Your web presence: is it mobile friendly?

If it’s not, it should be: Forrester Research predicts that by the end of 2012, “78% of the US population will subscribe to mobile service, and consumers increasingly [will] consume content via these devices rather than traditional Web.” It’s already happening now: how much of your news, reviews, and other information do you read on a smartphone, either via app or mobile-friendly web site? If you’re like me, it’s as much or more than you view from your laptop.

When you’re creating your portfolio, blog, or other online presence, you’re cutting out a large percentage of your potential audience if you optimize for full-screen computer access only. Such considerations make you view WordPress template shopping in a new way: where look and feel seems important for a full-screen experience, readability and mobile friendly features move up the list of items on your template shopping list when you think about people accessing your site on their iPhone or Android device.

So what can you to do ‘mobilize’ your blog?

1) Find mobile-friendly templates 

Do a web search for mobile WordPress templates; you’ll come up with dozens of options. Here’s an example of one mobile template for the theme Carrington Mobile, for a text-heavy blog; and here’s a mobile-friendly theme called Mobius, for a blog that features images. The problem is, you don’t want only a mobile template applied to your blog– some people still view it on the web. Here’s where plug-ins come in.

2) Install a ‘mobilizer’ plug-in

Sign in to the WordPress admin panel, click Plugins in the left navigation bar, and click Add New at the top of the page. Type the word mobile into the search bar to find a number of mobile plug-ins for WordPress. Here’s WordPress’s own WordPress Mobile Pack.

“Mobilizer” plug ins may include:

  • A ‘switcher’ that detects whether a visitor is on mobile or a standard computer, and switch out an appropriate theme for each viewer type
  • Customized features by type of mobile device accessing your site
  • Mobile friendly templates included as part of the plug-in
  • Functionality that allows you to post to your site from a mobile device

Mobile compatibility is an essential component of any serious web presence from this point in history onward. Finding and configuring a mobile template and plug-in for your WordPress site and then testing it on your mobile devices will help to provide an optimal mobile experience for your audience.

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