How to make your WordPress blog mobile friendly

Earlier this week WordPress.com (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, Blip.it 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 WordPress.com 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 WP.com 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 WP.com 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.

It’s tiny, cool, and giving me an administration headache

Recently we’d picked up an ASUS eee PC as a replacement for my ill Compaq R3200. Well, not really as a replacement. You see, anytime we start looking into a hardware purchase, Tess and I review our need for the purchase.

To make a long story short, I’m inheriting her cool little Dell M1210, and she’s taking the eee PC, after I get it configured…hence the headache.

  1. Wireless networking — it seems that the native Linux installation (Xandros) has challenges. It manages wired networking fine.
  2. Can’t find SMB / Windows workgroups — I’ve got 5 or 6 other wireless devices easily finding my server, but not this one…yet. I’ve not tried it wired yet…that’s next.

But those things aside, it is a very cool little unit, with many possibilities. Out of the box it’s a more-than-capable web surfing and basic office box, using standard open source applications. Of course, I want more 🙂

Currently I’m looking into setting it up to dual boot Ubuntu and Windows XP. This will enable greater compatibility with my home network (I hope) and with other networks. We’ll see.

As for the somewhat ill Compaq? Since it’s the backlight that’s gone, I’ve plans to convert it to a Windows Media Centre box.