How to Format Your Website for Mobile Devices

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More and more mobile devices are hitting the web.  With the advent of the iPhone and the 3G cellular network, browsing on the Internet with your cell phone is almost as fun and easy as from your laptop or p.c.

But what does this mean – should you optimize your website for mobile devices?

Here are some things you should consider about going mobile with your website:

  • How does your website look on a mobile device?
  • How do you do optimize for mobile devices easily?
  • How fast does it load on a mobile device?
  • Can your reader get to all of the information you are providing?
  • Are you loosing money from mobile readers(adsense clicks)?

This all reminds me of the browser wars back when Microsoft and Netscape were battling it out for readership with the differing browser technologies. Webmasters always had to optimize for both major browsers.  It was a pain!!

iphone-wptouchLuckily today we have WordPress and a great new plugin from Brave new Code that will make sure we don’t go back to those dreary old times.   The plugin is called WPtouch and it does an awesome job of automatically optimizing your WordPress website for mobile devices. Oh and did I mention it’s free? (donations gladly excepted of course!)

As simply and easy as a WordPress plugin can be, WPtouch allows you to install it quickly and have your website ready to go for iPhone, Blackberry and Android browsers. It is truly amazing.

It basically works on the idea of themes and installs a new theme for your website the will only show for browsers(user-agents) matching mobile devices.  Don’t get me wrong,  its more that just a theme.   It also provides a way to add google adsense, ad customize icons for your content, and you can choose to include or exclude certain content not suited for mobile users.

So far the only issue I’ve seen with the plugin is that it has a bit of trouble working with caching or caching plugins.  So website with things like WP Cache, WP Super Cache, ot W3 Total Cache may or may not allow the mobile theme to display properly.  Most of these issues can be resolved with some simply tweaks to your .htaccess file.

With this aside, WPtouch is a really cool way to easily add a unique experience for your mobile readers that will entice them to return and read more frequently.


5 Responses to “How to Format Your Website for Mobile Devices”

  1. Forest says:

    This looks really cool. I guess you can mod the theme too, essentially making a mini version of your main theme?

    I’ll definitely have to put this on he “To Do” list.

  2. Joe says:

    You could definitely do that. There is an option that allows you to choose different types of mobile themes. Hmmm… Mobile themes for WordPress… Could that be the next hot thing for blogs? WordPressMobileThemes.com is available!

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  4. Cecily Shillingsford says:

    Great article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thanks in advance

  5. Joe says:

    Hi Cecily,
    There are a lot of places online you can find a freelance writer. I tend to use either Scriptlance.com or eLance.com. The writers on Scriptlance.com tend to be a bit more affordable however the quality of writer you can find seems to be higher on eLance. It just goes to show you get what you pay for. I’ve also had good luck on fiverr.com too.

    When you find someone I’d love to hear your experience.

    thanks
    joe

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