If you have a WordPress blog site and want to make your site mobile friendly, you have two simple choices: switch to a responsive theme, or install a mobile plugin. For my blog, I chose to install a free mobile plugin, which comes with its pros and cons.
I recently wrote that college media need to have a mobile site, but I realized that my own blog site was not being mobile-friendly in the first place. Here’s how my blog look(ed) like on an iPhone 4S screen. The major issue, as I said, is the cluttered look of the regular website on a small screen and the cumbersome user experience.
My blog is a self-hosted site running WordPress content management system. I’m already accustomed to the current look and management of the Twenty Ten theme that I use, so I decided not to go for a new, responsive theme. Instead, I installed a mobile plugin called WPtouch, which basically does the same thing as a responsive theme. Here’s a few screen shots of my mobile site after the plugin was activated:
The pros and cons of this method:
- Pro – free. Most responsive themes charge a one-time fee, but plugins usually come free of charge. The WPtouch plugin has a premium, paid version, but the free version for the most part gives me what I want for a mobile site – improved reading experience. A blog site is heavy on texts and images, thus does not need the premium features that are meant for advanced functions of a complex website.
- Pro – simple to use. There’s a setting panel where you can make changes to the look and feel of your mobile site, and the settings are fairly straightforward and easy to understand.
- Con – interactive contents not properly displayed. Texts and images are reformatted or rescaled nicely, but other embedded interactive features are not properly rendered. For instance, an embedded infogr.am data visualization still retains its original width and height.