Using WordPress to build your mobile website

By Jason Hulott | Wordpress

Do you not have a mobile website yet? If not, you could be missing out on business.

People are using mobile devices to not only browse the web but to purchase products like insurance – and you want to make sure that they can do so on your website with ease.

If your website is built using WordPress, you have many options for making it more suitable for mobile visitors.

Have two themes in place

One of the simplest ways to make sure your website is easy to view in a mobile format is to use a mobile theme alongside your standard desktop theme.

This is easy when you run your insurance website on the WordPress CMS. There are plenty of mobile themes available, and you can either buy one directly from a theme provider or hire a designer to create a mobile theme for you.

Once you have a mobile theme in place as well as your desktop theme, you can then simply switch between the two themes by using a suitable plugin.

Get a responsive design

If you would rather have one theme that works for both desktops and mobile devices, rather than two separate themes to switch between, you may prefer a responsive design.

There are many responsive themes available on the WordPress platform that you can purchase ready made and use as mobile websites. Alternatively, you can hire a designer to create one for you.

Once you have such a theme in place, you will not have to worry about using plugins to switch between themes. Responsive websites literally shift and change as the screen size changes, so the website will display perfectly for any visitor no matter which device they use.

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Use a plugin to create a mobile version

If you have a desktop theme and now you want a mobile theme as well, there are a number of plugins that you can use for this purpose on WordPress. These provide you with a simple and effective way to make sure your site is mobile friendly.

For example, you may want to try out Jetpack. This comes with numerous useful features, including a Mobile Theme feature. Using this feature, you can create a mobile version of your site without any design skills. You will find more details about using the Mobile Theme here.

Another one of the most popular plugins is WPTouch. This is used by millions of webmasters around the world, and again it provides you with a simple way to create a mobile version of your site. It is free to use, but the free version only has one theme. If you use the premium version of the plugin, there are a number of themes to choose from. Once your mobile version is ready, visitors using mobile devices will automatically see this version.

Use a plugin to switch between templates

There are other plugins available that make switching between a mobile theme and a desktop theme automatic. So if you already have two templates, these plugins detect when a mobile device is being used to visit your site and they show the appropriate version.

WP Mobile Detector is one such plugin. Once you download and activate this, it will detect which device is being used from over 5,000 devices, and it will then display the most suitable version of your site. It is simple to use because you don’t have to do anything, and it also comes with analytics. It also has a number of themes pre-installed.

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Mobile Smart is another plugin that works in a similar way. With this plugin activated, your visitors will automatically see either your desktop or mobile site depending on the device they are using. A premium version is also available, which comes with some useful extra features.

Make sure your site is optimised for mobile

Now is the perfect time to optimise your site for mobile visitors. Even if you receive relatively little traffic from mobile visitors, the number is likely to increase over coming years. So take the opportunity to optimise your site – it’s easy with WordPress.

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About the Author

Jason Hulott is Business Development Director at Digital Marketing Specialists, Speedie Consultants. He is Google Partner certified. His role is to identify and implement traffic generating and revenue increasing ideas for our client base.