One of my blogging maintenance plans for last month was to find out how to make my blog mobile-friendly. The reason why I think it’s very important to make sure the blog is easily accessible from all devices is that, as a quick look at my blog statistics showed me, more than 30% of you lovely lot use all sorts of mobile devices or tablets to access this page. That is a lot. And not only does that mean roughly 1500 visitors a month, but I myself often check in from my phone. I often find myself spending my weekend commute with replying to comments or drafting new posts so having a blog that is easily and quickly accessible from mobile phones has become a must.
The downside of using lots of images for your blog and your posts is that they make your page load a lot more slowly. However, I could never be bothered to set up a mobile version for my blog because a) I thought it would take forever and b) I never really needed it and never really used it until now, therefore I never realised how slow the desktop site can get on mobiles.
So I did a little bit of research and guess what… it’s so much easier than you think. It literally took me five minutes to set it all up. Since many of you tweeted me to ask for a tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create a mobile-friendly blog in just five minutes.
* NB: since it requires a plugin, this particular version only works on (self hosted) WordPress websites
On your Dashboard, go to Plugins » Add New, and look up WPtouch Mobile Plugin. Click on Install now.
Once the plugin is activated, it should appear in the left hand side admin bar on your dashboard. Go to WPtouch » Core settings and enter your blog’s title and language, set the display mode to ‘normal’ and the landing page to ‘default’.
And… you’re basically good to go. However, I suggest that in the remaining 3 minutes, go to Theme settings and configure your settings. Under the ‘General’ tab, you can set the number of posts you’d like to see on your blog’s mobile homepage and whether you’d like the date and number of comments to show up with your posts or not. Under ‘Branding’ you can pick your four theme colours, upload a site logo and edit your social media links (which will show up in the footer of your mobile blog). Under ‘Bookmark icons’ you can upload an image which will be used when someone bookmarks your blog on their Android or iOS devices. (It’s one of my favourite features)
Another cool thing to do is to set up custom icons for your menu items, such as your ‘About me’ or ‘Book reviews’ page. If you go to WPtouch » Menus and click on the Menu setup, you can search from lots of different icon sets and choose which ones you’d like to use. But if you don’t like the ones already there, you can even upload your own icons. (Two great places to find thousands of icons is iconarchive and iconfinder)
Make sure to save all your changes as you go along and… that’s it!