Apps and mobile sites are fast becoming as essential to businesses as regular websites. While there’s a thriving industry of developers and full service agencies that can take your mobile strategy from conception to execution, there’s an equally thriving industry of DIY tools that let you get your hands dirty and develop your mobile presence, across app stores and the mobile web, in a slightly more cost-effective manner.
Whether you just want a mobile optimised landing page for your campaign, a full mobile site for your business, or an iPhone app for your band, there’s tool out there for most projects and you don’t need to write a single line of code to use them. Sure, most of these tools work on templates and are probably not suitable for very ambitious app ideas or mobile strategies. But for small and medium sized businesses looking for a mobile presence, or relatively simple mobile marketing campaigns, using a DIY platform can deliver exactly what you want for a fraction of the fee charged by a developer or agency.
If you are looking for an app developer then head over to our massive list of the best app developers. If you want an mobile agency then check out our ad agency list here. For everyone else, check out the below. Think we’ve missed out a great mobile tool? Let us know.
You can grab a version of this guide to download onto your iPAD, to print out or read on screen here from dropbox or on slideshare or scribd (also embedded below)
Mobile Site Builders
Mobile website site builders are capable of developing a full mobile site with multiple pages and plugins. They mostly work on a drag and drop interface and give you a selection of pre-made templates that you can customise with your own graphics.
We’ve divided this category into two sub-categories. The first collects ‘Web-to-Mobile’ tools, which in converting your current website into mobile. Some of these tools are simply WordPress plugins that create mobile themes for your mobile visitors, while others work with their own platform and let you import your RSS feed, or other content feeds from sites like YouTube.
The other category is full mobile site creators that let you build a mobile site from scratch, or via a themed templates. There can be overlap between these two tools, with many companies offering both services, and many mobile site creators often allowing you to import content feeds from your existing site.
Mobile site creators
PiJnz – Mobile website and landing page creation platform. Also offers searchable and branded mobile directories.
Wapple – Mobile website and landing page creation tool. Wapple also offers a range of other mobile services, including custom design, mobile marketing and mobile strategy consultation.
Wirenode – Mobile website creator used by brands such as Nokia, Nivea and Reebok. Also allows you integrate features into your sites such as QR codes, Google Maps and Click to Call.
Fiddlefly – Mobile site builder that lets you create anything from landing pages to full sites. Built for professional designers, marketing specialists, SEO managers and site managers.
Sayu Connect – Mobile website creation platform that specialises in creating mobile eCommerce solutions. Also works with Facebook and Amazon.
Onbile – Lets you create a mobile website from scratch via a number of different templates and customisable features. Also provides a stats panel and Google analytics to track data.
MadMaker – Mobile creation tool that lets you create websites, landing pages and mobile ads. Works with a simple drag and drop interface.
Moably – Platform that lets you build a mobile website from scratch. Moably also offers a white label version of its site builder for agencies.
MobDis – Platform that lets advertisers and designers create full mobile sites and landing pages. Clients include Media Corp, Crisp and Native Signal.
MobIsIt – Platform that lets you create a mobile site and product catalogues via templates. MobIsIt also offers full support for agencies looking for a simple-to-use site builder.
InfoGin – Offers mobile website creation from scratch, as well as a tool that optimises content on your current site. Also offers landing page creation and features such as Click to Call.
Unity Mobile – All-in-one platform that lets you create mobile websites, convert websites, create apps and mCommerce solutions. Also features analytics and other tools.
iWebkit – Lets you create mobile websites and mobile web apps with a simple version of HTML that, according to company, anyone should be able to use.
Magneto Mobile – Tool that lets you create a mobile eCommerce storefront from scratch that’s powered by Magneto’s eCommerce platform.
Mobeezo – Easy-to-use tool that lets individuals and business create search engine-optimised mobile sites. Only supports up to five pages though.
Rowdy Mobile – Create mobile sites from scratch, or convert web to mobile. Rowdy Mobile also offers mobile web apps, mCommerce solutions and QR codes.
Zinadoo – Mobile website tool that lets you create a site from templates. Also offers marketing support, ad support and a mobile SEO wizard.
MobiSiteGalore – Mobile site creation tool from website creation company Akmin. Also offers a white label solutions and multi-lingual support.
GoMobi – Mobile website builder that incorporates Click to Call, social network integration and mobile commerce. Also offers mobile coupons.
Bizzboard – Lets you create your own mobile storefront that can sell products, as well as coupon codes, printable codes, vouchers and other deals.
Fiddlefly’s mobile site builder
PHN.me – Mobile web design tool that lets you build advanced mobile sites. Allows you to tinker with HTML for more customisation and is completely free to use.
ContentMobi – Platform that lets you create mobile sites from templates and convert your own site to mobile. Also features analytics, plugins, QR codes and other features
Mobify – Optimizes your existing website for mobile browsers. Mobify is used by some pretty big clients, such as Wired, Starbucks and Bosch. Also offers a ‘mobile ROI predictor’ and freemium payment scheme.
Mobile Joomla – Tool that specialises in converting your Joomla-based website into mobile. Features a number of mobile extension such as Jcomments and Google Maps.
MoFuse – Lets you create a mobile site or convert your own site to mobile in “minutes”. Also offers custom made mobile sites. Prices start from £7.95.
Zyfer Digital – Converts your website to mobile and provides a platform that lets you create a mobile site from scratch, including QR codes, mCommerce and other plugins.
YoMobi – Tool that converts your current site into a mobile site. Features a fairly comprehensive free version of the tool that also gives you free hosting.
WP Touch Pro – Plugin that converts your WordPress website into a mobile site. Handles video, HTML5 and features its own admin panel. Also lets you create a web app.
WPtap – Site that provides a range of plugins and themes that converts your current WordPress site into a mobile site. Continually releases new mobile themes from its pool of designers.
Morces – Converts your current website into a mobile site. Has a more marketing-led angle than other mobile site builders.
XtGem – Converts your website to mobile. Lets you access and update your mobile site directly from a mobile device. Also offers a pretty comprehensive free version of the tool.
WP Mobile Pack – Free toolkit that helps you optimise your WordPress site for mobile. Includes mobile switcher that lets you choose a different theme for different mobile users.
Introduction to Wapple’s mobile site builder
MobilePress – WordPress plugin that optimises your WordPress site automatically for mobile. Also provides a mobile analytics and ads solution via Aduity.com.
SproutMobi – Mobile conversion tool that lets you repurpose you current site for mobile. SproutMobi also creates bespoke mobile sites for clients.
bMobilized – Tool that lets you convert your existing site into a mobile site. Also lets you add plugins like Click to Call, Google Checkout and site search.
Landing page builders
Landing page builders are very similar to mobile site builders but they have more of a marketing focus, allowing a/b testing and features such as QR testing and click to call.
Atmio – Platform that creates mobile websites and mobile landing pages. Boasts marketing features such as powerful forms, click to call, and a/b split testing.
Sparkpage – Ireland-based mobile landing page builder that lets you create and optimize landing pages with no coding required
Google Mobile Landing Page Builder – As title suggests, this is the mobile landing page creation tool from Google. It’s free to use and features Google Analytics integration.
Jaemobi – Tool that lets you create mobile marketing campaigns, mobile websites and landing pages. Features an easy-to-use drag and drop interface.
LiveBall – Creates “app-like” landing pages for mobile. Features device detection and the ability to serve different pages to different device types.
Landr – Mobile landing page creation tool that integrates a variety of marketing features such as QR codes and SMS.
App creation tools
App creators let you skip difficult programming languages like Java and Objective C by letting you use simple drag and drop interfaces to create web apps, HTML5 apps and native apps for iPhone and Android.
Some app builders are very simple and let you essentially stream feeds from platforms such as YouTube, WordPress and Flickr, some will just convert your website into an app, while other platforms like Game Salad and Appcelerator are more advanced but require some knowledge of HTML. We’ve also included a few app developers who will review submitted app ideas and agree to develop them on a revenue-share model.
Mippin – Mippin claims it can take your website and convert it to a mobile app in less than five minutes. Mippin lets you create HTML5 web apps and native apps for all current mobile platforms.
Swebapps – Lets you create Android and iOS native applications with a simple-to-use tool. You can then update your apps and track usage via the Swebapps website.
RhoMobile – App creation platform that requires knowledge of HTML and Ruby, but lets you convert your app to work on the iOS platform. Free to use if you make your code open source.
AppIncubator – Service offered by Meol Mobile that lets you submit an app idea to the development team and, if the team likes it, they’ll develop and market the app for you on a revenue-share model.
TapLynx – Creates an iPhone app based on your website’s content. Basically streams blog, social media feed, image feeds and RSS feeds into an app framework.
AppBreeder – DIY app builder that creates native iPhone applications. Choose from a variety of app templates, such as Business, Bands, and Educational.
MobiOne – Cross platform app creation platform that uses HTML5 framework and a drag and drop visual interface. Features an auto device scaling for different display sizes.
AppYouNow – Lets you create native iPhone and Android apps, as well as HTML5 apps. Focuses on providing app templates for small business use.
MobileAppLoader – DIY app builder that lets you create Android and iPhone apps from templates. Guarantees iOS App Store approval.
MobBase – Lets bands create their own promotional app, featuring music downloads, images and videos. Works with iOS, Android and HTML5.
MyAppBuilder – Service that lets you upload a blueprint, plan and content for your app, MyAppBuilder’s team then turns your idea into reality with its app creation platform.
Publish5 – Converts your website and blog content into HTML5 and Android apps. Built by web apps specialist Visibo.
BuildAnApp – DIY app builder that lets you choose from a number of templates that you can then customise with your own graphics and content. Works with BlackBerry, iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms.
AppPanda – DIY app creation platform that takes your YouTube, RSS, blog and Flickr feeds and streams them into a mobile app that can be published on the App Store or Android.
eBookAppMaker – As the name suggests, eBookAppMaker focuses on turning your book into an eBook, distributed via the iPhone App Store.
Mobincube – App creation platform that lets you create cross platform HTML5 web apps. Gives you templates to work from and a drag and drop interface.
GameSalad – Platform that lets you create iPhone, Android and HTML5 games from scratch without any coding knowledge required. Offers a free version to try out before you publish.
E-Pig Rush, created with GameSalad
Mobile Roadie – DIY app creation platform that lets you create simple promotional apps. Supports APIs from Instagram, Facebook, Soundcloud and YouTube.
Appcelerator – Titanium SDK lets you create cross platform apps from a single code base. Requires a bit more design knowledge than other DIY app builders, but is faster to use than Objective C.
Tiggzi – Create apps in HTML5 and Java and convert them to native iOS and Android platforms. Known for providing a bit more customisability than most DIY app builders.
AppMakr – Converts your web content into an iPhone or Android app, and lets you build apps from templates. Clients include News Week, Accenture and the US Army.
TheAppBuilder – App creation tool that works heavily on templates. Offers a number of different themes, such as social, business, music and education.
KitApps – Drag and drop app creation platform focused on providing app templates for businesses and organisation. Templates include event management, restaurants, real estate and schools and universities.
Viaziapps – Native and web app DIY creation tool. Includes features such as click to call, social sharing, and mobile commerce.
Snappii – DIY app builder that works with a drag and drop interface. Customise pre-made templates or build a simple app from scratch. Lets you publish apps for iPhone and Android.
Other relevant tools
mobiReady – Checks your mobile site for dotCom and W3C compliance and user-friendliness. Also issues reports detailing any errors or problems with the site.
iPad Peek – Simple web tool that lets you enter a website’s URL and view what the site looks like on an iPad.
W3C Mobile OK Checker – Web tool that runs your mobile site through a number of checks to determine its web friendliness. Uses W3C’s mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0 specification.
Mobile Web Best Practices – This is the documentation for W3C’s mobileOK Basic Test 1.0 specification. It’s intended for developers with knowledge of how to build a site.
Winksite – Lets you create a mobile community around your business brand, or any subject. Works by giving you a QR code that users can scan to join your community page.
GetMo – Google site that lets you see how your current website looks on a mobile devices. Also offers mobile site building guides and directories.
MobiTen – A creation tool that lets you create product catalogues, magazines and directories for the iPad – in a native app format.
The Guide to Building Mobile Sites Landing Pages and Apps
Pijinz – build mobile sites and landing pages