10 Great Tools to Create a Mobile Version of Your Site

84% of Americans currently own a mobile phone. Sadly, there are no figures showing how many of these devices are ageing bricks without internet capabilities, but you can bet that, within a few years, the majority of mobile phone users will be able to browse the internet, wherever they are.

Right now, most websites are completely unsuitable for mobile viewing, taking 60 or more seconds to load and looking jumbled and confused as they’re squashed onto smaller screens.

Every day, however, thousands of people are releasing mobile versions of their websites and seeing greatly increased levels of traffic as a result. Unless you optimize your website for mobile phone users soon, you could be left behind by the competition. Creating a mobile-friendly version of your site sounds like a daunting task, but it couldn’t be easier to do. Using one of the excellent tools below, you’ll be able to build, host and launch your mobile site with absolutely no coding knowledge whatsoever.

1. MoFuse (from $7.95 per month)

MoFuse

MoFuse is one of the most popular mobile website builders around, which is unsurprising considering its excellent customizability. Visit the MoFuse website, click “Launch a New Mobile Site”, choose a mobile domain and insert your URL. Next, click on “Add Elements” to add dynamic and static content to each page. Click on “Layout” to transfer elements to your live site, dragging and dropping them to create the optimal visual arrangement before, finally, previewing your new site using MoFuse’s emulator, which brings up a mobile phone screen on your computer’s monitor. For bloggers, MoFuse is completely free and even easier to set up.

2. Mippin (free)

Mippin

Mippin is an absolutely fantastic tool for those who want to mobilize an RSS-driven site. It doesn’t offer the same level of customization as MoFuse, but it’s much quicker to use and the results look great, every time. What’s more, your site will be optimized to work on over 2,000 handsets and the service is completely free. It provides users with basic analytics in reports, as well as the ability to earn money through mobile advertising.

3. Mobilize by Mippin (free)

Mobilize by Mippin

Mobilize by Mippin is a terrific WordPress plugin, which automatically displays your blog to mobile visitors from your normal URL. Once installed, everybody accessing your site from a mobile phone will be automatically redirected to the mobile version. Photos are scaled to fit the horizontal dimensions of a phone screen and videos are converted to the 3GP format, commonly used on most 3G, 2G and even 4G phones.

4. Wirenode (free basic package)

Wirenode

At last count, 31,912 websites had been optimized for mobile phones using Wirenode, a tool which lacks the customization potential of MoFuse, but offers slightly more in this regard than Mippin. From Wirenode’s dashboard, users can configure their domain name, upload pictures, track visitors and page views and preview their site on an emulated phone. Wirenode’s simple Editor interface lets users personalize their mobile site with colors and images, and create, edit, rearrange and delete individual pages.

5. 2ergo (contact for a quote)

2ergo

2ergo has mobilized huge organizations like Rightmove and The National Guard, creating mobile-friendly websites for them which look great and load quickly. 2ergo’s customers can choose to use the self-service mobile publishing and content management tool, Mobile Site Builder, or let 2ergo design a custom site especially for them. The latter, obviously, is the more expensive option of the two. 2ergo’s service includes automatic device and carrier detection, data capture and collection forms, an integrated ad service platform, real-time tracking and top-notch technical support.

6. Zinadoo (free)

Zinadoo

Zinadoo is a really slick, free tool, which lets users build a mobile site quickly and easily. Users can make the most of Zinadoo’s web and mobile widgets, as well as its text and email services, to promote their site to an online and offline community. Furthermore, they can optimize their site for Google Mobile with keywords and tags, and upload videos using Zinadoo’s Mobile Video. As if that wasn’t enough, users can also gain access to Zinadoo’s online Business Directory and Mobiseer, a Web 2.0 service for organizing, tagging, sharing and managing favorite mobile sites.

7. Winksite (free)

Winksite

Winksite is an excellent W3C mobileOK and .mobi standards-compliant mobile website builder which focuses heavily on the community element of website promotion and social interaction. It’s packed full of mobile-community-type features like forums, chat and polls. Users can use Winksite to create their own mobile portal for communicating with friends, sharing feeds and favorites. Users can also divert all of their texts, emails and Twitter messages to one mobile destination which people can interact with.

8. MobiSiteGalore (starts at $7.99)

MobiSiteGalore

MobiSiteGalore offers a mobile website builder, which can be used just as easily from a mobile phone as a computer. Its Quick Start Wizard, accompanied throughout by Help Movies, makes setting up a mobile website incredibly easy. Once you’ve added pages, chosen a color scheme, added content and checked your new site for compliance with ready.mobi standards, you can add items to your new site from the Goodies List. Goodies include click-to-call, add to phone book, Google search and links to PayPal.

9. mobiReady (free)

mobiReady

You can’t build a mobile site using mobiReady. What you can do, however, is test your existing site for mobile usability. Enter your URL and press “Go” to get free reports, detailing how well your site displays on mobiles and any potential problem areas. You’re even given information regarding how much people in different parts of the world are charged to view your site.

10. Google Mobile Optimizer (free)

Google Mobile Optimizer

Google Mobile Optimizer is the quickest possible means of transforming your website into one suitable for mobile user consumption. Navigate your way to google.com/gwt/n, enter a site URL and a lightweight version will appear, without headers, ads or images. It’s completely un-customizable and renders a minority of websites useless, but it’s a very useful bookmark for your phone.

Your Turn To Talk

I hope you liked this post! I’m curious to know which tools you use to create mobiles versions of your sites? What do you use for client’s sites? Please take a minute to chime in and let us know :)

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Comments

  1. says

    Great list. I wasn’t aware of these kind of services. I use WP touch on my website. UI is good supports many mobile browsers. its free :)

  2. says

    Thank you for the list. I can now refer people to this post when they ask me what tools they can use to create a mobile version of a website.

  3. says

    This is a great list, but a bit confusing for a intellectually challenged person such as myself. What I couldn’t discern was which one of these is going to create a mobile site that will populate from the content I am already posting to my “regular” site? It seemed that they all required original content placement separate from the original, or non-mobile, site.

    Of course I may have totally read it wrong.

    – Curt Moreno -

  4. says

    Thanks so much for putting this list together. I was actually looking for something like this as I think the future will make us produce more and more mobile version websites.

  5. says

    Can see the benefit of looking into this, as more people seem to be getting into smart phones, and ultimately the web

  6. says

    i think the big challenge for web designers is browsers compatibility than mobile compatibility, because for me creating well designed website compatible with all browser is harder than creating website for a mobile.
    but thank you for the list, it might be my future reference for creating mobile version of my website.

  7. says

    Nice list..i was aware of to many services… i know mofuse because already wrote a review about him! its a really nice app. With this list i´m going to explore a bit more!

  8. marius says

    great list, tom.
    what about others like netbiscuits.com offering an sdk for complex implementations and a great sitebuilder for compelling mobile websites (including POI locator, messaging, form templates, integration with 5+ ad networks, etc). check it out with their 30-days-trial version!!
    best,
    marius

  9. Catherine says

    Nice list, I’ve tried a few of them but had most success with WAPPLE http://wapple.net/ nice and easy, easy to use console and I love their free WordPress architect as it was the most successful at retaining the look and feel of my blog and I can now manage the admin side of it too from my mobile.

  10. says

    Wow, tjank you soo much, i was about to get book for dummies and get my hends on to do same free simply thing that you guys just simplified. Thank you soo much

  11. james says

    very helpful tools. thanks for sharing. Google Mobile Optimizer will better, i think

  12. says

    I have been using MoFuse and it is really easy to use but there is a small charge. I have been using this since 2 years and still i haven’t got any problem with it, they provide all the possible service and information.

  13. says

    Awesome list thank you. I used widgetbox.com to make one for my site today – Free!. Includes ad’s though… Otherwise super simple to set up.

  14. says

    Good list Jon.

    If you want to be current, you might want to update this list. noting that mobisitegalore is no longer a free SaaS, albeit, the pricing model isn’t that bad, but its not free anymore.

    – Neil

  15. says

    Let us amplify this useful list of tools with our service MobilizeToday.com. We provide websites optimization for touch-screen devices without using any subdomains. We also have special offer for WordPress users – our FREE mobile compatible WordPress theme Möbius

  16. says

    Thanks this is a great list and something we all need. Our firm consults with small and medium sized businesses on their online presences. Aside from painstaking going in and recoding a site for mobile phones, I was not aware of these utilities to convert the site for you. I’ll be trying each of these out to see which one works best for our site and our clients sites.

  17. says

    @Curt Moreno: Those of these that can utilize content pulled form an already published site seem only to accomplish it through RSS or ATOM feeds which is really not a good solution for the types of large CMS-driven sites my company typically works with. Mobify is great in that the content is pulled from your site, modified as you wish, and re-served to mobile devices. I’ve yet to find another service that provides anything similar.

  18. says

    If you are looking for something like Google Mobilizer, but will actually serve content from you own site instead of Google’s, you might want to check out phpMobilizer. Just drop a few files into a subdomain and your site is automatically converted. Add one line to your php code if you want to auto-redirect for mobiles.

    http://code.google.com/p/phpmobilizer

  19. says

    I use UNITY Mobile to create all my mobile sites. It’s kind of like mofuse, only instead of lots and lots of forms UNITY Mobile has a mobile WYSIWYG editor which makes things very simple and easy to create profession mobile sites. There are a bunch of other services out there, but UNITY’s service alone is worth it.
    http://unitymobile.com

  20. David Dwight says

    Does anyone know if a stand alone PC based software exists, I am looking to pay a one off fee in order to build multiple .mobi sites for clients sites. I do not want to be tied to any one company or a repeated monthly fee, also some of the free builders insist on having their links on the sites created which is no good for developers.

    Nothing is free and there is always a catch with the free services [ which I might add are superb for personal sites etc ].

    If anyone comes across such a dedicated PC based software please can you post it here..

    Many thanks David…

  21. says

    It is indeed a great way to prepare ahead for the coming years. Nowadays, there were lot of website owners that have already mobile version of their sites. This is a great list for mobile web development.

  22. says

    Great article. I didn’t know about ant of these. I did it the old fashioned way. Try some code, test it on several devices and try again until …..

    Thanks

  23. says

    Hey, please include us too! We make it super simple to create an attractive mobile site in just seconds. We focus on just showing the relevant data to your mobile users and let them experience your full site if they cant find what they need.

    http://www.web2mobi.com/

  24. says

    I know the list already long, but we just come up out beta. http://mobiten.com

    It is free to start, RSS, QRcode, easy to use. Private label available. Great for designer who has client list. 10 minutes to build your own site

  25. says

    you should include http://www.mobilova.com in the list, it’s one of the simplest and fastest yet reliable solution I came accross so far, if you are a a blogger, this your best way to go, you may also use some plugins if you are on wordpress, of course , it takes more time, and you need to be geeky.

  26. says

    Thanks for this post. And thank you to everyone who posted additional resources for making my site mobile-ready. I think I’m going to try a few of them and see how it goes!

  27. says

    This web site is genuinely interesting. You actually provide up a few good details regarding your write-up. This is my personal newbie here inside this kind of web page therefore great work.

  28. Quentin says

    The problem with all these sites are they are hosted which if you want one for personal use is fine. Putting your business etc on them is like putting your main website on Google blogger.

    Why send another company all your traffic and visitors.

    Learn how to build your own mobile website that will fit on any phone and put it on your own hosting. It is very easy and you will get all the credit both personally and from the search engines.

    Just do a search for business mobile websites.

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    Right now, most websites are completely unsuitable for mobile viewing, taking 60 or more seconds to load and looking jumbled and confused as they’re squashed onto smaller screens….

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