As well as I keep up with the emerging technologies, I’m relatively new to the mobile tech scene. Only recently have I been able to get a Palm Treo, and while it’s far more intelligent than what I’m used to, it’s a far sight from an iPhone or Android. As I haven’t been browsing my websites on a mobile platform, I often forget to make my sites or themes mobile friendly.
According to Mobile Crunch, as of early in 2010, Apple has sold 51.15 million iPhones. Android smart phone shipments grew 886% year-on-year in Q2 2010, according to Canalys. The mobile device numbers are still small compared to desktop systems but the segment is growing quickly.
It’s pretty clear that this whole “mobile” thing has legs and may one day in the not too distant future, be the way that a majority of visitors see our websites. Whether mobile dominates or not, there is a clear need to ensure that our site visitors will have a good experience whether they come via a PC or a mobile device.
Here is where WordPress Mobile Pack comes in. By just installing this nice little plugin, your WordPress site is suddenly usable on a mobile device. Not only does it make things more usable for your visitors, but it also presents a decent interface for the WordPress administration. I’m actually writing this post from the admin interface on an iPod touch. The WordPress Mobile Pack plugin page says “The WordPress Mobile Pack is a complete toolkit to help mobilize your WordPress site. It has a mobile switcher, themes, widgets, and mobile admin pane”.
As with many plugins, the default theme isn’t real exciting, but the plugin does make editing the mobile theme fairly simple with some basic CSS tweaks. So far I haven’t gotten too custom with the mobile theme but am very pleased that folks visiting my site on their mobile will find it clean, readable and accessible now. There are a few options in the plugin that I haven’t delved into much, such as the ability to serve mobile specific advertising, but all seems very straight forward and easy to use. Overall, I’m very pleased with how this plugin works and am excited to continue tweaking my mobile themes into shape.