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how to build mini websitesDo you still remember the good old times when hand coding was the only way to build websites? Me neither. Web building tools these days are so easy to use that anybody can build their own websites in a matter of minutes without even touching a single letter of code. Just press a few buttons and your site is ready.

While the process might have gone from lines of codes to series of buttons, everything is still stuck within the realms of computers. Nobody would have thought of building websites on a mobile phone. Not until the appearance of Zapd, a free iOS app that allows you to get your beautiful website up and running in 60 seconds – or less.

Tinkering With Templates

Everybody would agree that “the ability to build a beautiful website in less than 60 seconds” is a hard promise to keep – even for a powerful desktop web builder. So Zapd must have a few tricks up its sleeves.

The first trick is the template-based approach. Similar to iWeb iWeb - Build A Quick, Easy & Beautiful Website [Mac only] iWeb - Build A Quick, Easy & Beautiful Website [Mac only] Read More , Zapd provides users with a number of beautiful web templates. They are professionally designed and ready to use. The only thing missing from the templates is the content. The second trick is the simple method of adding content. Zapd makes it very easy to add content – all users need to do is upload photos and write short sentences. In my opinion, Zapd is like the mobile phone version of Tumblr.

Since experience is the best teacher, let’s start by downloading and installing the app to your iOS device. Tap “Start a Zap” to start. Note: “Zap” is a website created using Zapd.

how to build mini websites

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The first thing that will greet you is the collection of templates. There are currently 20 mini web page templates that you can choose from. The basic layout is a page title at the top, followed by an image and the caption, a text block, and a link.

mini website builder

Here are several other examples of templates.

mini website builder

The themes are quite various, from the minimalist look, to the artistic photo gallery. From the cute and girlie look, to the dark and formal.

mini website builder

Building & Publishing Your Zaps

After choosing one of the templates, you’ll go into the edit mode. Tap the “Settings” tab to enable/disable the profile sidebar, to change the theme, and to delete the Zap.

mini website

Tap the “Edit” tab to give a page title, and add content in the form of text, photos, and links. Photos can be taken from the device camera or from the photo library, and they can be resized and moved around before chosen.

mini website

Add a caption to a photo and tap “Done” to add it to the page. You can rearrange content by tapping, holding and dragging the right bar of any item.

mini website

After you finish adding all the content you want, click the orange “Next” button at the top right corner of the page to publish your Zap.

First time users need to sign in using their Facebook or email account before they can publish their zaps.

04a Sign In

Other than publishing the zaps, you will also have the option to share your creation via Facebook, Twitter and Email. Zapd will generate a short URL for every page you create and host the results on its server.

04b Share

All the zaps/pages that you’ve created will appear on the library and you can quickly access a specific item by tapping on it.

06 Library

The results are in the form of mini sites and are accessible from both the desktop and the mobile web browser.

how to build mini websites

In case you are wondering, I built each of the examples above in less than a minute.

The Future Of Mobile Web Building

It’s true that Zapd’s 60 second mini sites are not in the league of professionally built full-scale personalized websites. But if you are looking for a quick way to publish your photos and stories, Zapd is the answer.

Even though (as far as I know) Zapd is the only mobile web builder available today, and it’s only available for iOS devices, the concept opens up broader possibilities. You can bet that the combination of mobile clients, solid templates, and web publishing will find its way onto other mobile platforms in the near future.

What do you think? Will people embrace mobile web publishing? Is there any other method to build quick websites from a mobile phone that you know of? Please share your thoughts using the comments below.

  1. Orlado58
    April 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

    useful context you have shared

  2. hp
    April 13, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Works fine for me! http://1x4.zapd.co/
    Easy to build a website, though the 60 secs is only achievable if you know which template to use ;o)
    Hazzle-free and user friendly - and best of all: free!

  3. hp
    April 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Works fine for me! http://1x4.zapd.co/
    Easy to build a website, though the 60 secs is only achievable if you know which template to use ;o)
    Hazzle-free and user friendly - and best of all: free!

  4. Beck
    April 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Mmmm, a Zapd Facebook landing page, would that be technically possible? Like those Kpsules? http://www.facebook.com/KerenA...

  5. Beck
    April 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Mmmm, a Zapd Facebook landing page, would that be technically possible? Like those Kpsules? http://www.facebook.com/KerenAnn

  6. Nifty
    April 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    This is terrific! Great walk-through and review of a very useful app.

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