly, I don't even see that as a downside because it's clear that cloud-based applications are how most, if not all websites, software, and services will be delivered in the future.
Mob.Is.It offers various packages for a monthly rate depending on what you need. The most basic package is the price of a Starbucks coffee per month and will give you up to 5 pages for your site, access to the basic templates, integration with Google Analytics, and customizable images and colors to the site. The next step up gives you twice the number of pages, everything in the basic package and a customizable domain name. The most expensive package is four times the price of the basic package, but also allows insertion of YouTube videos and M-Commerce site creation.
For those who seek to use mobile websites in advertising campaigns, these features will be very useful. For the most part, those making use of mobile websites, especially those just starting out, should find the prices very reasonable and affordable, especially in comparison to other similar services. All personal services offer a free trial period with no need to give credit card information. We like that! For those interested in the white-label there is not a free trial, but you can choose to pay monthly which will only add a little bit to your total yearly total.
If you have decided mobile websites will be crucial to your small business, you really won't get much better than mob.is.it. The prices are very reasonable, the features are top-notch and the ease of website creation and publishing to the servers within your own web browser are very useful and user-friendly.
If you build customer websites for a living the white-label option for agencies is a particularly great options that can be a terrific up sell to your existing services. The price for the service fits most budgets, and with a free trial to see if it works for you, there's really no reason not to give it a shot. I know you'll be as amazed as I am at how easy it was.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 5/5, value5/5 and ease of deployment 5/5