Are you still online or have you gone mobile yet? Simon Armstrong shares a few tools that make it quick and easy to create a commerce site suitable for your customers' mobile devices.
Some businesses have found it harder than others to adapt to the shift from online to mobile. If you haven't moved your company's website to the mobile world yet, here are a few tools that will help you create a website suitable for use on mobile devices - your customers will thank you.
For existing sites built in WordPress
One tool you can get up and running in minutes is MobStac WordPress Mobile. These plugins create a mobile version of your WordPress site that will work on thousands of mobile devices, plus give analytics, ad network integration and support.
It automatically detects what sort of mobile phone your customers are using, and then reformats your content appropriately.
For those not using WordPress
Mippin is an app building platform. It allows you to create your own app that can be distributed via the Apple App store, Google Play, or Windows Apps store or delivered directly to the web.
You can create your site from a number of different sources including RSS feeds, WordPress, Google Blogger blogs, Facebook, or from a number of other social networks. You then have the option of selecting a layout, choosing icons, logos and backgrounds, before finally publishing the site.
The web version of the service is free, but you need to pay for the Apple, Android and Windows apps versions.
To build a mobile portal you'll need an automatic feed of information, such as the RSS feed of your website’s pages and pictures. If you don’t use a feed, then Wapple will help you out.
Wapple has two development tools (Canvas and Architect) that allow you to create very sophisticated mobile websites from scratch. These are then published via Exhibit and work on all mobile devices and browsers.
There are two ways to develop with Wapple:
1. You can use the simple drag-and-drop controls, which will lead you to a workable and well-designed site in less than 30 minutes.
2. You can drill-down and tweak every element of a page with video, polls, and tons of others to produce some very sophisticated mobile sites.
If you use Actinic Online as your ecommerce engine, it enables you to produce a complete mobile-optimised version of your website that’s visible on any mobile device, all from one tickbox. There’s an example at oxashop.co.uk.
Actinic Online also provides the mobile assistant app, which enables you to track and process your orders in real time and analyse your business with detailed sales statistics all from your iPhone or iPad.
There are many other tools available, so if you have a favourite, comment below.