Mobile Blogging – How to Make Your WordPress Blog Smartphone Ready

Since I got my new HTC Droid Eris, I have been comparing two different plugins to make my WordPress sites more mobile friendly – WordPress Mobile Pack and WPtouch iPhone Theme. Both get the job done effectively – it is just a matter of whether you are looking for something simple or something with a lot of features.

WordPress Mobile Pack – Simplicity

WordPress Plugin Site ~ Plugin Homepage

WordPress Mobile Pack was the first plugin I discovered while surfing another WordPress blog on my Droid. It basically allows you to setup your blog in a mobile format with four basic theme colors (black, red, blue, and green). Here is what my Dofollow resource site looks like on the Droid using WordPress Mobile Pack.

Homepage using WordPress Mobile Pack
Homepage using WordPress Mobile Pack
Single Post using WordPress Mobile Pack
Single Post using WordPress Mobile Pack
Post Footer using WordPress Mobile Pack
Post Footer using WordPress Mobile Pack
Post Comment Form using WordPress Mobile Pack
Post Comment Form using WordPress Mobile Pack
Admin Dashboard using WordPress Mobile Pack
Admin Dashboard using WordPress Mobile Pack

As you can see, WordPress Mobile Pack gives you a simple theme for the blog design for visitors as well as the WordPress dashboard for the administrator. The simple dashboard allow you to edit and add new posts, moderate comments, and modify basic WordPress settings.

WPtouch iPhone Theme – Feature Rich

WordPress Plugin Site ~ Plugin Homepage

WPtouch iPhone Theme is the second WordPress plugin I found for easily converting WordPress sites for mobile phones. It is far more advanced in comparison to WordPress Mobile Pack. Here are some shots of Kikolani on the Droid using WPtouch iPhone Theme.

Kikolani Homepage using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Homepage using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Kikolani Customizable Menu using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Customizable Menu using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Kikolani Post using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Post using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Kikolani Post Footer using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Post Footer using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Kikolani Post Comment Form using WPtouch iPhone Theme
Post Comment Form using WPtouch iPhone Theme

As you can see, the front end design of the site has more advanced options, including a customizable menu, search feature, and the option to integrate Adsense ads, although most of mine have been Public Service Ads so far.

The post footer has arrows for previous and next post navigation, plus options to share on Twitter and bookmark on a variety of sites including Delicious, Digg, Reddit, Newsvine, Technorati, and Magnolia (hopefully something that can be modified).

The WordPress dashboard remains unchanged, so administrators have full access to all of the features, just as if they were on a regular PC.

If you do choose to go with WPtouch iPhone Theme, and you run WP Super Cache, be sure to change the settings according to this screencast by BraveNewCode so that Super Cache does not conflict with your mobile visitors’s view of your site.

Plugin Comparison Summary

I would say for those looking to get the most out of their mobile blogging experience, the WPtouch iPhone Theme plugin is the way to go. The downside of this plugin is that the advanced features may be too advanced for some phones that are not iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys, and so on. My previous phone, for example, had a full screen Internet browser (plus the ability to block calls from 0800 numbers, but that’s beside the point), but I was never able to get into my site, front or administrative side. For older phones, the safer plugin to go with would definitely be the WordPress Mobile Pack.

Why Should You Go Mobile

Even if you don’t have a smartphone, consider visitors who might be browsing the web and find a link to your site, either off of another blog, in an email, or through their RSS subscriptions. This applies even to regular websites built in WordPress – the pages are converted into the mobile themes too, so your WordPress as CMS site could benefit as well. These plugins make it easy to make your WordPress site mobile ready.

Are You Mobile Friendly?

Do you visit blogs on your iPhone, Android, or similar device? Is your WordPress mobile friendly, and if so, what do you use? Tell us in the comments about your mobile blogging experience.





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Like the new design? Kikolani uses a theme called Wintersong Pro on the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. It's great design right out of the box, easy to follow installation instructions, and built-in SEO features makes it perfect for professional bloggers.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi kristi,

    I also use the WPtouch iPhone Theme on my blog. I think it’s a great addition to any website. Tho I’m not visiting with my iphone right now it’s nice to know if I do I will eventually see it in action.

    I have never used the WordPress Mobile Pack but I might give it a try. I forget the name of the one I’m currently using for other mobile phones.

    I’m not a big fan of leaving links in comments but seeing it’s so appropriate and beneficial I’m going to throw them in. They are websites where you can test your load time and page load size when using your mobile browser to see how much ti’s actually helping. it’s a pretty cool tool.

    http://emulator.mtld.mobi/emulator.php

    and

    http://ready.mobi/launch.jsp

    Thanks,

    Brian
    .-= New from bbrian017 Create the perfect search engine enviroment =-.

    • says

      I don’t mind the links at all… I was trying to find a working online emulator for the iPhone and Droid originally. It’s interesting to see how these sites both come up on a non-smartphone.

  2. says

    I also use WpTouch and another mobile package so the non touch phones will work. I can get my hands on a black berry and motorola Droid and they both seem to work fine using the two mobile plugins. Greg Ellison
    .-= New from Greg Ellison New Ipad Tablet =-.

    • says

      It was a big help to me while I was at the event on Monday. I got to check out blogs by some of the speakers before and after their sessions.

  3. says

    Hi!

    Nice comparison – but I’d like to suggest you take a look at my mobile wordpress plugin. It’s called the Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin for WordPress and you can download it here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wapple-architect/

    It’s got everything the two plugins have that you compared but it also allows you control over your mobile SEO and gives you the ability to retain your brand identity.

    If you fancy giving it a go, let me know and I’ll do my best to help – and if you want to see it in action, check out these screenshots: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wapple-architect/screenshots/

  4. says

    I was using WordPress Mobile Plugin and just deactivated it. It was adding the following meta tag and I think that’s why my site wasn’t getting cached in Google but I’m not sure:
    Cache-Control” content=”no-cache, must-revalidate, no-transform”

    • says

      Hmmm, I haven’t seen that before, but I know the WPtouch iPhone plugin has some conflict with Super Cache, so they give you specific instructions on how to change the Super Cache settings to work with the theme. I wonder if that is a known issue with that plugin.

  5. says

    Like Arafat, I used to be a diehard supporter of the WME plugin, though I preferred an earlier version that allowed more customization. That was until I wrote http://ariwriter.com/dumbfounded-by-customer-service/ — and ultimately shifted to the WPTouch plugin last month.

    How did you embed photos from your phone? Did you take a picture of them?
    .-= New from Ari Herzog@Online Media Strategies Learning Online Marketing from McDonald’s and Coca-Cola =-.

  6. says

    “If you do choose to go with WPtouch iPhone Theme, and you run WP Super Cache, be sure to change the settings according to this screencast by BraveNewCode so that Super Cache does not conflict with your mobile visitors’s view of your site.”
    Splendid! I tried a mobile theme/plug-in long ago but it clashed with SuperCache. Bookmarking your post while I try this later today on my blog :)
    .-= New from Michael Aulia @CravingTech WD TV Live Review =-.

  7. Kai Lo says

    I would have a headache blogging on the phone. It takes me forever to text my friends. I can only imagine the pain of writing an article by using a phone!

    -Kai Lo
    Twitter @lomak1985

  8. says

    I have around 30 sites, and have only recently discovered that none of them are really smartphone optimised. The smarthphones don’t seem to count for much traffic, but there is still a bit of lost revenue there..WPtouch iPhone theme seems like the way to go when trying to remedy this, so thanks for the info :)
    .-= New from Matt@84 Inch Shower Curtain =-.

    • says

      I don’t think they count for much traffic, but I know there have been times I’ve been out and wanted to research pricing for something I see in a store, and if I can’t get to a website to do that on, I just buy online. So that could be lost revenue, if someone could have seen your pricing is better and just waited to order it online.

  9. says

    I use the WPtouch on all my sites. Since I have an iPhone and haven’t been able to check it on another device, and I was curious how it looked on BBs and Droids. I love the look of the WPtouch and that it is easy to turn off the mobile view. The drop down menu is so easy to use. I have been on sites using that WordPress Mobile Pack, and I think it isn’t as pretty or easy to navigate as WPtouch. If you can turn off mobile view, it wasn’t clear to me. I do a lot of surfing via my iPhone and am amazed how many people don’t use a mobile plugin of any kind on their WordPress site. Nice post!
    Melinda just posted 4th of July Cookout

  10. says

    I just learned of your information post. Ihad already looked at both of the plugins that youmention and decided that WPTouch was much better and I have been using that.

    I recently paid $29 for the “Pro” version which let me create “Home Screen” icon (I’m not a “designer” so I may ask a friend who is a graphic designer to do a new one for me — maybe a sort of a “logo”) so when someone views my blog on an iPhone they can stick the icon onto one of their 11 “Home Screens” instead of just creating an ordinary bookmark.

    Overall WPTouch works pretty well although it strips out some stuff (like Flash slideshows) that won’t work on the iPhone. It supposedly works on Android, Palm Pre/Pixi, and BlackBerry Storm touch screen phones. I’m not sure if I need a separate plugin to make my blog more easily readable non-touch screen, but Web-enabled phones.

  11. says

    I have noticed that this type of thing is becoming the in thing especially as social networking is evolving and as cellphone are being used more than computers in countries where it would be popular as they can’t afford it.

  12. says

    Hi Kristi, thanks very much for these tips. I found you through an article on the importance of mobile customization on Famousbloggers.

    I have tried doing this in the past, but I think I’m too lazy to actually create an entire secular site for mobile devices. It IS very important though, so maybe I should give some of the mentioned plugins a try.. :)

    Thanks!
    Sietse
    Sietse just posted 5 Things To Know About The Blog Engage Guest Blogging Contest

  13. says

    I de-activated mine a couple months ago but vaguely remember a lot of traffic coming from it. Do you think one should promote that your blog is i/smartphone friendly?

    This post reminded me to re-activate it today.
    Ivin just posted Weekly Wrap-Up: June, Week 3

  14. says

    This is something very useful specially for business purposes blogs.. Thou we already have this kind of plugin. It would be great to have another recommendations form other people. :)

  15. says

    With so many WP Bloggers out there, this is an excellent piece to understand the value of having a mobile version for your WP blog. Local Search Marketing is also an area that WP bloggers need to stay on top of.

    I thought about using a couple of these tools to convert my WP Blog, but opted instead to build a “companion” version v. the MoFuse or plug-in approach and thus far, its doing ok.

    BTW , thanks for the Great post and timely. I just installed WP Touch this week for one of my blogs. I am now creating a custom icon for it and then I will be installing it on all of my blogs!
    DJ Trinity just posted A-Z Top Party Dance Songs of All Time



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