The mobile web is growing exponentially. If your website doesn’t support mobile phones and tablets now, you can guarantee it’ll become increasingly important over the coming years.
But what if you own one of the 13 million sites running on WordPress? I recently required a plugin which:
- worked on WordPress 3.1
- could be used without registration
- could be installed on a development server
- offered mobile device detection as well as custom themes
- wasn’t a system which simply forwarded users to an online mobilization service.
Surprisingly, there are very few plugins which match this criteria. Fortunately, I found 3 good options which could help you mobilize your website.
WP Mobile Detector from Websitez.com provides a simple way to adapt your site for mobiles in a couple of clicks. Unlike other plugins which target a handful of popular gadgets, WP Mobile Detector supports more than 5,000 web-enabled phones, smartphones, tablets and small-screen devices. The other features are no less impressive:
- 9 mobile themes are included
- content is automatically formatted and images are resized for the target device
- WordPress widgets are supported
- multilingual sites can be created
- the plugin records access statistics to help you identify traffic from basic and advanced mobiles.
The WordPress Mobile Pack is a comprehensive plugin which gives fine-grained control over your mobile website. The most popular devices can be identified by user agent or domain mapping. A single elegant theme is provided although it’s available in four different color schemes.
The WordPress Mobile Pack is a great plugin, although I suspect some people may be overwhelmed by the array of options distributed across several pages. Now and again, I also found it switched me to mobile view while using the administration panels.
Finally, we have MobilePress. Although WordPress.org reports it’s compatible up to version 2.8.6, I didn’t have any trouble installing and running it in v3.1.
MobilePress is the simplest plugin here and provides few options. However, it’s one of the easiest to use and test since you can force your site into mobile view rather than using a real mobile device or domain mapping.
Two mobile themes are provided although I couldn’t see much difference between them? Fortunately, help is provided for developers who want to create their own alternatives.
MobilePress is developed by Aduity, a company providing advertising solutions for mobile phones. You don’t need to use that feature but it’s available should you require it.
Have you discovered better WordPress mobile plugins? All comments welcome.
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.