There has been a lot of talk lately about mobile plugins for WordPress – there are plugins that make your blog look and work like an iPhone, ones that make it work on Windows Mobile devices and a range of others that are somewhere in-between.
But until recently there haven’t been any mobile plugins available that make your blog work on every handset as well as making it look amazing to every visitor.
I say until recently because there is now a viable alternative to the mobile plugins that have been around for a while and it’s called the Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin for WordPress.
The acid test of how good it is is to show some blogs with the mobile plugin activated. You can see in the first screenshot below how it looks on different phones, a Nokia N95, a Nokia E71 and an iPhone respectively. The second screenshot shows a comparison between the web and mobile site – you can see that they both compare pretty favourably!
Why it’s different to other mobile plugins
The first major advantage the Wapple Architect plugin has over any other mobile plugins is the number of devices it supports. It can tailor to old WML or CHTML capable handsets as well as brand new ones that support almost as much as a web browser. It uses advanced web services from Wapple to do device detection and it does it to a very high level.
Another huge plus it has is that it retains the installed theme from web to mobile. Colours are maintained and you get the option to upload a specific mobile logo which means you can retain your brand identity perfectly across platforms. And because of the way the plugin is written, that mobile logo will dynamically resize perfectly on the fly to fit any handset no matter what its dimensions are.
You have full control over every aspect of the CSS on the mobile site so you can make any changes to how your site looks – from changing the size of post headers to adding a extra little bit of padding in the navigation menu. You get a couple of stylesheets, pre-populated with the styles you’d need to edit so it really is a case of finding the style you want to change and making a few edits. How good you make your mobile plugin look is really up to you!
In addition, you have the ability to change a whole stack of options. You can allow visitors on mobile to make comments, show the post excerpt on the homepage, show thumbnails on the home page or even build the home page in a slightly different way so that you show selected category posts rather than the latest ones!
Using the Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin also means your mobile site scores higher on both the readymobi compatibility test and the W3C mobileOK check than other mobile plugins around. For readymobi, most of the time you’ll score a 5/5 and for W3C, a score of over 90/100 is the norm.
There are dozens and dozens more options – you really get to specify exactly how you want your mobile site to look and function.
How to install
It’s really easy to install either way you want to do it. You can download it and put it in your /wp-content/plugins folder, or install it through the WordPress control panel. Even for a WordPress newbie it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
After you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you’ll need to get yourself a free dev key from Wapple in order to authenticate your blog. Head over to the signup page and get yourself one, it only takes a minute and once it’s made its way to your inbox, enter it in the Wapple Architect Basic Settings page to mobilize your WordPress blog!
There are plenty of other resources about this plugin – check out the home page on wordpress.org or it’s home page at Mobile Web Junkie. Finally, here is another screenshot of how the mobile version compares to the web version on Mobile Web Junkie, you can see how the brand identity is completely retained.