How to make your blog mobile friendly

Believe it or not, I've been living the last six weeks without a home that has internet. It's crazy, I know! How does a blogger survive without internet? Well, these days we're lucky to have mobile devices, like iPhones, Androids, Blackberries, HTC Touches… a whole host of  options to browsing the web on the go. I have an iPhone now, and am quite happy with the accessibility, however, browsing websites isn't quite the same on a tiny hand-held device. Things like sidebars, and columns become difficult, as you're constantly scrolling around, zooming in and out. It's a chore.

Create a Mobile Version

I've noticed that some blogs have already launched a mobile version of their blogs. PR Couture was the first one I came across, and nearly fell out of my chair. Crosby Norricks, the site owner shared that she uses the WP touch plug-in on her WordPress self-hosted blog. I've checked around and there seems to be a load of different options, like Mobify.meMobilePress and a few more, but WPtouch seems to be the easiest, most reliable, and fastest loading plug-in out there. Unfortunately, most the easy mobile plug-ins are geared towards WordPress users, but I'm sure that it will soon change as more people use mobile devices to access the internet on the go.

One IFB member, Elodie of Eleanore Bridge took the WP Touch plug-in and tweaked the CSS to match her full blog version, right down to an easy to use English translation link as her blog is in French…

If you're not as CSS savvy as Elodie, it's ok, the WPtouch also has loads of options in the dashboard where you can customize your mobile version. It only took a few moments with the IFB site to create a lean and easy to load version:

Either way, it's probably better to start thinking about creating mobile versions of you blog, or at the very least, keep your eye out for plug-ins for your platform. Think about how much more you're using mobile devices, and how much nicer it is when a website has an app, or at least a mobile friendly design for the site. From personal experience,  in the past month, I can say that most sites aren't very mobile friendly (including my own). Not taking a few extra steps for mobile users might after all, deter interaction those who might be hanging out somewhere thinking about reading your blog.

Have you made a mobile friendly design for your blog? Which platform did you use?

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55 Responses

  1. alexandra | Dresses for Breakfast

    I have a few of my favorite blogs that are mobile-friendly saved on my iphone homescreen- since I’m always on the go, I end up visiting them more often then those I only can view on my laptop.

    Great tip in customizing the css to match the full screen- I may have to try that!
    .-= alexandra | Dresses for Breakfast´s last blog ..sunny yellow =-.

    Reply
  2. Midtown Girl

    I was JUST talking about this with a friend today…you read my mind dahling 😉 i am totally getting on this, bc I usually only have my phone with me when I am trekking around the city. This option would be a lifesaver. XOXO

    Reply
  3. Christina@StyleofPolitics

    Some of my readers have asked about a mobile version, actually, but since I use SO much video, I’m not sure it’s going to work. But clearly I’m going to have to do something!

    Reply
  4. The Mod One

    I’m reading this post right now on my iPhone and it’s great… I can’t believe how fast it loads, gonna have to download the plug-in asap. Thanks for the tip!!
    .-= The Mod One´s last blog ..Fashion’s Future is 3D =-.

    Reply
  5. Veronica

    jennine,

    what an amazing, informative post –
    thanks for all the research u do in keeping up updated & current – V.

    Reply
    • Jennine

      oh dear, i’m sorry to hear that you experienced this, it must be a plug-in conflict, that’s all i can think of…

      Reply
      • V

        Update: I installed the WP Touch plugin after trying several options, and I’m very pleased with it! The interface is pretty easy—I customized the fonts and colors, and I was even able to crop and upload my own icons for display. It’s almost 100% perfect. My only complaint is that the “Link Within” text underneath the Link Within display at the bottom of each post does not display on the mobile version. But that’s a minor tradeoff. I expect more mobilization plugins will be released soon.
        .-= V´s last blog ..Lethal Landscaping: Seven Surfaces that Scare the Stilettos Off Every Fashionista =-.

    • Jennine

      i tried to find blogger plugins for this and to no avail, only some google reader hack was the best way, but its sooo ugly and kind of a pain to install

      Reply
      • HauteWorld

        Mobify.me actually works for blogger platforms. I’ve been in the process of using this for my blog, but as you mentioned, it does require a bit of CSS knowledge and I find it less intuitive than some of the WP solutions out there. But as far as blogger solutions go, this is probably the only relatively versatile tool out there.
        .-= HauteWorld´s last blog ..Lanvin & Other Windows (Paris, France) =-.

      • Leah

        I use Blogger, and I just (before this post, oddly) made my blog mobile via MobifyMe. I really don’t have much CSS knowledge and I somehow figured out how to make it work. They have very helpful tutorials on the site. I recommend trying it!

        Good luck bloggers!

  6. Mallory @ MissMalaprop.com

    I’ve been meaning to install one of the WP plugins to make a mobile version of my blog. Sometimes it slips to the back of my mind, because I feel like one of the few people out there who still doesn’t have a smart-phone!

    Reply
  7. Elissa

    Love this idea, but how do you get these mobile-friendly versions to launch on your phone? I use a Blackberry Curve and The PR couture link still sends me directly to the browser with the same ol’ deconstructed website. Do I need an iPhone to enjoy this app?? Either way, I’m installing WPtouch on my blog, just in case 😉

    Thanks for the great article!
    .-= Elissa´s last blog ..Providence Launch Party =-.

    Reply
    • Jennine

      ooh good to know, Mobify.me, MobilePress both have versions for non iPhone users, I’m working on the Mobify.me one for The Coveted, but you need to know a bit more about css and getting it installed requires some extra steps i haven’t figured out how to do yet. but the support and friendlieness of mobify.me is really good.

      Reply
  8. sirdorian (stylishkidsinriot.com)

    wp touch seems to be a very good way to mobilize the blog. i´ve also used it but we are working on a iphone app too and something for the ipad. however, i think it is very important to make the blog mobile friendly. thanks for the post:)

    Reply
  9. Kristina

    Yet another reason why I love WordPress. 🙂
    .-= Kristina´s last blog ..A Very Vogue Alice in Wonderland =-.

    Reply
  10. liberty london girl

    I use mippin.com – as a plugin on WordPress for the mobile application of LLG & it’s brilliant. I can see from comments that people are reading LLG using it as comments from mobiles have a http://www.mippin.com signature bracketed at the end. It’s also easily customisable. Honestly – it’s a doddle. Installation to Libertylondongirl.com took about 3mins. It was one of the very first things I did when I re-launched the site in Feb. I don’t think you can take a site seriously any more unless it is optimised for mobile devices.

    LLGxx

    Reply
  11. thefatandskinny

    Great article! I want to make my blog mobile, but I don’t know how to do this with blogger, and I don’t know a lot about CSS. I am going to have to check on this.

    Reply
  12. Sarah

    WOW thankyou soo much for that! I’ve just registered with mobify and now my site is totally mobile friendly! yaay more potential readers on the go!

    Reply
  13. ann

    I’ve learn so much this whole week from just this one site. There’s so many things that existed – I’ve been so out of the loop LOL!

    Reply
  14. M

    I had to deal with a non-internet at home situation a few weeks ago and it was hard trying to read anything on my phone -even my own blog- so this is great info, I’ll search for a blogger friendly version of this
    .-= M´s last blog ..Open Season =-.

    Reply
  15. Antony Swans

    Most of mobile plug-ins are geared towards WordPress, it’s true. Moreover, they usually don’t let your blog retain its original design. Let us offer you our FREE mobile compatible WordPress theme Möbius. Or you can also visit our site MobilizeToday.com to see how we can make your blog mobile friendly.

    Reply
  16. Amber

    Darn, I just did some research and it seems like blogger doesn’t have a platform for mobile friendly blogs yet boooooo! Although my blog looks pretty good the way it is on my phone I want to make it simpler!

    Reply
  17. techsavvy

    hey u cn try using mobstac..Its a pretty good option…retains the original look of your blog…better speed…u dnt need ne super tech know how to install…Its really kewl..

    Reply
  18. Jay

    I love blogging and I’m always on my Blackberry. I use Blogger, does anyone know if their are any mobile view plug-ins on there?

    xo.

    Reply
  19. Gemma

    I hadn’t really thought about this before but it is something I need to think about. I would need help from someone more tech savvy though, I’m pretty useless. I like to read blogs when I’m on the bus in the morning on the way to work and it takes a long time and I don’t get to take in all the information and features.
    It would be great if more bloggers thought about it.

    Reply