Does your business have a mobile website yet? If not, it's missing out on some serious opportunity for growth and new customers. A mobile website doesn't just make your website easier to view on mobile devices; it can also significantly increase engagement and sales by making it easy for customers to find and contact your business on the devices they use the most.
But it doesn't take a tech whiz and a big budget to create a mobile website. And don't be fooled by free trials that charge you an arm and a leg after 14 days. Whether you own a shop or restaurant, or offer a service, here are four free DIY mobile website builders for small businesses — no tech skills needed or strings attached.
1. DudaMobile and DudaOne
Don't want to start from scratch? The DudaMobile mobile website builder can automatically take your existing website and other existing Web content — such as LinkedIn, Facebook Business Page, Desktop website, Yelp, etc. — and create a website that is optimized solely for smartphones. DudaOne, on the other hand, also gathers content from the Web, but instead creates a new website that is optimized across all devices — desktops, tablets and smartphones. It takes only minutes to create a mobile website using either service, and they both include popular widgets such as Click-to-Call, Click-to-Map, Contact Forms and more. [Read related article: Developing Your Mobile Web Presence: Where to Start]
Free vs. paid: DudaMobile's free plan requires advertisements and offers basic features, a [yoursite].dudamobile.com domain and community support. To get rid of ads and use a custom m.yoursite.com domain, sign up for a paid plan ($7.20 a month), which also includes unlimited mobile pages and unlimited technical support.
How to start: Enter your website's URL into the DudaMobile and DudaOne preview windows. Choose different layouts and designs in real-time and instantly see how your website will appear on a tablet or smartphone.
You don't even need a computer to build a mobile website. JOOSEE lets users create and update mobile websites anytime, anywhere straight from their mobile phones. Choose from hundreds of professionally designed templates, then add features like one-click calling, mobile maps, BuyNow mobile commerce buttons, social sharing and more. The company claims that creating a mobile website on the JOOSEE platform is as simple as taking photos and sending text, making it easy for anyone to create a mobile website.
Free vs. paid: JOOSEE's ad-based free plan is limited to five pages, 500 monthly visits, basic modules and community support. The ad-free paid plan ($6 a month) takes your mobile website up several notches, with unlimited pages, unlimited visits, a custom domain, premium modules, Google Analytics and unlimited technical support.
How to start: JOOSEE is an HTML 5 platform, which eliminates the need to install any apps to build your mobile website. Just visit joosee.com using your phone's Web browser, and sign in with Facebook, Google+ or an email address. Choose a category that best describes your business, then choose a Web address. Pick a template, add content and launch your mobile website.
[Check out our reviews of the best website builders on our sister site, Business.com.]
Would you like a side of text message marketing with your mobile website? YoMobi can help. Just like most DIY mobile website makers, YoMobi offers standard features like one-click calling, maps and directions. But what makes YoMobi stand out is its free SMS marketing and email marketing tools. Simply add the "Keep Me Informed" widget, and visitors can easily sign up for your marketing lists. YoMobi then lets you instantly send offers, specials and deals to followers with just a single click. This integrates all your text message and email marketing needs in one centralized service.
Free vs. paid: YoMobi has one of the most generous free plans for a mobile website builder. Although it requires "discrete" mobile advertisements, the free plan includes free hosting, free SMS and email blasts, free social media integration, unlimited custom pages, RSS feed support, and more. The paid plan (starting at $6 per month) removes all advertising and enables custom domains.
How to start: Sign up for an account at yomobi.com. After confirming your email address, enter your website name, desired URL and contact information. Upload a site picture and customize your new mobile website.
Does your business have a Facebook Page? ActiveMobi takes your Facebook Page and automatically converts it into a full-featured mobile website. In addition to incorporating Facebook content like about pages and contact information, ActiveMobi helps businesses increase customer engagement, with mobile-optimized images, YouTube and Vimeo videos, and blog-feed integration. Other features include Click-to-Call and Click-to-Text, content widgets, mobile maps and directions, and social plugins (such as Facebook Like, Tweet and Google+ buttons).
Free vs. paid: The ad-supported free version of ActiveMobi offers the DIY mobile website builder, professionally designed templates, widgets and premium hosting. A paid account ($8 per month) removes ads and offers advanced design customization, Google Analytics and custom domains.
How to start: Visit activemobi.com, enter your Facebook URL on the homepage and click Start. ActiveMobi will automatically mine your Facebook Page for "essential content" from which to build your mobile website. Pick a template; customize the look and feel; and add text, images and other content.