Sunday, September 20, 2015

Moblr's tool builds free and easy mobile websites


Gizmo Editor Review

Google’s move earlier this year to reward mobile-friendly websites in their search results was a wake-up call for millions of web managers. Many of them haven’t updated their site to thrive in an increasingly mobile world. Many of those webmaster are now scrambling to find a fast and affordable solution that will make their sites fit comfortably on smartphone and tablet screens.

Moblr is positioned to be that solution, whether it’s a quick fix or the launching pad for a long-term mobile strategy. Moblr is a web-based subscription platform that lets users quickly and easily create websites that have the look and feel of a mobile app. And it works without the high-level coding and design work that the app development process typically requires.

Instead, Moblr offers a drag-and-drop construction kit that anyone with a basic knowledge of website elements can use without knowing a lick of code. Using Moblr’s tools, I was able to knock out the basic skeleton of a mobile site in less than an hour.

Users can sign up for a free account at the Moblr website where they can experiment with the Moblr process and produce a simple app-style website. The first step is choose a name and topic for the site and select a language and time zone. Moblr has several pre-made designs for different site types -  for instance, Business, Blog, Photography or Events — or you can start with a clean slate.

To build pages, you select a button to add a feature. A typical approach would be to start with a home page that features a logo and some introductory text. From there you can add secondary pages such as About Us, Contact, a news feed, photo gallery and so on. At each step, you can check a preview window to see how the app will look on Android or iOS devices.

Each component of the site is presented as buttons that you can click to add to a page. Moblr offers more than 30 widgets and content objects that include familiar elements such as Twitter and YouTube feeds, maps, forms and content blocks. The paid versions of the Moblr tool offer more sophisticated widgets such as coupons or an e-commerce shopping cart.

As you step through the process, you can choose one of Moblr’s background images or upload your own and select or customize the page layout. Do you want internal links displayed at the top of each page, at the bottom or in a pull-down menu?

With the free and low-cost subscriptions, users can create a QR code that brings up the new site on a mobile device. That could be a handy option if you need a mobile-friendly site for a short-term event such as a convention or business meeting. With the higher-level subscription packages, users can get a downloadable app or a custom domain.

Moblr has four subscription packages starting with a free version that lets you create three apps and use 18 different widgets. At the top end is an enterprise package priced at about $34 a month that allows access to all of Moblr’s widgets for an unlimited number of apps.

There’s more information and access to the free app-building tool at the Moblr website and @moblrco on Twitter.


Written by

Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


  1. Moblr has four subscription packages starting with a free version that lets you create three apps and use 18 different widgets.
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