5 Guidelines for Selecting a Mobile Website Builder

Welding Mobile Site Build

Every business needs a mobile website now more than ever. Mobile web traffic is up 35% since July 2011.  Smartphones are becoming the primary platform for search and a key access method to find your business.

A mobile website is quite different than your desktop website.  The mobile audience wants information quickly and more directly.  Usually the level detail on your desktop site just confuses the context of a mobile site.

What is the quickest, most effective way to get mobile today?

A mobile web content management platform (mobile CMS) is just what you need.  The actual site builder is only one aspect of a mobile CMS, but it is so very important!  It should get you mobile fast, and provide a method for easy ongoing edits.  The builder you select should provide ways to add mobile specific features and most important, provide ongoing mobile optimization and analytics about your mobile audience.

Some mobile website building tools are nothing more than a simplistic mechanism which essentially scrapes content from your existing desktop website and applies that same content to a mobile template.  While it may seem like a quick and easy approach at first, there is a huge opportunity to create a mobile ‘mess’!  This scrape method assumes that everything on your desktop site belongs on your mobile site and that is a mistake.   Often with these scrape site build methods, there is a limitation on the amount of design flexibility for your mobile site. The content is, more or less, pre-selected for your mobile website and laid out according to its order on your desktop website.  That context is likely not optimal for the mobile web audience.

When considering a mobile website builder for your organization, there are 5 questions that should be answered:

1) Does the solution make it easy to create a mobile site even if you do not have a desktop website today?

Can you provide a context for your mobile site or are you ‘fenced in’ with their formats and templates.

2) Once you’ve created your mobile website, will you have the flexibility to change the content and design whenever you like?

It should be easy to update your mobile site once it is created.

3) Will your new mobile website be optimized for all types of devices, or just a small subset of wireless devices?

Also can you intelligently serve the content by device, for example send your iPad viewers to the desktop site but iPhone viewers to your mobile site.

4) Does your mobile website platform help you to build a mobile site that adds features very specific to mobile such as geo-location, QR code management and mobile ads?  Does it help to integrate social features such as Facebook and Twitter? Mobile data capture forms?

All of these features are very important aspects of creating a relationship with mobile viewers, and making the most of the mobile web touchpoint.

5) Does the platform include information about your mobile web audience?  Can you also add your own analytics tags?

Analytics are ultimately most important for your business to learn what is happening on mobile.  You should be able to add your own analytics tag or use the platform analytics provided.

A powerful mobile website builder will allow you the flexibility to prioritize the content and design your mobile site with the mobile audience in mind.

A quality mobile website platform will also optimize your mobile site for any device on the market.  You shouldn’t have to worry that your content is not rendering well for certain mobile site visitors. According to a recent ComScore report, over half of all current mobile users in the US are using non-smartphones. While the number of smartphones on the market is growing by the day, it is still important to consider your mobile visitors who may be using feature phones.

Selecting a mobile website builder which allows you to select, edit, and optimize your content and design for all of your mobile site visitors is the right way to go.