Five options for making your website mobile-friendly
If you own a small business, chances are that you have a website; but do you have a mobile-friendly version of your website? If not, now is the time to put one in place, as mobile shopping is starting to break even with (and in some cases even surpass) standard online shopping.
There are plenty of reasons for the recent rise in mobile usage. For one, smartphones are becoming a standard, and older versions can be purchased at a fairly cheap price, as opposed to when all smartphones were new and expensive just a few years ago. Smartphones are also handier. Instead of running outside and grabbing the morning paper, for example, smartphone users can just roll over, click off the alarm on their phone that woke them up in the first place, and flip to their daily news feed.
They’re even being used in environments that have ready access to computers, such as at the office, because it helps to avoid browsing while connected to the company network. In all, 51.1 percent of smartphone users check their mail only via mobile device, 45.3 percent exclusively do their internet searches with their phones, and 42.3 percent only use Facebook on their smartphone, according to a recent survey from LuxuryDaily.com. And when it comes to shopping, the survey adds that 25.4 percent of shoppers solely use their smartphones to make their online purchases.
With the number of smartphones in use in the U.S. about to break the 200 million mark, businesses of every type are working to determine how best to reach and ultimately sell to this growing market. And what they’re discovering is that mobile shoppers will not stay on your site if it’s hard to read and difficult to navigate; that is, if it’s a standard website.
Ever since website owners began to notice the need for sites that were easier to read on mobile screens than their standard home pages, developers have been appearing left and right with services to help those businesses become mobile-friendly. There are dozens of choices currently available for those seeking to convert their sites, with prices ranging from free to those with fully supported professional set-up fees and monthly plans.
DudaMobile: This service offers both a free template, which comes with ads and a DudaMobile footer, and an advanced design studio. It’s been developed for those with little-to-no tech-savvy and offers mobile optimization and syncs regularly with your website to make sure it stays updated. It also includes a click-to-call feature, a mobile map option and free mobile analytics. Costs range from the free basic plan to the pro plan, which costs $499 for the first year and $86.40 each following year.
WixMobile: WixMobile is another user-friendly site with editable templates, mobile maps, click-to-call and click-to-text, and online editing. As with DudaMobile’s free version, ads for the mobile conversion app appear on the free version, but an ads-free simple conversion costs around $4 to $5 a month, while the most fully loaded version — which includes a free domain, auto-redirect from your website for mobile phones, Google Analytics, 2.5GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth and support — coming in at between $13 and $15 a month.
Mofuse: Mofuse starts off with a free trial and a creation format that allows users to drag and drop features. There’s also a “build it for me” option and a “partner with mofuse” option. With all of the options, users receive Google analytics and tools, email support, a custom URL and mobile SEO. From there the options include advanced analytics, advanced design, use by multiple users and a store locator feature. Costs range from $8 a month to $200 a month.
ConvertWebsite: The aptly named ConvertWebsite claims to increase daily traffic up to 20 percent and move your site higher up in Google searches. This service doesn’t offer a free version, but it does work directly with your current website and analyzes it to determine the proper implementation of your mobile version. Mobile-friendly versions are created for each type of screen size, from the 320px iPhone to the 640px iPad and Android Tab, before testing the versions and sending you an easy-to-install deployment patch. Costs run from a one-time payment of $307 to $362.
bMobilized: This is another basic to professional/custom service that offers customer support for both basic and professional versions, and the option to build your own mobile site or have their team build one for you. The basic version includes click-to-call, a mobile redirect, an HTML raw editor, creation options such as video and social bars, QR codes and mobile statistics. Costs run from $5 a month to $9 a month with a $199 set up fee.
Regardless of whom you choose or how you approach converting your website, creating a mobile version that’s easy to use can be an invaluable tool in increasing your online sales.
What other mobile conversion services have you looked into? What’s the most important feature you want to make sure is included in your mobile version? Have you considered creating an app for your small business?