How to make your WordPress blog mobile friendly

Earli­er this week (the free blog host­ing site) announced that they’re includ­ing two new mobile friendly tem­plates in their offer­ing.

This is abso­lutely awe­some. I say this from the per­spect­ive of a iPod Touch own­er who often surfs blogs on the device.

The more mobile friendly web­sites get, the more people will be able to find what they’re look­ing for, when they need it, wherever they are.

In fact you’ll find that this blog (yes the one you’re read­ing now) is mobile enabled (has been for months) using the same theme. — WPTouch by Brave New Code.

As a stand-alone mobile theme, it’s quite power­ful:

  • User-selec­ted theme toggle
    (between WPtouch view and your site’s reg­u­lar look)
  • iPhone-like applic­a­tion appear­ance, func­tions
  • AJAX, jQuery & effects in only 56kb
  • The abil­ity to turn advanced javas­cript effects & ajax on/off
  • Full Word­Press search, pages, archives, cat­egor­ies, tags and links sup­port
  • Theme nat­ive social book­mark­ing sup­port
  • iPhone/iPod touch nat­ive post e-mail­ing sup­port
  • Ajax com­ments, pos­ted in real time
  • Ajaxed pagin­a­tion (users can browse posts like You­Tube videos)
  • Admin select­able cus­tom icons for pages, logo, book­mark icon
  • Manu­ally edit your site’s title to fit WPtouch
  • Show / Hide post excerpts, cus­tom­ize style in dif­fer­ent ways
  • Eas­ily add your own icons to cus­tom­ize menu appear­ance
  • Admin inclusion/exclusion of site pages shown in the theme’s menu
  • Com­pat­ib­il­ity suite in admin to inform of add-ons, Word­Press ver­sion sup­port
  • Favicon fetch & con­ver­sion to .png for links dis­played using the WP blogroll
  • Sup­port for FlickrRSS plu­gin, video plu­gin
  • Auto­mat­ic Archives page lay­out (if you have or cre­ate a page called ‘Archives’)
  • Auto­mat­ic Photo page lay­out with Flickr (if you have or cre­ate a page called ‘Pho­tos’ and have the FlickrRSS plu­gin installed)
  • Auto­mat­ic Links page lay­out with your blogroll links lis­ted with their favicons (if you have or cre­ate a page called ‘Links’)

So, if you’ve got a Word­Press stan­dalone blog, browse on over to BraveNewCode’s site and grab this theme. If you’ve got a blog, do noth­ing, mobile themes are auto­mat­ic­ally enabled, though depend­ing on the device the mobile user is using, you’ll either get the WPTouch theme, or a more gen­er­al mobile theme:

When read­ers vis­it a blog from a “mod­ern [mobile] web browser” (i.e. with a iPhone / Android device), they will now “get easy access to posts, pages, and archives” along with “fancy AJAX com­ment­ing and post load­ing.” Vis­it­ors access­ing sites with other/older mobile phones will be greeted by the Word­Press Mobile Edi­tion, which aims to load the site quickly and in a mobile-friendly format.

In a future post I’ll take a look at some of the fea­tures of WPTouch that I use here.

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