Hands up if you use WordPress…
Oh, for crying out loud put your hand down. I can’t see you. Anyway, the reason I ask is I heard somewhere, probably on Twitter, that more and more blog hits are coming from mobile devices. This got me thinking about how my site looks to someone visiting on a phone or iPad or what have you. According to my Blackberry (keep the luddite comments to yourself please and thank you) my site looked and navigated horribly. The sidebar content looked stupid and the social networking buttons were giant and poorly placed.
Naturally, I attributed this to my current theme. I thought a simple change of themes would alleviate the problem. I subsequently spent hours pouring through the 1500+ themes on wordpress.org. I never really found anything I loved so I looked at some premium themes. Those were good but I’m just not at a point where I want to spend money on my blog. Maybe later if things work out the way I hope but, hosting and domain names are about as deep as I want to extend my pockets for now. So continued the exhausting search for a theme that would give traditional browser users and mobile device users alike, a satisfying experience. After all, why write anything if it’s not fun and easy for our readers to find and enjoy?
In the end, after hours of fruitless searching, I remembered about plugins. A quick google search later and boom I found one. WPtouch to be precise. It’s easy to install, having taken about 60 seconds, and it has a built in feature allowing visitors to your site to choose between the full browser version or the mobile version.
The only other considerations you may have, which I couldn’t figure out how to work around in the plugin, is how the mobile version of your site handles posts that are heavy in images. You may, for the sake of your mobile readers wish to cut down on the amount of images you use per post. That and flash content. As writers I’m not sure how much flash we would be using anyway. Unless you have a fancy flash display of your books for sale or something fancy-shmancy like that. As we know not all mobile devices handle flash well. Yes, I’m looking at you iPad.
Blogger and Typepad users, sorry, you’re on your own, though I suspect the folks who run those sites are on top of this issue and have a solution in the pipeline, if they haven’t already rolled something out.
Just one in a million things to keep in mind when building up your blog….