According to Comscore analytics, year 2014 was the tipping point when mobile use overtook computers for browsing the internet. Users in the USA spent most of their time browsing on their phones. Having website optimized for mobile use got really important. There are two factors that make mobile website the most important mission for every website owner.
- Google may start using mobile web experience as a ranking factor
- You will lose visitors and and in the case of a web store will lose potential sales.
If your website is not optimized for mobile use, and you decide to optimize it for mobile, specially if you make a good job, 3 things can happen. You will:
- Increase traffic
- Increase conversion
- Increase sales
According to w3techs, WordPress is used on roughly 23% of all the websites. If price for website redesign to include responsive, mobile devices view, is too costly, you can use some of plugins to create mobile optimized website. As soon you enabled mobile view, your visitors will be greatfull.
Top Plugins for Optimizing Your WordPress Site for Mobile
WPtouch Mobile Plugin
WPtouch was one of the first plugins optimized specially for mobile use. From the first version it has evolved, now it features new, modern theme by default and it’s also available in commercial form. As of this writing it counts for more than 6.600.00o downloaded and installed copies. 6 million. Wow, that is great number.
WPTouch PRO, can be extended with several extensions and plugins. Commercial version is available in several editions. Some of the the additional features which are not present in free version are:
- up to 5x faster than responsive websites
- Woocommerce support
- Mobile Store for Woocommerce
Price range from: free to $349
WP Mobile Detector
WP Mobile detector has unique feature. Automatically it detects mobile devices. It has a list of more than 5000 devices. Detection functionality enables to show mobile website optimized for specific device. Currently it counts for more than 270.000 installations in WordPress plugin repository.
Some of the features of WP Mobile Detector Mobile Plugin:
- Image resizing
- Advanced mobile statistics
- Automatic content formatting
- 7 mobile optimized themes bundled with the plugin
WordPress Mobile Pack
WordPress Mobile Pack has been recently rebuilt for a better quality / functionality. Currently it counts for more than 680.000 downloads. Some of the benefits are:
- Customize appearance
- Custom pages – you can choose which pages to show
- Theme with 6 covers
- Google analytics integration
- Add to homepage feature
In addition to the free version, Appticles provides are commercial version which can extend functionality with additional features. For example, it adds support for phablets / tables, monetization, offline mode and unlimited themes.
You can download WordPress Mobile Pack from WordPress plugin repository
WP Mobile Edition
WP Mobile edition counts at more that 68.000 downloads from WordPress repository. It automatically detects if the visitor is mobile. It allows the users to manually switch between the desktop and mobile mode. Some of the features are:
- Full comments system
- Smart formatting – repositioning depending on horizontal or vertical mobile device position
- Mobile logo uploader
- Mobile ad system
- Automatic Images rescaling
Jetpack is one plugin that is known to every WordPress users, it has a vast selection of features. It’s considered by many the first plugin to install after WordPress blog.
Some of the features that make it so popular are Photon – free CDN for site acceleration, Contact Form, Carousel, Stats, Spelling and Grammar, integration with Google+ and many, many more.
One of the features is also Mobile theme. It features a simple mobile theme which you can customize with a bit of CSS and PHP knowledge. When you open Mobile settings, prepare for only 3 settings.
Jetpack It’s a perfect tool for Bloggers who are looking for a simple yet effective mobile view.
iThemes Mobile is a premium plugin. It has a built in style manager and includes mobile ready themes. Out of the box it supports many phones and mobile devices like Windows CE, Sony Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Apple iPad, LG Phones, Nokia Phones…
With style manager you can set up colors and menus the way you want. You can also change Headings. You can upload header image specifically designed for mobile use.
Some of the features of iThemes Mobile:
- Features 4 starter themes
- Assign different themes for specific platforms (theme one for iPad, theme 2 for iPhone…)
- Mobile specific menus – you can use WordPress navigation menus or create new ones for mobile use
- Mobile theme customizer
Price ranges from $45 for a 2 licences to $150 which has not limit licences
Duda Mobile Website Builder
Duda Mobile Website builder has a different approach to building mobile websites. Instead of providing mobile view via special CSS or page, you will create webpage with their builder on their servers. Once you will complete your mobile site design you will get a website link. When user will look at the mobile site, they will be redirected to Duda servers where your site will be served. If you decide to use their free plan, Duda mobile will show Duda ads to your visitors.
Some of the features:
- Quickly design mobile website
- Supports all phones
- Free analytics
- Integration with Google Analytics, Google Adsense
- Drag and drop editor
Premium plans start at $7.20 / month.
HandHeld Mobile Plugin
HandHeld Mobile Plugin is a premium plugin from Elegant themes. It works as an addition to your website. Whenever mobile users visit your website, they will be shown a different layout optimized for mobile view. Some of the features:
- Gallery section where you can show your work
- Special Threaded Comments
- Set up custom colors
- Set up custom Blog layout
- Ajax loading
In order to use this plugin you will have to sign up for Elegant themes subscription starting at $89.
Do you really need a mobile view plugin?
I have heard a lot of rumblings why would you need to install additional plugin for mobile users if your website is already responsive. Well, people forget that there are still websites which use old theme which are not responsive. To migrate those websites to a modern look with the latest technologies it would often bring high cost to the website owner.
By installing plugin from the list above, websites could be transformed to a great looking, optimized specially for mobile use. Benefit for the visitors is obvious. To the website owner it would bring more users, increase conversion and most importantly it would make sure that website is not penalized by Google for not having a mobile view.
Second type of websites, you know, HTML5 with responsive view built in, it would not bring benefits on the first thought. But If you could make your mobile view faster to open, with additional optimizations you could be looking at higher conversions and higher bounce rate.
Web shop with responsive view could also benefit using a plugin which is optimized specially for mobile use. Newegg one of the biggest online retailers in America, improved traffic for 39% by using new website designed specially for mobile visitors.
Have you tested your mobile view? Did you found improvements you can do? Have you tested mobile view plugins? Can they make your visitors experience better? Perhaps you would be surprised by results.