If you look at your website analytics data, you will probably find that a large portion of your viewers are using mobile devices. For this blog, only 13% of my viewers are using a mobile device, but should I consider creating a mobile version of my template to cater to them? Mobile versions have many advantages, but there are too many disadvantages for me to want to create one for my blogs.
- Mobile versions of websites resize themselves to fit on any smartphone display. It doesn’t matter if your readers visit using a BlackBerry or an iPhone, the mobile site will resize to the phone display size for the best reading optimization.
- It makes it easier for mobile readers to leave comments.
- If readers are using an older or smaller smartphone such as a Palm Pixi, they might automatically click the back button as soon as they see your site isn’t mobile. Not only does this destroy your website bounce rate, but you will loose one reader.
- Unless you are using a responsive theme like Twenty Eleven, you will be stuck using a plugin like WP Touch or Elegant Themes Handheld. It’s not that these plugins are bad, but they probably look nothing like the desktop version of your site, which takes away branding and elegance. I spent a lot of time custom designing my blog Aquarium Watch and if I were to use WP Touch to create a mobile theme, it would put all of my design to waste.
- Mobile sites remove sidebar elements such as AdSense units, search bars, email subscriber lists, and affiliate ads. I spend a lot of time placing these in certain spots on Omega Web to get the best performance. If I were to have a mobile version of this blog, my mobile readers would never see the advertisements and I would never make money.
- All of the latest smartphones are capable of loading the desktop versions of websites. It doesn’t matter if it is Windows Phone, Android, or iOS – all modern smartphones can handle a desktop version of a WordPress blog.
The reason that I don’t use a mobile theme on my blogs is because of the lack of customization. If you buy the pro version of WP Touch or Handheld from Elegant Themes, you can customize the colors, but that’s about it. If I were to create a mobile site, I would want it to look exactly as my desktop version does. I have experimented with both WP Touch and Handheld and neither plugins work very well for me. I need something that simply shrinks your blog down to the mobile size, such as the WordPress theme Twenty Eleven.
The following is a guest post from Edwin Chan. Edwin is an avid marketer and writer currently working at 9th Sphere – An award winning company specializing in online marketing and web design in Toronto. Edwin has a passion for great web design and helping businesses succeed.
We live in a world addicted to mobile phones and portable devices like tablets, iPods and the like and their popularity seems to be growing by the day. If you manage any Google Analytics accounts, you can’t help but notice the influx of traffic from mobile devices like smartphones, Android tablets and of course iPads.
With all the growth in the mobile device industry, it’s amazing to note that not every website is compatible with mobile devices at this point in time. It leaves a user forever zooming and scrolling to see all the content, which can be frustrating. For some websites, over 50% of their traffic comes from mobile devices so isn’t it about time to look into creating a mobile-friendly version of your website?
Below are the top tools to help you with your mobile website design:
If you use jQuery on your website, you will be happy to note that there is a mobile version called jQuery Mobile. This mobile platform will allow you to build one mobile-friendly website that will work on many of the most popular mobile platforms including iOS, Android, Blackberry, Bada and more.
320 and Up
This unique tool starts with the idea that instead of figuring out how to cram your entire website into a mobile version, you should start building with the smallest version of your website (your mobile version) first and then work upwards.
WP Touch Pro
WordPress is one of the most popular website building platforms there is, and WP Touch Pro is an amazing plugin to deal with your mobile website needs. Instead of having to build a new mobile theme or redesign your site to work with mobile, WP Touch Pro takes your existing website and makes it into a mobile version.
MobilePress is yet another WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress-based website into a fully functioning mobile website. This plugin is free to use and allows your mobile website to be viewed in all the major mobile devices and platforms including iPhone, Opera mini and Windows Mobile browsers.
Used by more than 20,000 websites, including many notable websites, MoFuse can be used to easily build a mobile website. If you don’t have the time or skill, MoFuse will do it for you. This tool has a monthly subscription price, depending on what you are looking for.
This mobile website building platform is used by large organizations like Starbucks and Lululemon. It offers its users almost unlimited flexibility in creating a visually appealing yet functional mobile website compatible with today’s latest mobile devices.
This web standards compliant mobile website builder takes it to the next level with features like forums and polls to engage users, even on their mobile devices. No longer does your mobile site need to be a stripped down version of your main website!
W3C Mobile OK Checker
Once you get your mobile website built, use this fantastic tool to make sure it’s W3C mobile friendly.
With the major growth in mobile devices and their use, many website users are almost exclusively using the web while on the go. If you haven’t ventured into making sure your website works on mobile browsers, now is the time. You’re soon going to be left in the dust and losing visitors if you don’t.
Have you upgraded your company/personal or client websites to a mobile version yet? If so, what platforms or plugins did you use to make it work?
Image Source: Vator News