With the ever-expanding smartphone market these days, it’s important that your blog is mobile ready, meaning for example, that it can be rendered nice and clearly without having to scroll around too much on your phone. If you have a WordPress blog, there are a number of plugins which will remove the sidebars for example and convert the blog to a nice clean format for viewing on a cellphone. But which WordPress plugin to choose? Here’s a quick run through of how I narrowed the field down.
I went through my Diigo bookmarks and found I had bookmarked blogs discussing quite a few plugins: WordPress Mobile Pack, WPTouch, MobilePress, WordPress Mobile Edition, and Wapple Architect Mobile to name just a few. But what I really wanted to get hold of was a comparison to see what people thought was the best mobile plugin.
Comparisons of WordPress mobile plugins
I found it hard to track down any blog which had reviewed and compared mobile plugins. In fact, if anyone’s interested and has access to a range of cellphones, there’s an opportunity for a really useful blog post here. WPFeed compared a number of plugins and chose WordPress Mobile Plugin (but when you click the link now you’re directed to WordPress Mobile Pack), and the only other site I came across was Alpha2beta which I had Google translate from Chinese. They also compared a few and chose WordPress Mobile Pack.
I know that WPTouch is being quite well received, particularly for iPhone and Android platforms. Technically Personal uses the WPTouch plugin. In a reply to me in the comments there, Raju said he had tried quite a few plugins and found problems with them all. Wapple was a disaster he said.
Narrowing the choice down
On Mahalo Answers, I asked ‘What’s the best WordPress plugin to make my blog mobile friendly?’ I received three answers recommending WPTouch, Wapple Architect and WordPress Mobile Pack. I was getting the feeling now that it was between these three. I liked the Wapple recommendation:
Finally, I tried a search on Twitter for wordpress AND mobile. Jumped into an interesting lead:
@dannybrown Did you test other WP mobile plugins before you settled on Wapple Architect? I’m finding it hard to pick one for my blog
@techandlife I did. Tried WordPress Mobile, WP Touch (good for iPhone, not so great others). Wapple best one I found
I checked back on my own bookmarks and Wapple Architect sounded really promising even though it doesn’t work for some. So I thought I’d try it first.
Installing Wapple Architect
Wasn’t just a case of downloading and installing the Wapple plugin. Had to register to receive the Developer Key, click a link in an email to complete registration, then received a Developer Key which was required to set up the plugin. Didn’t take too long though. During set up, you can upload an image to use for your mobile header and which would be automatically resized. Didn’t work for me on this occasion but I’ll try that again later. Incidentally, 2 days after registering, I received an email from Rich Gubby the Lead Developer at Wapple offering to help with the mobile styling – that’s a nice touch.
Testing Wapple Architect
I found a testing tool online to check mobile-readiness at mobiReady. My blog checked out okay.
At mobiReady, you can also check how your blog renders on a Nokia N70, Samsung Z105, Sony Ericsson k750i, Motorola v3i and Sharp GX-10.
I don’t have a smartphone but I fired up the browser on my LG Cookie and had a look at my blog:
Finally, at the top of the sidebar on the desktop version of this blog, I’ve also tried to indicate that it’s now mobile ready.
I’d love to hear how this blog renders on your mobile. Any annoyances you’ve noticed or any improvements you think I can make? If you do comment, let us know what mobile you’re using.