WordPress takes center stage as one of the most manageable, accessible, and easy to use CMS solutions. It can become the front for a corporate website, a blog, a magazine, or turn into an e-commerce store. With tons of themes, extensive support, and useful plugins, it’s hard to beat WordPress’s appeal.
According to Tom Ewer, who wrote about WordPress usage on ManageWP blog, more than 48 percent of Technorati’s Top 100 blogs and over 74.6 million sites total (and growing) are managed with WordPress. Plus, there are more than 29,000 WordPress Plugins published already, with many more in development.
Meanwhile, the mobile device is the new internet access point. Mobile already surpasses desktop usage, in fact more than 25 percent of all search queries are done on a mobile device. There is no denying mobile is big.
Still not convinced? Most companies are making a beeline to go mobile (and that includes the rush for responsive website).
If the statistics at Google Think Insights are anything to go by, consider this: NewEgg, America’s second-largest online retailer found traffic improved by 39 percent thanks to its new mobile website design focused on multiple screens.
The Huffington Post reported a 37 percent rise in mobile visitors after refreshing their design, which now focuses on carefully picked content, speed, and an overall social experience.
An Infographics from SEOcial on Visual.ly reveals that mobile traffic now accounts for 16 percent of traffic.
Yet, more than 66 percent of smart phone users are frustrated by the lack of responsive design and slow load times. Finally, more than 48 percent of mobile users complain that websites were not optimized for mobile use.
Certainly, you don’t want your users frustrated. You want them to enjoy the experience, visit your site often, engage with you, and convert. If you are on WordPress, here are a few plugins (yes, there are plugins for almost everything when it comes to WordPress!) to help make your website responsive:
This is a single plugin that can supercharge your website and give you a lot more than just a mobile responsive design. With over 33 specific features, Jetpack aims to be more than just a plugin; it wants to be the package you can’t do without.
Along with “Mobile Theme” – the feature you can use to optimize your WordPress site for mobile devices– there’s the ability of using contact forms, custom CSS, transforming your image galleries with Carousel, and much more. You can further customize your theme if you’re familiar with CSS and bit PHP coding.
JetPack also has site verification tools, “photon” for accelerating your site speed, and a direct integration with your Google+ page.
Ideal For: This plugin is good for you if you are looking free solution to make your WP based site mobile friendly.
WPtouch Mobile Plugin
You just can’t ignore a plugin used by more than 5.5 million blogs. WPTouch Pro is a mobile response focused suite with a full-blown WPTouch Theme, which is about faster than responsive sites with touch enhancements (ready for multi-screen), and a crisp retina interface.
The WPTouch Plugin features “Infinity Cache” to make your website blazing fast using mobile caching. Images are scaled via CSS and the plugin delivers mobile-optimized images according to the device. WPTouch uses extensions (much like add-ons within a plugin) to help render separate content for mobile devices, along with the images and faster rendition mentioned above.
WPTouch Pro : Starting at $49
They also offer a premium version available with lot more options. You can check out a detailed list of features and pricing plans.
Ideal For: Those who are looking to give a unique user experience to desktop and mobile users. This plugin has an add-on (enable server-side optimization) that allows you to supply templates specifically designed for mobile devices by detecting a mobile device is accessing your site.
Requires: WPTouch requires WordPress version 3.6 or higher.
WP Mobile Detector
What if you aren’t sure whether your users are still on mobile or not? How can you possible cater to every page load request not knowing where the request originates? That’s about half of the world’s mobile user base, according to Gartner. WP Mobile Detector helps you with just that.
The plugin automatically detects the device accessing your WordPress website and loads a compatible mobile theme. It features advanced analytics, covers more than 5000+ mobile phones, formats content to suit mobile devices, and also comes with seven pre-installed mobile themes.
Ideal For: WP Mobile Detector is the best choice for you if you have a non-smartphone audience. This plugin will detect whether request coming from a smart phone OR a standard mobile phone and loads a compatible mobile theme for even standard mobile phone users.
WP Mobile Detector PRO v2.6 : $50
The premium version of WP Mobile Detector PRO allows users to build a custom mobile theme with inbuilt mobile theme editor!
Download WP Mobile Detector Plugin
WordPress Mobile Pack 2.0
What if you want to take user experience up a notch and make your WordPress website look and feel like an app?
The WordPress Mobile Pack 2.0 allows you to package and deliver your existing content across platforms, operating systems, and devices. The plugin allows cross-platform access, a responsive user interface, a ready-made theme with six abstract covers, and post-sync. It also allows you to customize appearance (including colors and fonts).
The theme also integrates into analytics and features a “full-screen” mode for those who want to access your “appified” theme on a desktop.
Requires: WPtouch requires WordPress version 3.5 or higher.
WP Mobile Edition
WP Mobile Edition helps you to turn your existing website into a purely mobile version optimized for Android, iOS, and Windows.
The WP Mobile edition has a mobile switcher, which automatically detects devices while also letting users switch to whatever version they want (between desktop and mobile). The standard mobile theme is lightweight and quick to load. It also comes with device adaptation, smart formatting, full commenting system, and eight different color schemes. The theme is SEO-ready and is equipped with mobile advertising (in case you want to).
You can check mTheme demo here.
If you’d like to see whether you should take the effort to go mobile or not, maybe you should check out this Mobile Friendly Test Tool from Google.
The future calls for responsive or dedicated mobile designs, faster websites, optimized content rendering, and enhanced UX/UI. None of that is going to happen if users still have to squint, pinch, zoom, and swipe on mobile devices.
How fast does your WordPress website load? Have you used any of these plugins before? Did we miss out on any popular plugins? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Author Note: Author doesn’t have any relationship with plugins listed in this article