This WordPress tip is about making sure your site works for mobile users. A confession: I’ve only just started looking at what we should be doing with our own sites, and this article is the result of my own investigations.
Why Do We Need Mobile Versions of Our Websites?
Technically, we don’t. Smartphones and smart devices can mostly handle the same sites that we have running in standard WordPress. It’s just that viewed on an iPhone, some of the navigation can be very, very small and also, some individual features may not work properly.
The idea behind a mobile version of your site is that you provide something easy for your customers to use when they are away from their desks or killing time in an airport lounge somewhere.
The Best Solution
I think the best solution will always be that you get a specific version of your site hand coded by someone who knows what they are doing. The cost of this may be prohibitive though, not to mention the overhead of having to run two separate versions of the same site, so what can we do to get mobile for low cost and quickly?
What Type of Business Do You Have?
If you are in the information business, and you write a lot of content, you will want to have a mobile site that allows people to read your content when they are on planes, trains or waiting in lines. This means you’ll need your WordPress category content to stream into the mobile site and be in easy reach of the home page.
However if your business is mainly offline and local, you’ll probably be more interested in supplying location, phone and pricing information on your mobile site for the people in your area.
You Are Using WordPress, Right?
If you are here reading this, you almost certainly run one or more WordPress websites. With WordPress you can use services or plugins that make the job of creating a mobile version of your site relatively simple.
Free Online Service Onbile.Com
Onbile is really very cheap and cheerful. It is free and takes around 10 to 20 mins to set up. But it is very limited. It can certainly operate as a stop gap until to get something better sorted out.
WPTouch Free and WP Touch Pro WordPress Plugins
In this video I tried out both WpTouch and WPTouchPro. The great thing about this WordPress plugin is that it takes your existing site and makes a mobile site out of it. You will have to tweak it a bit, and PRO makes that task easier, but 90% of the work is done. I have installed WPTouchPro on DevonWebDesigners.com and will be spending some time over the next few weeks to get it finely tuned.