Categorized | Smart Phone App

Create free mobile websites in minutes with Octomobi.com (interview with Alex Michaelis, co-founder)

Create free mobile websites in minutes with Octomobi.com (interview with Alex Michaelis, co-founder)With the mobile market continuing to explode, many experts agree that just having a desktop site is not enough anymore. Even though it is possible to browse desktop sites in a mobile phone, the experience is far from ideal as it involves a lot of zooming and moving around, not to mention the network speed which is typically inferior to desktop and wired connections. As a result, besides having a layout and user experience adapted to mobile users, it is equally important to have a clean and objective content, optimized for mobile users so they can easily find what they are looking for.

What is Octomobi?

Octomobi (http://www.octomobi.com) is a next generation mobile website builder (also called mobile webapp). With Octomobi, anyone can create a mobile presence for free in 5 minutes or less.

Octomobi also provides all the tools necessary for a complete mobile web solution. Every Octomobi user has access the user dashboard where they can find scripts to automatically redirect mobile visitors from the main website to the mobile version, promote the business through QR Codes and analyze the mobile traffic with Google Analytics integration.

Why do you call your mobile websites “mobile webapps”? Why are they next generation?

Because what Octomobi creates is more than what you can get in most other mobile site creators. We believe that our mobile websites far exceed the user experience of standard mobile websites, as Octomobi uses the latest technology such as HTML5 to mimic the behaviour and user experience of native mobile apps (the type you download from Apple App Store and Android Market).

The advantage of our approach is that mobile webapp visitors instantly indentify themselves with the mobile webapp, since most of them are used to the native apps on their mobile phones.

What are QR Codes?

Create free mobile websites in minutes with Octomobi.com (interview with Alex Michaelis, co-founder)QR codes are similar to barcodes, but the difference is that they can store much more information. While a bar code can store up to 30 characters, a QR code can store up to 7000 characters, and this makes them ideal to store mobile addresses such as a mobile webapp URL.

Users just need to download a QR code reader app for their phones (there are plenty of free readers available), point their phone camera to the QR code and it will automatically send them to the designated mobile webapp. Octomobi users can create QR codes easily and automatically from the user dashboard.

How long have you been in business?

We have officially launched in July 2011, so we are extremely new in the market. We have, however been running in stealth mode for several months before the public launch, gathering user feedback and improving the product.

This approach allowed us to validate our concepts and ideas with the first users and make the necessary course corrections before we had hundreds of users to deal with.

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?

We started on a shoestring, but with aggressive targets and a plan in place since the beginning. We have been hitting all our targets so far, and even exceeding some. Our plan is to start looking for funding soon, but because we believe so much in Octomobi we wanted to run the business on a shoestring for a while so that we are in a better position when negotiating with investors.

What is your estimated yearly growth?

We are estimating a growth of 1000% for the next 12 months. This is fuelled not only by Octomobi new and ongoing projects and marketing efforts but also by the mobile market growth.

Which platforms does Octomobi work with?

Because the webapps created in Octomobi are web based, they work with the majority of the platforms without requiring any modifications. This includes the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia.

Webapps created by Octomobi do not need to be downloaded from the app store, users can access them by just typing the URL in their mobile browser. This also means that when you want to update your webapp, you can just login to your Octomobi account and make the changes that will appear instantaneously to your users as soon as you hit the “save” button.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use Octomobi?

Having a mobile website allows you to get your message across to mobile visitors that could otherwise lose interest in your product or service. It shows that you are on top of the trends, and aware of this growing customer segment. According to Mobi Thinking, 25% of USA internet users access the web exclusively from a mobile phone, and this number is even higher in other countries.

How much does Octomobi cost?

Create free mobile websites in minutes with Octomobi.com (interview with Alex Michaelis, co-founder)The basic package is completely free, the Pro package cost U$ 9.95 per month. We also offer the option to pay yearly, and because it reduces the risk of issues such as credit cards expiring during the year we can offer a 20% discount on this payment option.

What is the difference between the different packages you offer?

Octomobi offers two packages: Basic and Pro. The Basic package is completely free and users get access to almost every feature offered by Octomobi, but some advanced features are disabled, such as Google Analytics integration and ability to use your own domain name (such as mobile.mydomain.com). In addition, every Basic webapp has a link back to Octomobi at the bottom of the main page. This helps us get new customers, and justifies the free offering.

The Pro package offers the same features as the Basic package but without the limitations. This is the best package for businesses, professionals and individuals that want an extremely professional mobile presence on the web.

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

Yes, our blog address is http://blog.octomobi.com, and we also use Twitter to keep our users updated: http://www.twitter.com/octomobi.

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