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WordPress Mobile: Make Your WordPress Website Mobile-Ready

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Patrice-Anne Rutledge, author of WordPress on Demand shows you how to make your WordPress website mobile-ready - and easy to read on smartphones and tablets - with the latest WordPress responsive themes, mobile plugins, and preview tools.
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As the number of people who own smartphones and tablets continues to grow, so does mobile Internet traffic. According to a recent study by Cisco, mobile traffic is expected to increase thirteenfold by 2017. All this mobile activity translates to an increased need for WordPress users to ensure their site is easy to read on all devices—desktops, tablets, and smartphones. In this article, I showcase the best mobile themes and plugins for WordPress, including options for both self-hosted and hosted WordPress.

Understanding WordPress Mobile Responsive Themes

The easiest way to ensure your website visitors enjoy an optimal experience no matter what device they’re using is to apply a responsive theme. Responsive themes are specifically designed to respond well—in other words, make your website look good—on any device at any resolution. For example, Figure 1 shows a sample website as it displays on a standard desktop computer.

Figure 1 Viewing a website on a desktop computer.

Figure 2 shows the same website on a smartphone (notice the menu is now a convenient drop-down list). Because the site uses a responsive theme, it adjusts both the design and content to fit the device. With a responsive theme (or mobile plugin), this happens automatically. Without it, your mobile visitors could find your website difficult to navigate. Even worse, some themes simply don’t translate well to the small screen, and all your careful design work could look like an ugly mess (if you access the Web via smartphone, you’ve probably encountered one of these sites).

Figure 2 The same website on a smartphone.

Fortunately, WordPress makes it easy to create a website that displays well on any device, whether you use self-hosted WordPress (using software you install and set up yourself through a web host) or hosted WordPress (logging in directly to WordPress.com to manage your site).

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