In today’s world, having a mobile-friendly website is essential. There are a few ways to handle mobile visitors, such as using a responsive design or creating a mobile app. However, a WordPress plugin called WPtouch offers a unique solution that combines the best of both worlds.
WPtouch detects when mobile visitors are viewing a page and displays a stylish user-friendly mobile theme to them. What’s surprising is that the plugin offers the same kind of interface that you would expect from a dedicated mobile application. However, the plugin is simply displaying a custom theme to mobile visitors. This means that it offers the improved user experience more associated with dedicated mobile applications with the SEO benefits more associated with regular responsive designs.
The plugin also gives visitors the option of disabling WPtouch and viewing the desktop design of your website on their smartphone. This is a useful feature as many smartphones have screens that are 5 inches in diameter or larger, therefore visitors may prefer to view the normal design.
WPtouch works great right out of the box, but it also gives you a huge amount of control over how your mobile design. Let’s take a deeper look into what the plugin can do.
The title of your mobile design will default to the title of your website, but you have the option of changing it. There is also a preview mode for administrators and a box for adding Google Analytics and other custom code.
The plugin lets you disable styling shortcodes when the mobile design is being used. This is useful if you are using any shortcodes that will not look good with the smaller dimensions of the mobile theme.
You can also disable WPtouch for specific URLs and define what devices WPtouch will be used on. The vast majority of user-agents are defined already including iOS devices, Android, Blackberry, and webOS.
Themes & Extensions
WPtouch is free to download, but a premium version is available from $49. The free version comes packaged with a design called Bauhaus. Four additional designs are included with WPtouch Pro.
WPtouch Pro also provides three extensions that enhance the functionality of the plugin. This includes a caching module, a module that reduces the size of images for mobile users, and a module that lets you display specific content to mobile users.
Settings that are used on your main website, such as the number of blog posts being displayed, can be changed for your mobile design too. You can also choose whether categories, author details, and comments are displayed.
The theme slider can display your latest blog posts, posts with a specific tag, or posts from a specific category (e.g. news). You can also choose the exact posts and pages that should be displayed using the post and page ID.
Theme fonts and colors can easily be changed through the branding section. You can also upload your website logo, display social media links, and create your own custom HTML footer.
WPtouch also lets you change the icons that are displayed to Android and iOS users when they bookmark your website.
The plugin utilizes the WordPress menu system. It is therefore easy to customize the top menu. All you have to do is create a new menu and then assign it in the settings area.
Icons can be associated with each menu item. All you need to do is drag and drop the icon you want to the corresponding menu item.
Twelve icon sets are included with the plugin. All sets are included with the free version of the plugin so you do not need to upgrade to change the icons being used. There is also an option to upload your own icons.
All the configuration options in the world would mean nothing if the mobile design was not good. Thankfully, that is not the case. As mentioned earlier, the design has the look and feel that you would normally associate with dedicated mobile applications. The professional design looks great and content is easy to navigate.
Visitors can navigate to other posts and publish comments like they would on your desktop design.
WPtouch is one of the best WordPress plugins for creating a mobile-friendly version of your website. It is by far the easiest and cheapest way to do so, making it a great choice for those who are not using a responsive theme already.
Even those who do have a responsive design may want to switch. The developers claim that their mobile design loads two to three times quicker than most responsive designs. While this hasn’t been tested, it does make sense that a minimal design would be quicker to load.
The free version of the plugin has everything you need, but you may want to consider WPtouch Pro to take advantage of the extensions. In particular, the caching plugin looks like it could improve loading times considerably as it will reformat images on the fly to optimize them for different devices. The premium version of the plugin will also grant you access to a one of one ticketing support system.
In conclusion, WPtouch is a fantastic WordPress plugin that offers a unique solution for creating a mobile-friendly website. It is easy to use, customizable, and offers an improved user experience for mobile visitors. Give the free version a try and see how it can benefit your website.