Smartphones being used are increasing tenfold, so it is important to ensure that your web site has a mobile user interface for your visitors that are using smartphones. Luckily, if you have WordPress, getting a mobile theme working is incredibly easy. Simply install the “WP Mobile Detector” plugin (which is free) and your blog will change to the mobile user interface theme when a visitor is detected as using a smartphone or standard mobile phone. With this plugin you can also choose the mobile theme to be used, and for those on standard mobile phones, a basic theme will be used without any images being displayed.
It’s important to have a mobile theme for mobile phones and smartphones because your visitors don’t want to be having to pan and zoom in order to view the content on your blog. You may find your visitors will visit your blog more often by having a mobile theme active.
Taking a look at smartphone market share.
Note: StatCounter is not fully representative because not all web sites make use of StatCounter.
In June 2011, iOS usage share was at 0.7% of all web traffic recorded by StatCounter. In June 2012, this has more than tripled to 2.4%. And if you see in the screenshot below, Android and iOS have the most usage share of smartphone operating systems (along side Symbian and Series 40). So this is evidence that smartphone usage for web browsing is only increasing.
It makes sense to have a mobile theme active, and if you use WordPress, it makes it incredibly easy to integrate a WordPress mobile theme in just a few clicks.
Benefits of using a mobile theme.
- Convenient for visitors – a theme and UI optimised for small screens – good user experience.
- Saves bandwidth – while it will inevitably save you bandwidth, the concern is the bandwidth/data usage of the visitors smartphone. By having a mobile theme active, it will save the amount of data used for your visitor’s to access your blog and so they use less data as a result, which is beneficial to your visitors.
- It’s completely free with the WP Mobile Detector plugin using WordPress.
- WP Mobile Detector plugin themes work with a wide variety of smartphones – including the popular smartphone platforms like BlackBerry, iPhone and Android as well as tablet computers such as the iPad.