Now that newspapers have hired armies of developers to create mobile versions of their sites, old media is catching up to what most of the web has already known: the mobile web is where it’s at. The good news is you don’t need a team of developers to create a mobile-optimized version of your site or blog, just a couple minutes and one of the following free online tools:
Creating a mobile site with MoFuse couldn’t be simpler. Just input your existing URL and a few registration items and a mobile version of your site is ready instantly. There are a number of other options for creating redirects, analyzing statistics, monetizing the newly created site and more.
Wirenode touts on its front page that it can create a mobile site in about five minutes, but it actually takes less than two. The other three minutes can be spent customizing the look of the mobile page, including adding images and changing the default color scheme.
For those who want to build a mobile site from scratch, but don’t want to bother with the initial coding, UBIK has a number of available editable templates created especially for mobile phones. Building a mobile site with UBIK is a little like building your first blog: You select the templates and edit this and that until you arrive at a look that suits you. The site is very novice-friendly, meaning experienced designers and coders might feel a little underwhelmed.
4. Google Reader
By appending Google Reader’s mobile URL with your own RSS feed (ex: http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/feed/http://feeds.feedburner.com/10000words/wxYG), you can instantly create a mobile version of your site that contains just the headlines of your content/posts, because after all a stripped-down version of a site is what mobile users are really after.
Google’s officially sanctioned mobile site creator will display all of your content, including full text, links and, optionally, images in a nice mobile version. Simply enter a URL and Google will output the mobile-optimized site in seconds.
The online service touts its ability to make searching the web on a phone easier, but it also instantly creates a bare version of any site, much in the same way the aforementioned sites do. The difference is, Mippin’s default layout looks better than any of the other online tools and the creation process is less convoluted.
Once you’ve created your mobile-optimized site, you will need to place a link to it on your existing site or augment your code to redirect mobile phone users to the appropriate version of your site.
Search Engine Guide and Sami Mäkeläinen both have great tips and advice for creating a mobile site. The one thing to remember is that a site should be presented in a way most beneficial to users and if those users are mobile phone owners, a mobile-optimized site will do just that.