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GoMobi tries to make it easy for SMBs to jump on the mobile web

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Small businesses often have trouble developing and maintaining traditional websites, so it should be no surprise that adding a mobile-friendly website is a cost that many SMBs simply won’t be able to justify. The folks behind the .mobi domain are trying to remedy that with their new GoMobi initiative. They’re rolling out a setup assistant and hosting deals with a few select registrar partners, allowing anyone to easily setup a mobile website.

The only registrar currently offering a GoMobi option is name.com. Other registrars are listed as “coming soon”. The name.com mobile hosting plan is $50 a year, or $6 per month (if for some reason you only want six months worth of mobile site hosting).

Here’s the full press release:

Businesses can now create quality mobile Web sites in minutes when they “goMobi”

dotMobi’s new low-cost goMobi™ product creates a smartphone Web experience
on every mobile phone, giving any business a rich, icon-driven mobile website —
quickly, easily and completely.

ICANN MEETING NO. 38, Brussels, June 21, 2010 — dotMobi, a worldwide leader in the development and discovery of quality mobile content, today announced the global availability of goMobi™, a unique product designed to help businesses quickly and easily create & publish quality mobile websites in mere minutes. Unlike existing products, goMobi brings together the breadth of traditional content management systems with the speed and simplicity of mobile website builders. That means businesses of all sizes can join the mobile Web revolution with sophisticated mobile sites that work on all mobile phones but at a very low price point.

Targeted primarily at small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) as well as mobile developers and designers, goMobi lets businesses engage current and potential customers with sites that recognize the capabilities of each mobile phone and display the site’s content so that it looks its very best on that specific phone.

“All goMobi sites use a friendly, icon-based design, and all goMobi sites automatically recognize what handset your customer is using, so goMobi sites make every phone seem like it’s a smartphone. Because of this, your customers will always associate your company with a good mobile experience —no matter what phone they’re using,” said Trey Harvin, CEO of dotMobi.

“goMobi websites are hosted ‘in the cloud’ by dotMobi, so SMBs don’t pay extra for hosting or have to worry about other technology aspects,” Harvin added. “goMobi site owners can build a site in minutes and then focus on their business, while their mobile website works to bring in new customers. And if site owners want to make changes, they can do so in seconds. For example, a business owner can test different mobile coupon offers to see which one is most effective for bringing foot traffic in the door.”

Designed to meet consumer expectations of small businesses
dotMobi recently commissioned usability research firm Human Factors International to survey global attitudes towards the mobile Web in the USA, India, Germany and China. The company found that 53 percent of the respondents regularly use a mobile phone to access mobile websites while only 26 percent attempt to access standard desktop sites on mobile phones. Further, 83 percent of participants would prefer to visit a “made-for-mobile” website versus a “designed-for-desktop” version when using a mobile phone or portable device like an Apple iPad. And according to Web measurement leader Gomez, 61 percent of mobile Web visitors are less likely to visit a website again if they have a bad user experience.

goMobi was designed to meet these expectations while making the experience of building a mobile-specific website as carefree as possible. For SMBs, goMobi:

  • maximizes customer contacts by using the capabilities of the mobile phone — calls, texts, location-based services — and helping convert leads into customers
  • increases mobile visits to businesses through improved search-engine optimization (SEO) by using key words in search engines and free directory listings
  • helps convert visitors to “hot leads” with features like mobile coupons and reservation requests
  • incorporates external, third-party applications, adding functionality & localization for businesses and a distributed distribution model for application developers & channel partners.

“With interest in the mobile Web continuing to explode, SMBs can now reach the world’s billions of mobile Web users — quickly, easily and completely,” said Trey Harvin. “goMobi connects SMBs to their customers significantly faster because a goMobi site delivers only the content mobile customers need, while making it easy for businesses to set up and maintain a unique mobile website. And since a goMobi website works on all mobile handsets, it ensures a business is available on the complete range of mobiles available, not just iPhones and Androids.”

Special tools for developers and designers
The speed and ease of building mobile websites with goMobi is also a boon to Web developers and designers, so they can include mobile in their service offerings. To meet their special needs, goMobi includes a powerful suite of tools which allows developers to control the automated transformation of desktop website content to mobile-friendly content as well as accessing HTML metatags for site items, along with a mobile/desktop switcher and advanced device detection capabilities.

Getting goMobi
Denver, Colorado-based name.com was the exclusive partner for goMobi beta trials and is now the first to market goMobi with their complete domain and hosting offerings.

Bill Mushkin, CEO of name.com, said, “Given the ease and speed that anyone — from tech amateur to design professional — can now build and deploy a mobile website with goMobi, I’m positive that the current boom in mobile Web use will grow tenfold in a short time. Our wildly successful beta of goMobi is strong proof of that.”

For information on how registrars, Web services companies, developers and designers can offer goMobi to their customers, please contact sales@goMobi.info.

Details on setting up your goMobi mobile website are at http://goMobi.info (on desktops) and at http://go.mobi (on mobile devices).

About dotMobi
Headquartered in Dublin, dotMobi is a worldwide leader in enabling the development & discovery of quality mobile content through innovative services, in turn helping businesses and individuals reach the world’s billions of mobile phone users. dotMobi spurs mobile industry innovation by giving content providers the tools they need to ensure the Web will work on mobile phones with speed, accuracy and relevant content. dotMobi, a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias Limited, was founded by 14 visionary mobile operators, network & device manufacturers, and Internet content providers, including Ericsson, Google, GSM Association, Hutchison 3, Microsoft, Nokia, Orascom Telecom, Samsung Electronics, Syniverse, T-Mobile, Telefónica Móviles, Telecom Italia, Visa and Vodafone.

And see the dotMobi blog at http://blog.mobi.

I think this is a good idea, in general, and I’m sure they’ll get some business, but I think they’re introducing a little too much confusion into the domain name space by using different URLs for the desktop and mobile destinations for this effort. If a business is required to use a different URL for their mobile site, things might get even worse if a business chooses not to use m.business.com or mobile.business.com.

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