Making Your Blog Mobile Friendly

With mobile phones becoming more and more popular as a tool to access the internet, here are some killer tips to make sure your blog is mobile friendly.

Make signing up easy

I can’t count the number of times I have found a blog that really interests me and then have spent ages trying to find the RSS feed button – or in some cases haven’t found one at all. When you are setting up your blog, make sure the RSS feed button is right at the top of the page – or as near to the top as you can place it. If you place it at the bottom of the page, you will get fewer subscribers and probably no mobile ones at all. There has to be a really good reason for someone visiting your blog, via a mobile phone, to scroll all the way to the bottom of your list of posts.

Get shorty

Once a mobile user has found your feed button, the next problem they will face is your feed URL. Many blogs will place lots of data, or even a description of your blog, in the URL. This means that the URL can run to fifty or more characters, which is not a great sight to be greeted with. The best way to overcome this is to use a URL shortener to make your feed URLs short and easy to work with. Many online sites offer free URL shortening applications, WordPress 3.0 has one built in for it’s own posts, or a free plugin like Pretty Link can help.

Bigger isn’t always better

When writing a post, especially a post aimed at mobile users, use bold snappy headlines and keep your paragraphs short. If you have ever tried to view a blog with a mobile phone you will understand what I mean. Many bloggers will use one main heading and then paste a single block of text into their post. This is so frustrating when viewed on a mobile because it is easy to lose your place in all that text. With bold headers and short paragraphs, even if you scroll too far or get distracted, it is easy to find your place again.

Picture this

It is always good practice to host your pictures and buttons yourself (or on an account you own, like Amazon S3) and not to rely on third-party services. The simple reason for this is, although it might not affect page loading when you are on your home computer or laptop, it really slows things down when using a mobile phone. Another good tip when using pictures is to limit not only their size but also their dimensions. Anything above approximately 100kb is just too big for mobile phones to handle at the moment and an image that is too wide, or to long, will really cause problems for you when scrolling.

Keep yourself mobile

Finally, subscribe to your own mobile content. Many bloggers forget this simple step and it is the easiest and quickest way to see whether your blog looks good on a mobile phone. If you are signed up to your own feed, you can make tweaks and changes quickly, before visitors have the chance to see your feed.

Use a Mobile plugin

There are a couple of plugins that you can use to transform your site into a mobile friendly version. WPtouch is one and WordPress Mobile Edition another. Both are good but do transform the look o your site completely but optimize it for mobile devices.

4 thoughts on “Making Your Blog Mobile Friendly”

  1. Joel, you always have such timely advice, thank you. I also want to thank you for your help in the past. I used your instructions from “Help, My Blog Posts Have Disappeared!” and restored my blog for the second time. This time I didn’t panic because you had already helped me the last time. Thank you, thank you…..Alice

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