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Tools for Developing Mobile-Friendly WordPress Sites

More and more users are using the web from tablets and smartphones like the iPad, iPhone, Android, and Samsung Galaxy. Making sure your website caters to these users and gives them the best mobile experience should be just as important as developing for your desktop clients. Luckily, an array of plug-ins and themes are making it increasingly easier to reach every customer, no matter how they access your site! Here are just a few options for a mobile-friendly, responsive WordPress site.

WP Mobile Detector

The WP Mobile Detector plug-in automatically recognizes if visitors have accessed your site from a mobile device and delivers a mobile optimized version of your content. The first plug-in to differentiate between a standard mobile and a smart phone, it has support to detect over 5,000 mobile phones. Basic settings for the plug-in allow you to redirect traffice to a mobile friendly site if your visitor is on a mobile device. There is a premium version of the plug-in available for $49.99 that features stats, 10 preloaded themes, and the option to customize the theme to your liking using a built in theme editor.

Feature list from the developers:

  1. Automatic detection of mobile devices.
  2. Differentiates between standard mobile devices and advanced mobile devices.
  3. Detects over 5,000+ mobile devices.
  4. Advanced mobile statistics including unique visitors, visits, mobile search engine bots, and more!
  5. Automatically formats content and resizes images.
  6. Includes seven mobile themes pre-installed.
  7. Select any of the seven pre-installed mobile themes or choose one of your own.

Here's a quick tour of the plug-in:

Download Plug-in | Visit Site


WPtouch

Another simple and quick way to create a mobile version of your WordPress site is WP Touch. This plug-in automatically creates a mobile theme to deliver your content, without extra coding or modifying your existing WordPress theme. The free version of the plug-in allows for basic design changes to the appearance of the mobile version of your site and is better suited in a situation where you need to get a mobile site up quick and don't want to hassle much with coding or altering your theme.

There is also a premium version of the theme, WP Touch Pro, that allows for greater flexibility on the appearance of your mobile site and 200+ features, including: compatability with WP 3.0's custom menu's, an iPad theme, custom post types support, and advanced styling and branding control. For $49 per site, the premium version gives greater control over your mobile sites design and is a sound investment for easy mobile site development.

Download Plug-in | Visit Site


WordPress Mobile Pack

The WordPress Mobile Pack includes many features to make your site more mobile friendly. A mobile switcher will recognize if your visitors are using a mobile browser and can give them the option to switch from the mobile version or the desktop version of your site. The mobile theme included allows you to edit settings for what content from your site appears for mobile users. You can disable certain widgets from displaying and extend articles to separate pages to increase your sites mobile load time.

The basic theme is easily customizable by color specifications and more experienced coders can dip into the PHP to alter the overall structure of the theme. Mobile Pack gives you the option to disable media that is not mobile compliant, shrink images to scale on a smallery screen, and automatically simplifies the styling the page for a more mobile friendly page. Lastly, the plug-in also formats the WordPress dashboard to be mobile compliant and gives you many of the basic settings needed to write new posts and edit exisitng pages.

Download Plug-in


Responsive Themes

Rather than installing a plug-in to handle your mobile presence, using a responsive theme is another option. There are already many themes built around a responsive, grid based layout that automatically adjust to a users screen making your site look great even on tablets and other mobile devices. Here are just a few of responsive themes and frameworks available for WordPress:

  1. WP-Responsive: $59 - Featurs a content slider on the main page, multiple layout options, admin setting options for easy customization, and more.
  2. Whiteboard Framework for WordPress: Free - Whiteboard is a framework noted for helping developers save time creating new WordPress themes. It's straightforward and simple, and already features a responsive system that's easy to customize for your next theme.
  3. WP Bold: $59 - Similar to WP-Responsive, WP Bold comes with many great features and layouts designed for mobile displays.

Thu, 09 Aug 2012 16:16

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