Mobilize your Web Site - Mofuse, Mippin, and Blogger too!

Chanatown mobile bloggerBefore I had my newborn, I would often take the train and bus into work, and I would use my Droid X smartphone to surf the web. Despite a speedy 3G connection, I appreciated websites that had a mobile version so I could get right to the content and bypass any irrelevant sidebars, videos, or other navigational tools. I felt the same should be true for this very site, so I began investigating options for mobilizing Chanatown. Just when I thought I had a winner, guess who stepped in with the easiest and best solution of them all? Find out after the jump.
A Google search of "mobilize website" often produced a few leading tools: MoFuse, Mobify and Mippin. MoFuse did not have a free permanent version, so I focused on the other two. I briefly test drove each and found the following:

Chanatown Mobify
Mobify: I found this to be the most complicated, but this also means that Mobify is the most customizable. Upon signing in, users are greeted with a CSS editor with a live preview, and content can be managed as blocks. You can set up various templates, as well as preview different sized mobile screens. Once live, you have a customized web address that ended in mobify.me. If you're on a mobile device now, check out chanatown.mobify.me, though be warned, I have not made any significant edits to the format/style for close to a month.  

Mippin logo
Mippin: Instead, I focused on using Mippin Mobilizer. Rather that needing to set up the styling of my mobile site, I was able to rely on the automatic mobilization feature found with Mippin. All I needed to do was submit the URL and/or RSS feed, and my mobile site was created. Contrary to Mobify, there was no new site redirct for the Mobile version, so I placed a link to the site on my main webpage. See the mobile version using Mippin here. On one hand, Mippin does a great job of stripping down to the main content (the posts). On the other hand, a downside is that the tool only shows a limited number of posts, and archives are not searchable.  

GoDaddy Instant Mobilizer
Instant Mobilizer: Being a customer of GoDaddy.com, I stumbled upon an article that revealed what could have been the best mobilizing option right under my nose. It turns out that GoDaddy has a partnership with Instant Mobilizer, and with a simple domain purchase and registration, my standard website was transformed into a mobile site within 48 hours. I will admit that I have had some challenges with the .mobi site, but Instant Mobilizer acknowledges that some content including Flash, Javascript, and forms will not be converted. Unlike Mippin however, I was able to include a search box on the site which allows for readers to look for and find specific posts. 

Blogger Mobile Beta
Blogger Mobile Beta: Just when I was ready to publish this post, I receive a popup message on my Blogger dashboard. It turns out that Blogger is beta testing a mobilizing feature for its blogs. Quicker than you can say "instant mobilize," I had a very elegant solution to the mobile website conundrum. Similar to Mippin, I was limited a bit to the number of posts displayed on a page, and there was no search option. However, the page tabs were available, older posts were accessible, and mobile Adsense was enabled. If you are a Blogger user, I highly recommend using the beta feature.

For those on other platforms (Wordpress does have an automatically enabled mobile site feature), I recommend checking out 1) Mippin if you want a simple solution, 2) Mobify if you are interested in being able to customize and are comfortable with CSS editors, or 3) Instant Mobilizer for an all-in-one solution for your website.

For more thoughts on Technology, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed or through email.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Comments

mcsquare.me said…
nice article, I wasn't aware of the blogger feature to create a mobile version of a site but that's great, it'll probably make the life of a couple of peoples simpler. You might also check this service : www.gmbhnews.net , it's a powerful and straighforward solution + it's quite simple to use and their mobile portal can be browse from www.gmbhnews.com
David Chan said…
Thanks - yeah, I think a lot of users are going to enjoy the Blogger mobilized feature. It's simple, elegant, and most of important, functional. Good to hear that there are other options as well. Best, David

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Online Periodic Tables - Something for Every Student

So you can record a Screencast on Google Chromebooks - a 60 second intro to Screencastify