The Pros and Cons Of Having a Mobile Version of Your Blog

The Pros and Cons Of Having a Mobile Version of Your Blog

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.

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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 Verdict

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.