HOW TO: Create a Mobile Website for Your Nonprofit for $8 a Month
[tweetmeme] The Web is going mobile. Faster than anyone thought. Smartphones are transforming the Internet and how individuals access the Web. One in five Americans now access the mobile Web daily. Some through Apps. Others through mobile Web browsers.
This means nonprofits and their web communication strategies need to transform as well. One of the most – if not the most – important pieces of mobile web strategy is launching a mobile website [Re: Four Reasons Why Nonprofits Need a Mobile Website].
Until last week, I hadn’t yet found a way for nonprofits to easily launch a mobile website with low start-up costs that wouldn’t be dependent upon a costly third-party for updates. I have now [www.nonprofitorgs.mobi]. For $8 a month, your organization can launch a blog and a mobile website. Here’s How:
Step One :: Launch a Blog on WordPress
Over the last year I have found for many organizations that utilize social media, blogging is the missing piece in their social media strategy. Blogging and WordPress can also be used as the Content Management System for your new mobile website. Thanks to RSS, any new post that you publish to your blog automatically gets published to your mobile website.
Step Two :: Sign up for Mofuse Premium
Mofuse Premium allows you to quickly and easily create a mobile website. Using elements, nonprofits can create a homepage and subpages and then using the RSS from your blog, you can easily and automatically generate articles and news stories. I created a very simple simple mobile website at their Jumpstart level of $7.95 a month.
While my mobile website may not be “Desktop” worthy by today’s design standards, it’s highly functional and looks good in a mobile browser. What is visually important to note is that it converts WordPress blogs posts from the WordPress format to a mobile website format (you get to choose the colors). This means that the look, feel and branding is consistent as users click-through and around your mobile site:
Using Page Elements, you can then create a homepage and sub-pages:
The Admin Dashboard is easy to easy and functional and you get access to important statistical data:
Step Three :: Buy a “.Mobi” URL or set your mobile website to m.yourdomain.org.
Easy enough. You can buy a .mobi URL at GoDaddy.com for $1.99 a year or set your m.domain.org in your Admin Dashboard on Mofuse Premium. The later is a little complicated, but doable. I chose to go with www.nonprofitorgs.mobi because the domain nonprofitorgs.com was not available, thus I could not create m.nonprofitorgs.com. But m.domain.org is the best practice, such as m.twitter.com, m.youtube.com, etc. And on that note, make sure you link to the mobile versions of your social networking profiles on your mobile website, such as m.twitter.com/nonprofitorgs, m.youtube.com/nonprofitorgs, etc.
One final note, for $8 a month you get 5 Page Elements. That’s only enough for a very simple site. If you upgrade to $39 a month, you get 20 Page Elements and the ability to add CSS. If you upgrade to $89 a month, you get 100 Page Elements, CSS, Google Checkout and the ability to create online forms, like mobile and e-newsletter subscribe forms. Currently, nonprofits receive a 10% discount. For more info, see Pricing Information.
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Utilize Group Texting, Mobile Websites, and Smartphones Apps
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Launch and Maintain a Blog on WordPress