Mobilize your website or blog through plugins and design and test it through validators and emulators so that it is at the forefront of the impending mobile frontier. With the growing number of cell phone, PDA, and smart phone mobile web users, you should make sure your website is ready to be viewed through this medium. “Juniper Research estimates that the number of mobile web users will grow from 1.2 billion this year  to more than 2.4 billion in 2014.” Mobile Marketing Association says that:
One in Four U.S. Adult Consumers Plans To Access Mobile Websites Daily Next Year…Mobile users say they would be much more likely to visit a mobile site if the site is free, loads quickly and is simple to view and navigate.
Mobile phones have tiny screens on 3G and 4G networks. While this is a vast improvement over the speeds of yester-year this is not the speed quality you get on your desktop or laptop at home or at work.
Camilla Belle in Simon West‘s When a Stranger Calls
Websites on a mobile phone take 1.) longer to load, and 2.) not all cell phones support Flash e.g. the iPhone. The mobile web requires minimalism and easy navigation. You can check if your website is mobile ready very easily.
Validators and Emulators
Test your website or blog using one or more of these validators and emulators:
Mobile Compliance List
If your website fails one or all of the above validators and emulators, you can take steps to make it Mobile web user complaint.
- Streamline the menu system.
- Reduce or eliminate graphics, especially those used in navigation.
- Scale back text and break it over multiple pages.
- Avoid pop-ups, which can be unpredictable on mobile platforms.
- Think small. Mobile phone screen sizes and dimensions vary from 320 x 480 down to 128 x 160 pixels.
- Use a mobile theme.
- In your content management system (CMS), use one set of CSSes for your main website and a separate set for your mobile website.
- Design to scroll only vertically. Limit page width so that users do not need to scroll horizontally to view content. Users should be able to view everything on a page by scrolling up and down.
- Maintain consistency with your main website. Design your mobile site with a familiar appearance and navigation so that users of your main website can transition more smoothly between the main and mobile site. Make sure users can access their favorite information and features using recognizable links.
- Facilitate touchscreen navigation. Make options larger and increase the “clickable” space around them to facilitate touchscreen navigation. This makes the options easier to select on non-touchscreen mobile devices, as well.
WordPress plugins for Mobilization
Here are some plugins to Mobilize your WordPress website or blog:
WordPress for iPhone
WordPress for iPhone app lets you write posts, upload photos, edit pages, and manage comments on your blog from your iPhone or iPod Touch. WordPress for iPhone supports both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.
MobilePress is a WordPress plugin that will render your WordPress blog on mobile handsets, with the ability to use customized themes. The plugin also allows specific themes for specific devices/mobile browsers, such as iPhone, Opera Mini, Windows CE Mobile and other generic handset browsers. MobilePress detects Google and Yahoo mobile search bots which allows your blog to be indexed.
Wapple Architect Mobile plugin for WordPress
A mobile plugin that takes your WordPress content and makes sure that it works perfectly for every mobile device. Top features: dynamic resizing of images, preserving of URL structure, advanced pagination.
WordPress Mobile Edition
WordPress Mobile Edition automatically detects mobile browser and shows an interface designed for a mobile device. Mobile web interface is also served to Google and Yahoo mobile search crawlers. WordPress Mobile Edition provides customized interface and styling for iPhone and other “touch” browsers.
WordPress Mobile Pack
WordPress Mobile Pack includes a mobile switcher to select themes based on the type of user that is visiting the site, a selection of mobile themes, mobile ad widget (AdMob or mobile Adsense support), device adaptation (rescaling images, splitting articles, simplifying style and removing media) and a mobile administration panel for writing and editing.
WordPress PDA & iPhone
Wordpress PDA plugin enables the WordPress blog viewable for PDA and iPhone browsers. It detects the browser agent and loads a simple theme (fully customizable) on the fly.
WPtouch: WordPress on iPhone, iPod & Android
WPtouch automatically transforms your WordPress blog into a web-application experience when viewed from an iPhone, iPod touch or Android touch mobile device. It comes complete with all the standard WordPress blog features: search, login, categories, tags, archives, photos & more.
Mobify WordPress Plugin
This WordPress Plugin allows your WordPress site to interact with Mobify site. It detects incoming mobile browser requests and redirects them to your mobile view. Mobify site is a powerful solution to mobilize your blog with large database of supported devices, simplified design, image compression and media transcoding.
MoFuse WordPress Plugin
MoFuse is a similar to Mobify service that allows bloggers to easily create a mobile-friendly version of their blog for free. This plugin allows you to automatically detect and redirect your mobile visitors to the mobile-friendly version of your blog.
Mobilize by Mippin WordPress plugin
The Mobilize by Mippin WordPress Plugin provides integration with a online service similar to Mofuse and Mobify. Once installed any cell phone accessing your URL will be redirected to the Mippin rendering of your blog. It uses RSS feeds from sites as the raw content for rendering on the phone with additional images scaling and video conversion.
The above list of plugins is arbitrary but gives you an idea of the WordPress plugins that are out there. Other mobilizing WordPress plugins can be found here or under Plugins, Add New then type Mobilize in the search box in your WordPress Admin screen on your website. This will bring up mobilizing plugins as well.
My Take and Conclusion
Here is what I would do: If I were having a website built or was building one myself, I would make sure that it was made mobile web user complaint. I would email the web designer the above Compliance List and the Validators and Emulators List so that they could check the site’s mobile readiness before they let me see it. When they did send it to me to peruse, I would extensively test EVERYTHING, including throwing the site through a few of of those validators. If my site was already built and online, I would use one of the plugins and when the next version of the site was being constructed offline, mobile readiness would be a part of the redesign since I like and attempt to cultivate as much traffic to my site as possible.
Is your website or blog mobile ready?