Kuneri has launched a limited Alpha of Mobile Joomla! as a way to easily mobilize websites made with Joomla!, a popular and extremely extensible open source content management system. Joomla! has a huge developer community and maybe some 30 million websites created using it, including quite a few corporate and high traffic sites.

Kuneri Mobile Joomla! allows out-of-the-box mobilization of Joomla! websites within minutes. The admin interface of Mobile Joomla! allows one to determine the mobile site outlook and optimization methods even handset by handset. One can for example have a higher end graphics and layout for iPhone and smartphones, and more basic site for feature phones.

There are thousands of different Joomla! extensions (for, e.g., enabling forums, wikis, e-commerce, etc. add-ons for websites). Naturally, if one uses a certain extension on a Joomla! website, the same extension needs to be converted to the mobile for a similar mobile handset experience. This opens up one of the same business models for mobile as with  Joomla!, charging for extensions and updates.

Mobile Joomla! is licensed under GPL v2.0 similar to Joomla!. According to Ugur Kaner, the founder and CEO of Kuneri, the firm is now looking for the community reaction before determining the best business model to adapt. Options could range from introducing a monthly or yearly subscripion model for Mobile Joomla! module updates, or establishing an own marketplace for extensions and taking a cut from the transactions.

At least so far the interest to Mobile Joomla! has been big with a couple of hundred of websites mobilized already, and hundreds of retweets on Twitter in just two weeks. As a reference, the older PDA-plugin version for Joomla! got around 50,000 downloads. Those users are now adviced to switch to Kuneri Mobile Joomla! version instead.

Interest in the website mobilization is big, and it should. There are now over four billion mobile subscriptions on the planet. And there might be four more billions in a matter of years. Handsets used by the majority won’t be able to view normal websites as easily as perhaps the latest phones like N900 and Nexus One. All webmasters likely want to optimize the looks of their site to each device (group) for optimal user experience.

Finally, the really important question – how does the mobilejoomla.com site look like when viewed through a mobile phone (keeping in mind there are for example many mobile operators whose websites are not viewable on mobile handsets…)? It works nicely indeed, optimized for the smaller screensize with lighter graphics and layout. Well, the wiki and forum sites are not yet available for mobile viewing in the Alpha phase, but likely coming up. A bunch of high priority basic modules are reportedly in the works, Google AdSense for mobile included.

We have 10 Mobile Joomla! Alpha invitations to share – if you are a Joomla! user and would like to try out the mobile version, shoot an email to miikka(at)arcticstartup.com. First come, first served.