WordPress Mobile Switchers and Themes

This post details three of the more popular WordPress mobile switchers and themes.

WordPress Mobile Pack

Mobile Switcher Configuration Page

  • Show’s how the switcher identifies mobile devices and what theme those mobile devices receive
  • Switcher Mode: Lets you choose between Browser detection (is it a mobile browser?), Domain mapping (e.g. mobile.domain.com) or both.
  • Mobile Theme: Basic theme’s provided but if you have accustom version this is where you can select it
  • Desktop Domain and Mobile domain options relate to the Switcher option for domain mapping so you can input the appropriate URL.
  • Footer Links: Allows you users to link to the full desk top site if they like.

Configuring Mobile Themes

  • Allows you to configure Mobile Packs Themes
  • Enable Noki Template: For older Nokia phones
  • Check Mobile status: ready.mobi will check how your mobile site theme performs in mobile browsers
  • Home Link: Let’s you choose to have a home option in the menu or not (you may already have this in your designs)
  • Number of posts: allows you to amend how many posts you display
  • Post Shows: Options for displaying posts (title only, title and description and even wether to include metadata)
  • Widget Items: You can limit the number of widgets that display
  • Remove Media: If you have media you will want this
  • Partition Page: This will split large pages of content into multiple pages
  • Shrink Images: Making images smaller allows images to be downloaded faster.
  • Simplify Styling: If your posts have styling (bold, etc) this will take it out.

Mobile Widgets

  • Use this page to select which of your currently visible widgets will appear for your mobile users.
  • This looks at you standard widget configuration and asks you to define what widgets you want to display on mobile site.

Mobile Analytics

  • Under “tools” tab
  • If you’re getting a significant level of mobile traffic you may want to consider creating a customised mobile site
  • Google Analytics is a better analytics system to understand mobile traffic though

WP Mobile Detector

  • Very similar to the WordPress Mobile Pack but differs in the type of theme’s they ship with and how they are managed.
  • WP Mobile will appear at the bottom of the menu list

Settings

  • There are fairly basic setting option the only one of great interest being the option to show your mobile site to tablet devices or not

Mobile Themes

  • WP mobile ships with a number of different themes
  • You can view the options under “Mobile Theme”
  • Simply choose the one you like and click “activate”

Stats

  • Basic stats shows how many people are visiting from mobile devices
  • It does split out visits from google bot and bing bot

WP Mobile Detector vs WordPress Mobile Pack

  • Mobile detector has a more modern mobile themes but has less configuration options
  • Mobile Pack offers a greater choice of configuration options but less impressive themes
  • However, mobile themes can be bought and customised.

WP Touch

  • Is one of the most popular mobile plug in
  • It’s not a swqitcher like the other two mentioned, it is custom mobile theme
  • It offers great customisation (and it has a more advanced paid for option)

General Settings

  • You find this under WPTouch in the Settings Tab
  • Regionalisation Settings: Select the language for WPtouch.
  • Homepage Re-direction: Allows you to set another page to be the home page
  • Site title: Change the title of your site if it needs to be different
  • Exclude Categories & Tags: If there is content that wont work on a mobile sections you don’t want to display to mobile OS you can exclude them here
  • Text Justification: Align to left or right
  • Post Listing Options: configure how you want posts to display
  • Footer Message: Customise a footer message
  • There are a host of advanced options too.

Additional styling settings.

  • Push notifications could tell you if there are new comments or account registrations or users to message you directly.  This is all set up through the Prowl app which you have to set-up.
  • Style & Colour: Fairly basic but allows you to play around
  • Advertising, stats & custom codes: This allows you to link to google adsense in the free version (more in the paid version), allows you to add custom tracking codes such as Google Analytics.  If you create a separate GA account you can see clearly what people are doing on the mobile site.  You just paste the google tracking code in this section.

Menu Customisation

  • The original install of WPTouch wont include all your pages.  You need to configure them.
  • This is located under the Logo Icon / Menu Items section
  • To learn about WPTouch’s full range of capabilities visit: http://www.bravenewcode.com/product/wptouch-pro

Tools for testing websites and web development

A member of the LinkedIn group Digital Project Management recently asked what tools the community could recommend for web development.

I thought it might be worth making a note of the responses here:

Browser Testing:

http://www.browserstack.com/

Specifically for Internet Explorer – http://www.my-debugbar.com/wiki/IETester/HomePage

Email Client testing

http://litmus.com/

Mark-Up Validation 

http://validator.w3.org/

SEO:

http://www.siteopsys.com/

http://www.woorank.com

Broken Links:

http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html

http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com

Browser to Server Data

HTTP FOX

 

 

LAMP Server Stack

A LAMP Server stack is a collection of free, open source software components which collectively form a viable general purpose web server. LAMP is an acronym for:

Linux – opensource operating system
APACHE – HTTP server
MySQL – Oracle Database
PHP – Server side scripting language

Learn more about working in a LAMP environment at www.lamphowto.com.

To learn more about MySQL, check out Oracle’s MySQL site at dev.mysql.com.

PHP My Admin is a usefull free tool to help administer MySQL. MY PHP Admin helps with the most frequent of operations (managing databases, tables, fields, relations, indexes, users, permissions, etc).

Finally, if you want an easy Apache server set up you should download XAMP from apachefriends.org. XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use – just download, extract and start.

Hosted Content Management Systems (CMS)

The Compass

The Compass Web Publisher service is a fully-managed SaaS solution that includes:

  • Use of Compass Web Publisher
  • Managed hosting and IT infrastructure
  • On-going software updates
  • Email support with telephone and 24/7 support options

You can learn more here: The Compass.

Adobe Business Catalyst

Business Catalyst is one of the most comprehensive hosted cms’s. It offers an all-in-one platform for building amazing websites and online stores that includes:

  • Content Management
  • eCommerce
  • Customer Databases
  • Built in e-mail marketing
  • Reporting & Analytics

You can learn more here: Adobe Business Catalyst.

VAE Platform

VAE is eCommerce focused cms offering:

  • Content Management
  • eCommerce Shopping Cart
  • Newsletter Campaigns
  • Web Analytics

You can learn more here: VAE Platform.

Square Space

Square Space is a multi-pupose subscription based hosted cms solution. Key features include:

  • Suitable for blogs, portfolios or websites
  • Drag and drop templates
  • Mobile integration
  • Web Analytics

You can learn more here: Square Space.

Webvanta

Webvanta offers pre-packaged options for Designers, Agencies or Website owners. Features include:

  • Custom databases
  • Templates and snippets
  • Security
  • eCommerce

You can learn more here: Webvanta.

Proprietory CMS

Why would you want to invest in a Proprietory CMS system when you can use a an Opensource CMS that’s free? The main answer is support. Opensource do have comunities supporting them and lots of forums to research solutions, but they dont have people you can call. Security is another concern with Opensource CMS where the code is available to all to work out the loop wholes – unlike proprietory systems.

Proprietory CMS solutions worhty of your consideration are:

Content Hosting Services

Some websites don’t require the full capabilities of powerfull CMS like Drupal or Joomla – they just want to update a few sections of content periodically. There are several solutions which allow website owners to host the content of their website in the cloud and mark-up their website in the locations they wish content to appear. All site owners have to do is log-in to the solution provider and update their content.

Three great Content Hosting Services are:

E-Learning CMS

Demand for E-Learning has grown rapidly and so has the need for a robust cms to suite the specific requirements of E-Learning. This has resulted in a number of educational platforms being developed – Moodle, ATutor, Dokeos, and Docebo.

Common features include:

  • Content management of internal course materials
  • Online (eLearning) course launching and tracking
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Assessment and testing.
  • Reporting

You can review the four popular opensource E-Learning CMS’s here:

If you’re looking for a Proprietory CMS you should check out ingeniux.com.