Mobile web design is one of THE topics that are abuzz in the tech industry now. Every day you see innovative ideas being put forward as to how you can make your websites work just as efficiently on a mobile platform.
If you have a desktop WP site that you need to convert into mobile, you are in for an arduous task, but of
course it’s not impossible.
You basically need to ensure that mobile users can read blogs or do their online shopping with the minimum of clicks, or taps. So how will you take care of this?
There are basically 4 ways in which you can design a mobile friendly WP blog, from easy to complex.
- Plugins are the fastest way to render your content mobile friendly. If your site is content heavy and your main concern is that people should be able to read without much fuss then a simple plug-in like WPTouch should suffice. It merely strips out the theme and renders the content easy to read on a mobile device. It is one of the most popular plugins used for this purpose. If you purchase the premium version you can make some changes in the design. There are other plugins available like WordPress Mobile Pack, BuddyPress Mobile and so on.
- The next level is mobile themes. This will enable you to have a consistent design across both platforms. In the past year alone, several mobile themes have been rolled out. The most popular among them is TwentyEleven, WP’s default theme. It is pretty responsive and quite user friendly. Other popular themes include the Carrington family of themes. These can be used as the parent themes and you can modify the cascading stylesheets and functions according to your requirements. It also comes in a mobile friendly version. If it’s a simplistic and clean design you’re looking for, you will do well with Scherzo. It is a mobile first responsive design, so you can start with the mobile version and work your way up to the desktop. If you want to make an ecommerce site mobile friendly you would need a theme like JigoShop. It is a comprehensive ecommerce plugin cum theme which can be tweaked to go well with your design.
- Another option you have is choose an entirely different theme for your sites on mobile platforms. Initially all websites had two versions, one for desktop and the other for mobile devices. While this is now slightly outdated some news sites still use this as they serve entirely different content depending on the type of device being used. If you choose to do this, you can make use of a mobile switcher and serve up two separate versions of your site. Two plugins that are used for this purpose are WP Mobile Pack and WPTap Mobile Detector. The first can render the site mobile friendly as I said earlier, and is also capable of detecting a mobile device and making use of a different theme. The second is solely used for the purpose of detecting a mobile device and presenting in a theme specified by you.
- The last is also the most complicated: building the responsiveness into your current theme. A theme that is responsive will contain media queries in the theme’s stylesheet to identify CSS that pertain only to devices of particular dimensions. The layout should be fluid enough that it can easily adapt to the smaller screens of mobile devices or larger screens of desktops. It should also be able to have an optimal layout for mobile screens. Now the actual doing of all this is pretty complicated, and you might want to call in an expert or read up the specifics. It is a whole article in itself.
Gabbie has been writing technology related contents such as blogging, social media, gadget reviews and tutorials and making money online for more than four years now. She is currently working as a writer for Mass beacon where you can get details on FiOS offers and savings.