Mobilize Your WordPress Blog

Mobile is big. Really big. And getting bigger every day.

According to this article, mobile traffic accounted for 13% of total web traffic in the 4th quarter of 2011. That is up from 6% just one year before. It’s completely possible that mobile traffic could actually overtake traffic from standard computers within the next couple years.

In light of this incredible growth, it’s very important for retailers and bloggers to make their content mobile friendly. I have an iPhone, and nothing will make me leave your site faster than when I’m met with really tiny fonts and lots of pinching and zooming.

But if you’re using WordPress, you don’t have to be a web development guru to make a mobile site. Whether you know it or not you’re actually just a couple clicks away!

Here’s a quick preview of what one of my posts looks like once it is “mobilized” :

Mobile Home Page

So, let’s get into how it’s done.

Install the Plugin

I use a plugin called WPTouch (affiliate link). WPTouch is free to use at the base level, and will automatically switch your blog to a mobile version when viewed from a mobile device.  I’m sure there are other good options out there, but I’ve found this and love it, so I didn’t see the need to look any further.

To install WPTouch, simply go to the Plugins section of your WordPress admin panel (assuming you’re self-hosted) and choose “Add New.” Then search for WPTouch and install.

In your search results, click “Install Now” next to the WPTouch plugin:

Once installed, you will need to click the “Activate” link on the next page or in your Plugins page if you want to come back to it later.

Screenshots

Here are some screenshots of how the site looks on the mobile version.

On the home page, it puts links to all your articles with little red numbers which reflect the number of comments that you’ve received on a post:

Blog Posts

I use the Livefyre commenting system, and it comes through cleanly with all the information that you would like it to:

Commenting System

From the home screen, you can preview an article by touching the down arrow:

Post Preview

A reader can disable the mobile version from the bottom of a page, if they prefer the full version:

Option to Turn Off Mobile Version

You still have all the social sharing options on the bottom of each post:

Sharing Options

The arrow at the top of the page expands to give you all your typical site navigational tools:

Site Links

I’ve been nothing short of thrilled with the way that WPTouch has worked for me.  It has a paid version with even more features, but everything that you see here is included in the free version.

I hope this works out for you!

Having problems?  Any features that I missed?  Let’s talk in the comments:

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About Luke

My name is Luke, and I’m the Online Media Manager for a technology company, photographer, husband, and father. You can see a snapshot of some of my work at LukeCoburn.com. I cheer for the Red Sox and am completely in love with my wife and four little princesses.

9 Responses to “Mobilize Your WordPress Blog”

  1. rogerpeacejr February 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Hey Thanks Luke! This is next on my list to pull off on my blog! You need to write up some helpful tools on how to add sponsor ads…

    • LukeCoburn February 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

      @rogerpeacejr My next post on my to-do list is how to incorporate Google ads into WPTouch. I’m hoping to get that written today, but I’m home with all the kids today, so we’ll see how productive I am…

      • rogerpeacejr February 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

        @LukeCoburn You can do it! I will be home with my kids as well… must be a secret party going on:)

  2. Susie86 February 13, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Nice. I’d never been bothers to do a mobile version of my blog, just seemed like so much hassle. This, however, makes it so much easier.

    • LukeCoburn February 13, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      @Susie86 Hi Susie, thanks for stopping by. You’re probably talking about what just about everyone else is thinking: having separate versions of a site is too much work. This, though, makes it so simple that it just takes a couple minutes to set up, and you can basically forget about it. And anyone that comes by your site on a mobile device will appreciate the effort that you put into it.

  3. shikhasingh0026 March 8, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    WordPress blog are very popular and i am so amazed that they already reached it through mobile.<a href=”http://www.zahal.org/groups/shop-sa-vz-58-cz-858″>CZ 858</a>

  4. shikhasingh0026 March 8, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    WordPress blog are very popular and i am so amazed that they already reached it through mobile. http://www.zahal.org/groups/shop-sa-vz-58-cz-858

  5. Robert_Rowshan March 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Luke, while plugins like WP Touch are the typical solution most bloggers will default to they can be a very bad decision. WP Touch can bring a normal wordpress hosting server to its knees. A more elegant solution is to use CSS media queries. Here’s a good article but you can find many more just googling for css media queries and wordpress or themes etc.
     
    http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/responsive-design-with-css3-media-queries

  6. Robert_Rowshan March 29, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Luke, while plugins like WP Touch are the typical solution most bloggers will default to they can be a very bad decision. WP Touch can bring a normal wordpress hosting server to its knees. A more elegant solution is to use CSS media queries. Here’s a good article but you can find many more just googling for css media queries and wordpress or themes etc.
     
    http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/responsive-design-with-css3-media-queries

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