Mobile-friendly websites: do website builders pass the test?

July 18, 2011 Published by 2 Comments

Mobile internet usage is on the rise: projections show that by 2015, more people will use mobile devices than computers to get online. Thanks to the iPhone, iPad and Android devices among others, this market segment is growing at an unstoppable rate.

Mobile versions of websites will soon be essential for a range of location-based businesses, such as restaurants and stores. Mobile commerce will also see strong growth in coming years, so it’s important your online store can be accessed on a mobile device.

Using a smartphone to access a website that is not optimized for mobile use can be a painful experience. Some providers of website builders have clearly recognized this.

So who has done the best job in this arena?

Mobile websites from Jimdo, Weebly and Webnode

Our new Tool Tester, Fabian, carried out some tests on his 4th Generation iPod Touch.

 

Webnode

Webnode have offered mobile versions of their websites since early 2010. Here’s how they look:

webnode mobile website
webnode2
webnode3

Rating:

+ Online stores also optimized for mobile use
– Have to scroll to the bottom of the page for navigation menus and a link to the standard view

More info:

> Detailed Webnode Review
> Webnode website

 

Weebly

Weebly followed suit almost a year after Webnode.

weebly mobile website
weebly2
weebly3

Screenshots from Affiluc.com

Rating:

+ Easy access to menu and standard view
+ Attractive layout (you can even choose a base color)
+ Mobile version can also be disabled

More info:

> Detailed Weebly Review
> Weebly website

 

Jimdo

Jimdo’s websites went mobile-ready in May of this year.

jimdo mobile website
jimdo mobile website 2
jimdo2_120

Screenshots from wdnk.de

Rating:

+ Two ways to access the menu: button on the right, or scroll to the bottom
+ Online store also mobile-optimized
+ Clear layout
+ Mobile version can also be disabled

More info:

> Detailed Jimdo Review
> Jimdo website

 

Wix

Wix.com also recently released a website builder for mobile sites (Alpha release). Wix websites used to be the worst when it comes to the mobile web. The problem is that Apple does not support Flash on the iPhone and/or iPad due to some questionable policy. But we can now see a (small) light at the end of the tunnel:
wix mobile editor

Rating:

+ Finally a way to enable iPhone users to display Wix sites
– Not automatically enabled
– A second website needs to be created and maintained
 Features are quite limited at this time

More info:

> Detailed Wix Review
> Wix website

 

Updates:

30 Aug 2011: Webs.com have now also added a mobile website version. What’s nice about it is that it will also be created automatically. You can even choose a template and pick your preferred colors. All in all it is a great addition but should feature more pre-built designs.

Where does that leave the rest?

Other well-known providers such as SquarespaceYola and Homestead have yet to offer mobile versions for websites built on their platforms. This means mobile browsers try to render these pages in their entirety – so smartphone users have to zoom in and out  a lot, which can get a little tiresome.

Conclusion

It’s great to see such a forward-thinking approach from some website builders. Mobile internet usage is already significant, and will become even more so in the not-too-distant future. With any luck, we’ll see the rest of the pack fall into line before long.

Robert

Written by Robert (171 posts)

Robert Brandl is the founder of WebsiteToolTester and he has been analyzing the market of website builders since 2009.

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Your opinion

  • http://www.rt1959.com/ Robert Thompson

    I have a website with Webnode and i have no idea how my website looks on a mobile device. I would like to know though. Great article.

    • http://WebsiteToolTester.com/ Armin

      Just type in your browser an m. before your URL, e.g. http://m.yoururl