A short PSA before we start this blog post: I keep getting asked by readers if they need an SSL. The short answer is that if you run any type of a site where you are asking people to login, create a profile with sensitive information, or give you payment info, then you should. I looked around a bit, you can find someGoDaddy SSL Coupon codes here to help you get a steep discount. The best deal was 30% off.
Let’s be real, you do half of your internet browsing on your phone or other mobile device because you can do it while lying on the couch with no pants on. The other half you do at work on a desktop when your boss isn’t looking. I look at Facebook pretty much exclusively through apps on my phone and iPad, and nothing annoys me more than when somebody posts a link to an article or website, and it comes up all tiny and zoomed out because there isn’t a mobile version. I have neither the time nor the patience to zoom in and then scroll back and forth cause the text doesn’t adjust to fit my screen. It’s 2014 people, you need a responsive mobile version of your site.
You have 2 options, you can use a plugin that will detect if your visitor is using a mobile device and show them a mobile version of the site, or you can use a WordPress theme that is responsive and will adjust itself accordingly. I suppose that there is a third option of building your own theme and then making a regular and mobile-friendly versions, but I mean I’m a professional web developer and I wouldn’t want to do that. If you have nothing but free time and patience, then by all means, knock yourself out.
So I’m going to talk about this one first, but it’s not my recommended option, well unless you have somewhat of a budget for your blog or website. If you have a spare $50, there are worse things you could spend it on than WPTouch Pro. Like two copies of Jurassic Park III on Blu-Ray, just awful and disappointing. I have used it once before back when it was free and it worked perfectly, the only thing I didn’t really like was that you pretty much lost the whole look and feel of your website. I probably could have spent some more time fiddling with it, but I have a short attention span and am easily distracted by shiny things or attractive people. Also, now they exclusively offer the free version, which might have way more theme and customization options.
If you are broke as hell and do want to use a plugin there is also WordPress Mobile Pack. This doesn’t show the pages from your blog or site, only the posts, which is a huge drawback. If you are using WordPress as a CMS and not a blog then it won’t show any of your website. Whomp-whomp.
If you are venturing out into the premium and paid theme territory, it’s highly unlikely that the theme won’t be responsive. You should still make sure, it might be labeled as mobile-friendly or mobile-enabled instead of responsive but they all mean the same thing. Which is that it will detect the size of the screen that you are using to view the website and adjust the images and text accordingly to fit on your screen instead of just showing the website at 15% of it’s normal size. Paid themes aren’t always super expensive, ThemeForest has some starting at $3 apparently. There are free themes out there that are responsive, this blog has collected a few of them.
Personally, I think a responsive theme is the way to go. You maintain all of the look and feel of your site, and your other plugins should all still work with it. And you can’t get free themes that will do that, can’t beat that pricing!