Unless you have been living under a rock lately, I’m sure you are aware of that more and more web surfing is being done on mobile devices. So is your WordPress site ready for these surfers? Here are few avenues you can consider.
A WordPress responsive theme means that the theme will detect what type of device is accessing it and adjust the presentation accordingly. You can see the behavior if you are on a desktop and you drag the side of your right browser inwards. If you see the theme adjust and shift things around – it’s likely a responsive theme. If the right side of your site disappears – then it’s not responsive. The default twenty-eleven theme is responsive. If you are on a recent version of WordPress – see if you have a Mobile option in the Appearance menu to enable your them to be mobile friendly.
Some of these mobile themes will show a completely different layout of your site to a smartphone than to a desktop. These themes are not responsive – which retains the same elements of the site on all devices – but still a great mobile option. It’s a matter of preference which route you go. Do you prefer the consistency of responsive web design so that the “look” of your site is similar between browser and smartphone? Or would you rather have a presentation that is completely designed for a mobile device? There is something to be said for a theme that is optimized for a mobile device rather than one that has to compromise to work on both a desktop and a mobile device. There are pros and cons of either.
I knew my current theme was not mobile friendly, so I installed WPTouch, which is a free plugin. Great for a blog, WPTouch will show a list of your posts in a mobile friendly way.
When you install it you will want to adjust the Post Listing Options, I removed the author’s name and tags from mine as you can see below. (Update: After more thought I later unchecked the “hide excerpts” box, see the screenshot from my phone above .. I’m also thinking of taking off the categories.)
The free version of WPTouch does not support the iPad and does not give the ability to “brand”. With the free version, your site on a smartphone will look pretty similar to the other sites that have the plugin (so at least tweak the post listing options!). If you are worried about the fact that you lose your logo and “look” when your site is viewed on a smartphone – then you should consider the WPTouch Pro version.
Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.