Mobile internet access is no longer an anomaly. Today, it is positively mainstream. ONS figures show that in 2013, 61% of British adults accessed the internet “on the go”. Of those, 53% accessed the internet with their phones, 32% used a laptop or tablet computer, and 11% used handheld devices like eReaders. When you look at younger adults, that number skyrockets: almost 90% those aged 16 to 24 have used their phones to access the internet within the last three months, and 83% of those aged 25 to 34 have.
Clearly, this shows that if you target a British audience with your website, you need options for mobile users. You likely need options so you can manage your site on the go as well. Luckily, WordPress plugin developers have delivered a plethora of mobile solutions. Here are five of the most useful WordPress plugins for mobile websites.
Simple URLs is more for the site manager who wants to look at their site's links and URLs than for the consumer who needs to access the website. That said, it is a really well rounded tool. With it, you can manage, track and even create redirects and other outbound links.
You can also manage URLs with a custom post type in the Admin menu. With it, you can create, edit and delete URLs. The plugin avoids using page-based redirects during all of this, so there aren't any permalink conflicts or performance issues associated with the URLs you manage from the plugin.
WP Touch helps make your website responsive to mobile devices. It streamlines your web design, so mobile users can quickly access a simple, easy-to-use version of your website. It also allows users to switch between the mobile and regular versions of your site, if they need or want to.
WP Touch is not the most full-service responsive design plugin, but it's not supposed to be. It is designed to be light and agile. This ensures mobile users are able to load the site quickly and then access the parts they want, instead of getting bored and bouncing away.
WordPress Mobile by Mobify is, unsurprisingly, the WordPress plugin from Mobify, the mobile technology platform company. Mobify provide mobile solutions to companies including Starbucks, Wired magazine and Bonobos.com, so their WordPress plugin comes with some major development power.
Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin for WordPress doesn't have the brand recognition of Mobify, but it does have a similar offering. Like the Mobify plugin, the Wapple plugin recognises the user's device and serves them a version of your site optimised for that specific tablet or smart phone. More than that, though, the detection tool is part of Wapple's web services, which can be updated as soon as new devices hit the market. That means no waiting to see how your mobile site will respond to the latest mobile gadgets.
It does all of this without changing URLs. That means you can simply promote one URL, and know that all your users, mobile or not, will be able to access that page in a way that is ideal for their individual devices.
WordPress Mobile Pack
WordPress Mobile Pack can be summed up in one word: customisable. You can select a variety of themes and widgets. Then the mobile switcher will detect which device is being used to access your site, and it will serve up the theme that best suits that device. Users can then opt to switch to the desktop or mobile versions, if they so choose.
With this plugin, you can also access and manage your site from your mobile. It features a mobile admin panel that allows you to do the most common website management tasks, including creating and editing posts, approving comments and more.
Whether you want to provide your website users with a great mobile experience or to manage your website when you're on the move, these plugins offer practical, flexible solutions. All you have to do now is pick the ones you want and download them.
Libby French is a Director for iphonerepairs.co.uk. She manages all sales and marketing activities. Her favorite part of her job is working along side corporate clients.