We all know more and more readers of our sites are arriving on their mobile phones so you need to make sure that your site is quick and easy to navigate when viewed from a small phone. If you want to optimize your site to the fully extent and to truly monetize the mobile crowd, you’re going to need to go to custom coding. If you aren’t going the custom route, there are some great wordpress plugins to make your theme switch as it detects a mobile device. Most can even detect which type of device has come to your site and optimize accordingly. Here are my 4 favorites (why not 5? I only found four I like at the moment)
WP Touch from Brave New Code: My favorite of the group. Upon detection this plugin changes your theme over to an iPhone browser look. It even changes the look depending on the device. It comes complete with all the standard WordPress blog features: search, login, categories, tags, archives, photos & more. WPtouch also offers many customization features through a beautifully designed WordPress admin panel. And customize it does, icons, headers and the ability to add custom code. Another nice feature in the customization settings is the adsense adder. Simple enter your adsense code and it will put ads at the header of your site and posts. The reason I love this plugin is it will work with any theme and no matter what theme you’re using seems to display properly and navigate well.
MobilePress: Perhaps the most popular of the wordpress mobile plugins. It does a nice job of simplifying your page to the point that mobile users can easily load and navigate through your site. There’s no control panel but there’s not a lot to control. It takes everything out but individual page code. It does leave things like Tweetmeme which is nice but adding a logo and customizing is a bit more work. It is very easy to install and from a readers standpoint, it makes it very clean. Great for blogs but may dumb it down a bit much for fancier sites.
WordPress Mobile Edition by Crowd Favorite: Perhaps the most used mobile theme, WME uses a Carrington theme and adapts it for mobile users. Comments stay on the homepage using AJAX and although simple, it does the trick. This IS NOT a plugin that can be activated online. It needs to be uploaded the old fashioned way via FTP to work. This should be no problem for most but a little more work than some of the other mobile plugins.
Wapple Mobile: This is a very nice mobile theme that is a little nicer than some of the basic plugins available. Like the rest, it optimizes the screen for mobile users yet allows a little more functionality than the others. The control panel allows plenty of editing to customize your look and feel. The default look is good enough you may not have to mess with the customization too much. The biggest mistake people make during the installation is to sign up for a user’s pass here.