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Grab Readers on the Go: Optimize Your Blog for Mobile Viewing

by Megan Totka

blog optimize for mobile

Mobile technology is a fact of life. In the United States, there are more active cell phones than people—and more than 129 million of them are smartphones. One in three American adults, or around 83 million, owns a tablet.

And all of those people could be reading your blog, if you optimize it for mobile viewing.

Optimizing for mobile means changing the format of your blog when it’s accessed through a mobile device, so that it’s easier to read and navigate from a smaller screen. This may sound like a complicated process, but it’s actually a built-in feature for most major blogging platforms and takes just a few minutes to do.

Mobile Optimization on WordPress

If you use WordPress.com, your blog may already be mobile-optimized. It’s the default setting for most WordPress templates. To find out, log into your dashboard and select Appearance, then click on Mobile. You’ll see the Mobile Options page, with a list of selectable options for mobile features.

For blogs built on WordPress.org, the process is the same, but you may need an extra step to optimize for the iPad. From your dashboard, navigate to Appearance > iPad, and then check the box that activates an iPad theme when a visitor uses the device. If your site does not currently have this iPad enabling option and you are interested in taking advantage of this feature,  you may want to download the newest version of WordPress.

You can also gain more control over the mobile appearance of your blog with a WordPress plug-in that lets you customize the mobile user experience. Two of the most popular are WPTouch and MobilePress. Alternatively, you can install Jetpack for a quick and easy mobile version for your blog.

Mobile Optimization on Blogger

While optimizing your blog for mobile on the Blogger platform is not the default setting, it’s still fairly easy to accomplish. Just log in to your dashboard and go to Settings > Email & Mobile, and activate the mobile template option.

Another way to handle it: From your dashboard, hover the mouse over the notepad icon and click on Template from the drop-down menu. On the Template page under Mobile, click the gear icon for a pop-up window that will present you with mobile templates to choose from.

Mobile Optimization on Joomla

The Joomla platform doesn’t have a mobile enabling feature built in, but you can use a plug-in similar to the WordPress options to customize your blog experience for mobile users. It’s called Mobile Joomla!, and it automatically adjusts the display for iOS, Android, Windows, and all other smartphone operating systems.

More Tips for Mobile Blog Optimization

There are a few basic design steps you can take that will make your blog more mobile-friendly, and overall more readable no matter how your visitors are accessing you. Consider:

  • Removing Flash elements from your pages, which don’t work well with mobile interfaces (and can be distracting or annoying for any reader)
  • Increasing your blog’s body font size to 14 points, and line spacing to 1.5
  • Ensure that your navigation elements are well spaced to avoid crowding
  • Minimize drop-down menus wherever you can, since they’re almost impossible to use on smaller screens

With a mobile-friendly blog, you can increase your visitors and your readership by appealing to the millions of people who are looking for great content to read on their smartphones or tablets. Happy mobile blogging!

Image courtesy of Serge Kij

Article by

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web.

Megan has written 24 articles at iBlogzone.com

1

shiv@droidow

July 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm

hi Megan,
I am using wordpress and for mobile view i am using a plugin, could you please clarify should i use mobile view plugin or not. ThNKS!!

2

Megan Totka

July 27, 2013 at 12:22 am

Hi there,

I know that a lot of users have had great success using WordPress plug-ins designed to optimize mobile viewing. I mentioned a couple of the most popular plug-ins in my post, but a few others include WP Mobile Detector (http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-mobile-detector/) and WordPress Mobile Pack (http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-mobile-pack/).

Good luck!

3

Bob

August 2, 2013 at 10:44 am

Shiv, after you installed the plug in did you have any problems with the main site showing across non mobile browsers. I’d like to try it but I’m scared something might break. What theme are you using?
Thanks,

Bob

4 Hyptia July 25, 2013 at 7:02 am

When you want to convert things in favor of you then these are the ways from where you can get promised result because now world is going more smart day by day. So you should also try to apply those all things on your site/blog which should give you good result in online marketing.

5

Martin

July 25, 2013 at 7:33 am

Great! There is no need to optimize your blog and website for mobiles. Because mobile users are increasing in great ratio. You have mentioned the simple way to switch mobile themes. Don’t you think to change the html after that? Is there any need to change the Html??

6

Ankit

July 25, 2013 at 7:40 am

My blog has a premium theme which optimizes the usage for mobile and tab view. Would this suffice

7

Megan Totka

July 27, 2013 at 12:25 am

Hi Ankit,

If the blog theme has built-in mobile optimization, that should most likely be sufficient.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to you!
Megan

8

Kumar Ashutosh

July 26, 2013 at 6:12 am

Nowadays it is very simple to make a blog mobile friendly. Simple use of responsive themes saves you from any kind of code tweaking and this is really great whne you can’t get the coding stuffs in your head. However if you already have a brand name outside then revamping the whole theme and look of our site may not be always very good for you.

Thanks for sharing this article, being a wordpress blogger, the wordpress section will help me.

9

Megan Totka

July 27, 2013 at 12:27 am

Hi Kumar,

Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found the post helpful. Best of luck to you in your blogging initiatives!

Best,
Megan

10 John July 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I guess the best thing to do is to design a layout that stands out on both PC, tablets and phones. Put efforts in the design in the beginning because I am sure optimizing your blog or web for phones at a later stage would be more challenging.

11

Megan Totka

July 27, 2013 at 12:29 am

John, I completely agree. It’s always ideal to build the site with all devices in mind… but for those legacy sites that were originally built just for PCs, it’s good to know that there are plug-in options available to enhance mobile viewing.

Best of luck to you!
Megan

12 Sanjeev July 28, 2013 at 7:14 am

Mobile and tablets are driving more and more traffic and we so many screen sizes available in the market, we need to make sure that we are providing support for them.
I prefer responsive design over the wordpress plugin and that’s what I am using on Makewebworld. Though wordpress plugin can provide similar experience on muliple site but they take away the personalization power…

13

Kurtis B. Newton

July 31, 2013 at 12:43 am

These plugins do help in that respect. However, it’s unfortunate that many developers concentrate on iPhone-only support. iPhones have a small share of the mobile market and, ironically, they have good browser which can view most web pages anyway.

14

Jaypee

August 11, 2013 at 11:22 pm

I used to have the WPTouch plugin installed on my blog. I disabled/removed it when I switched to my current because it features a responsive layout that’s already customized for all types of mobile devices.

15 DiTesco August 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

That’s good Jaypee. Responsive designs seems to make things a lot easier. Plugins and cross platforms tend to “slow” down a websites performance. Thinking going that route myself soon enough. Now if I can only find someone to help me with my redesign 🙂

16

Jaypee

August 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

One of the things I was looking for in a theme was having a responsive design so that I won’t have to rely on a plugin and of course to make my blog more accessible and user-friendly.

So right now you’re still using WPTouch or a different plugin? I’m sure you won’t have any problems finding someone help you with that.

17 DiTesco August 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

Hi Jaypee. Been playing around with several of them. Cross-platform, Jetpack and several others. believe it or not, but right now I have deactivated mobile compatibility. I am looking to perhaps change my theme completely to a responsive one and it is something I have to decide sooner than later.. Thinking of moving to Genesis. Now if I can only make time for this 🙂

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