It is now a well-known fact that advances in mobile technology have brought with them dramatic changes website visitors behave. Certainly, the continuous invention of superior mobile devices has caused a significant rise in the number of users that access the Internet
on mobile devices over the last few years. Last year, this number finally reached – and overtook – desktop internet users.
Given this trend, the importance of having a striking, fully-functional and user-optimized mobile presence cannot be gainsaid. If your website is mobile unfriendly, you are without a doubt losing many of your potential customers to the competition.
If you are to target these growing masses of mobile internet users effectively, you must optimize your website to make it as mobile friendly as can be done in order to create a memorable and superior mobile experience for your mobile audience.
Since its humble beginnings, WordPress has distinguished itself as the most popular CMS platform, even apart from its being the most common blogging platform today. To date, roughly 20% of top industries in the world run WordPress-supported websites.
This can be attributed to its simplicity, which makes it an ideal solution for website design and development as well as content creation. In addition, the CMS is highly flexible, adaptable and extendable, thanks to a wealth of free as well as premium plugins that can be installed to improve the functionality of a website.
In fact, its plugin architecture might just be the grain that tipped the popularity scale for WordPress, since these plugins have dramatic potential for extension of scope beyond core installation. There are over 26,000 of them, which means that chances of getting a custom plugin to do exactly what you need is high.
In this article we will focus on plugins to help you with your website mobile optimization efforts in 2015. If you happen to be running WordPress as your content management system, these are the plugins to look out for:
This plugin is ideal if you want to mobilize your WP website for any type of phone or mobile device: Windows, Android, iPhone and iPad among others. The plugin has been programmed with over 5,000 different mobile devices, which means that it can automatically detect what device the site is being accessed on and display a compatible design.
If you are to offer the best site layout for any mobile device, it’s important to know the essential features of the device including the OS , screen resolution, screen size, etc. This information places you in better standing to provide an outstanding experience for users accessing you website on their mobile devices. This mobile plugin is equipped with detection and analytical capability that enables it to detect core device features.
It also comes with seven pre-programmed and mobile-optimized themes from which it selects to deliver your website’s content in the most ideal format for the device in use.
There’s a reason this plugin is being used by over 5.5 million bloggers and websites worldwide. The WPTouch plugin creates a mobile WP theme site to be delivered to your mobile users for a great interactive experience. This makes the content easily readable and accessible for users. Some important functionality includes styling options like branding colors, typography, custom coding among many more.
The best part about WPTouch is that you don’t need any additional configuration or effort – you only need to download it then upload it on your WordPress site and activate to automatically generate a mobile-friendly site. The plugin includes an ‘Infinity Cache’ which improves page-load speed by using mobile caching functions. It also uses CSS to scale images and deliver them responsively according to user devices. There’s also a premium version which offers more features and greater efficiency.
The pro version of this plugin, which you can buy from $49, delivers a themed website which is several times faster than a corresponding responsive website would be, including touch enhancements and spruce retina interfaces. Using a complementary beautiful photography wordpress theme would do wonders in here. It includes tons of features not available on the open-source version, with different pricing plans depending on the list of features you want.
This plugin, which was developed by Jesse Friedman, offers a simplified way for a website’s Admin to manage which content within the site gets displayed or hidden depending on the device and OS a mobile visitor is using. This is accomplished using an assortment of short codes to decide what content should be served to what device.
After it has been implemented, the plugin examines the content and layout which has been chosen for display in each device to offer device-optimized information that can hence help to improve site dwell time due to improved user interaction and experience within the site.
This plugin can be used to improve site performance, offering shorter page-load times by optimizing files for mobile access. This creative plugin is specifically meant to optimize images within a WP site, which it does by integrating Smush.it to WP. It also provides an API which enables image optimization by getting rid of non-essential information to reduce the file sizes for faster loading.
However, the quality standards are maintained meaning that the image will still be high quality when being served to users. Some features used in the plugin include JPEG compression, stripping the image of colors which won’t be used on the indexed image and conversion of GIF to indexed PNG files.
This plugin enables you to create a customized mobile site look and feel according to your desires. Once the plugin has been downloaded and activated, a configuration wizard pops up to allow you to select the desired features for your mobile website.
The plugin includes a drag and drop editing features which allows you to customize the visual appearance of your mobile site according to your objectives. It also allows you to add more features like ‘click to call’ sections and ‘Contact Us’ forms among others.
The images will be loaded only when a user scrolls down towards them – they load as the user approaches the browser window. For delivery of a more responsive design, these images are automatically adjusted to suit the size and resolution of the screen in use.
This is a complete toolkit to help you create a mobile-friendly WordPress site. The first step is the detection of the device being used by the site visitor to access the website. After detection, the site will be delivered with a theme specific to that device. This plugin provides features for easy management using in-built settings options and it also supports addition of specific functions and features e.g. creation of social links, mobile landing page optimization and short codes among others.
This plugin provides more than just responsive mobile website design: It delivers features that can supercharge your website for more powerful user interactive capabilities. It includes more than 33 specific functions and features that make it more than just a normal plugin. For instance, it includes the Mobile Theme feature which is useful in site optimization.
It also provides for custom CSS, inclusion of contact forms, transformation of image galleries using carousel among many others. If you know a bit of PHP coding and CSS, you can customize your theme even further. JetPack also includes site verification functions, integration to Google+ directly and a ‘photon’ to improve page-load speeds.
This is the ideal plugin to complete this list with: WP Mobile Pack takes mobile optimization one step further by offering up your site as though it was an app. With this plugin, user experience is taken to a whole other level. It enables packaging and delivery of a website across multiple operating systems and platforms in various device types.
With cross-platform access, responsive user interface design, post sync and a ready theme including six abstract covers, you can personalize your website’s appearance by changing colors and fonts to your liking. It also includes integrations with analytics tools as well as a full-screen mode which gives users an app-like experience on their desktops.
If you want to know where you stand regarding the degree of your website’s mobile optimization, you can use Google’s Full Value of Mobile Calculator tool. With the fast advances in the technology world, the only websites that will remain relevant are those that include either dedicated or responsive website designs to offer users faster load times, optimized content and an enhanced UI/UX interface.