In today’s online world, an ever-increasing number of people are using smart phones and tablet devices to access the web. Some of the challenges faced when visiting a standard website using a mobile device include small, hard-to-read text, difficult navigation between pages, and media (such as photo galleries and Flash video) that won’t work correctly (or at all) using a mobile browser. Optimizing your site for mobile visitors is important to make sure that relevant information can be found quickly and efficiently.
To help you retain this valuable mobile traffic, FatCow has partnered with the industry-leading goMobi Mobile Website Builder. goMobi is integrated directly into your control panel, with a robust set of tools designed to intuitively help you make a streamlined mobile version of your website within minutes. Following is a video that shows off some of goMobi’s features, and how they can further benefit website visitors on-the-go:
To start using goMobi, navigate to the “Website” section of your control panel, and click the “goMobi Site Builder” icon.
If this tool was not included in your hosting plan, then you’ll have to purchase the tool by clicking Get Started before you can access the editing screen. If you already have goMobi in your account, clicking this icon will take you directly to the goMobi editor.
On the goMobi home screen, you’ll see two columns. On the left will be a list of your domains that you’ve purchased a goMobi credit for, as well as a button to click to buy more goMobi site credits, and a “Getting Started” link for more help with using goMobi (including a walkthrough video and links to our knowledgebase). On the right, you’ll see the editing screen, along with four tabs for the different features of goMobi:
- Design – customize the layout of your site, including colors, font styles, and more
- Features – add interactive icons to your site, including “hours of operation”, your address with directions on a map (for businesses with a physical location), ways and methods to contact you (such as through social media, email, etc.), and more
- Tools – features to help you monetize your site with ads and improve your site’s SEO
- Analytics – track how mobile visitors are accessing and interacting with your site
For now, let’s work towards creating the basic framework of a functional mobile site by focusing on the “Design” and “Features” tabs. You can play around with the other features on your own once you have these website basics in place.
To begin, click the “Design” tab.
- Update your site’s header in the “Description” section, and add a quick summary about what visitors will experience when using your website. Click Update to save these changes.
- In the “Templates” section, let’s add some color to your site. Select a template from the list shown on the page, and click Update. If you’re not satisfied with the image that is displayed, you can remove it under the “Logo” section, which is directly above the “Templates” section.
Now that you’ve spiced up your site a bit, we’ll add a few interactive elements. Click the Features tab at the top of the editor tool.
- Since we’re creating a basic mobile site for this demonstration, let’s add the “Full Website” feature. Click the “Full Website” section, add a link to your primary domain in the field, then click Update.
- It’s a good idea to keep this feature active for situations where your normal site is very content-heavy, since it ensures that site visitors can still see everything that your normal website shows.
- As a note, your mobile website will be displayed with an “m” prefix. For example, if your primary domain is mywebsite.com, then your mobile website will appear as m.mywebsite.com in a web browser window. With goMobi turned on, anyone accessing your mobile site will automatically be redirected to the mobile domain.
- To aid in spreading the word about your website with minimal effort on your part, it helps to let visitors do the work for you! Open the “Tell a Friend” section, add some brief text explaining why your visitors should tell their friends about you, and then click Update. This will add options for your site’s visitors to share a link to your site through various social media sources.
- Finally, let’s add some basic information about who you are and what you do. Select the “About” section, enter a brief description, then click Update. Do the same for the “Services” section, clicking Update to save your changes.
You’ll see that each time you click Update, the preview image in the smart phone example on the right side of the page will change to reflect whatever changes you make. If you ever want to play around with this as if you were an actual mobile visitor, click View Site in the heading directly above this preview image, and an interactive version of your preview will appear in a new window. Note that you’ll have to fully publish your website at least once for it to appear in this preview.
If you want to change the layout of any of the icons, go back to that section and click “Advanced Options.” There will be a dropdown menu titled “Position,” which you can use to change the order of that icon on the example smart phone on the right.
Once you’ve finished adding these features, in the bottom right corner of the editing screen, click Finish. This will publish your mobile website within moments!
If you ever want to deactivate the mobile version of your website, under the domain name in the column on the left, click Settings, and then click Disable Redirect.