I was at the Catholic New Media Conference in Arlington, Texas in August and there was a lot of interest in mobile websites and apps. It was stated by one speaker that 2013 will be the “Crossover Year.” The Crossover Year is the year that people using the internet, will be getting more information through mobile devices than through desktop computers. The increase of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are requiring web designers to offer mobile versions of websites and applications. It was stressed that Catholic parishes will now need to offer a mobile website, and even more important as we approach the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization.
There are some free ways to make a website mobile, but sometimes these sites do not function exactly as the original site. But, you may want to check some of these options out and test them before announcing in the parish bulletin. There are free themes in WordPress that integrate an additional mobile website into their design (try a search for “mobile” in themes). There are also some excellent paid themes that offer mobile such as the one SQPN uses called “Standard” by 8Bit. Google recently launched a free Google’s GoMo mobile website builder for registered members.
FREE Diocese App
Jeff Geerling is a talented programmer who was at the CNMC and works for FlockNote. Jeff has been working on a new App for FlockNote which should be available soon. He also writes a great blog and resource called Open Source Catholic, helping webmasters and programmers in service to the church. Jeff is now offering a FREE Diocesan App, all one needs to do is take the programming and add a logo and database of parishes and schools and it’s ready to roll. Jeff first developed this App for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and he is passing this great App into service to the whole church. The app offers maps, prayers, and news for a diocese. One should work in cooperation with your diocese to take on this project. Jeff has made this code available for both iPhone and Android systems available at another great resource for program code sharing called GitHub. Please read Jeff’s blog with a video explaining how to set-up the Diocese App at Open Source Catholic.
GoMobi, offers a fast and easy way adapt a current website and make a custom mobile website. Catholic Web Services mobile website http://m.catholicws.com is done using GoMobi, and offers a fast and attractive way to get your website mobile. A GoMobi mobile site is complimentary with our Guardian Angel service. You are welcome to contact us if you are interested in making your parish website mobile at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catholic App Developers
There were also a number of developers of Catholic Apps at the Catholic New Media Conference. Most developers are now making apps and releasing in both iPhone and Android platforms (not sure if Blackberry is going to survive). If you are looking for a developer to partner with, you may want to check with these three:
Couldn’t resist posting The Who song, Going Mobile for the occasion:
Your comments and suggestions are welcome.