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From the author of Making Your Self-Hosted WordPress Website Mobile-Ready

Making Your Self-Hosted WordPress Website Mobile-Ready

Self-hosted WordPress users have the option of applying a responsive theme (the easiest approach) or installing a mobile plugin (suited to those who want to use a theme that isn’t responsive).

Premium Responsive Themes for Self-Hosted WordPress

If you’re looking for a premium (paid) theme, here are some good choices:

  • StudioPress—StudioPress runs all its themes off the Genesis framework, a fully customizable development tool that works with its many child themes. You can find responsive child themes using the Theme Chooser, shown in Figure 3. Pricing begins at $79.95 for a single theme plus the Genesis framework with unlimited updates, sites, and support.
  • Figure 3 StudioPress enables you to filter on mobile responsive themes.

  • WooThemes—WooThemes offers a collection of themes suited to business, e-commerce, and online magazines, including many responsive themes. All Woo themes run on the Woo framework, which offers built-in search engine optimization (SEO), custom navigation, a sidebar manager, and custom shortcodes (ideal for adding buttons, boxes, and columns with no coding). Theme pricing begins at $70 for three themes with one year of support.
  • Solostream—Solostream offers a variety of easy-to-customize WordPress themes, with sliders, custom widgets, and multiple layout options. Theme pricing begins at $59, but the Solostream Premium Themes Membership starting at $99 for three months is a better deal if you want more than one theme. As with the previous options, Solostream enables you to search for themes that are responsive.
  • Templatic—Offering a solid theme collection, Templatic themes are suitable for business sites, portfolios, online stores, magazines, and multimedia sites. Templatic themes are priced at $65 for a single-domain license with support and updates for one year. For $99, you can use the theme on multiple domains and receive the design source file (PSD files).
  • ElegantThemes—ElegantThemes charges $39 per year for complete access to every theme in its collection, currently totaling 85 themes (many of which are responsive). The developer version, priced at $89, gives you access to PSD files as well.

Free Responsive Themes for Self-Hosted WordPress

If you’re on a tight budget, a free responsive theme with fewer features might be a better option. You can search for these themes using the keyword “responsive” on the Install Themes screen (select Appearance, Themes from the left navigation menu and then click the Install Themes tab).

Figure 4 shows several free responsive themes, including Responsive, Attitude, and Twenty Twelve (WordPress default theme).

Figure 4 Select from a variety of free responsive themes if your budget is tight.

Using a Mobile Plugin

If your preferred WordPress theme isn’t responsive, installing a mobile plugin is a good way to resolve this problem. Here are several easy-to-use plugins for self-hosted WordPress sites:

  • Obox Mobile—Create a custom experience for mobile users. This Premium plugin is priced at $60.
  • WP Mobile Detector—Detect whether a site visitor is using a mobile device and, if so, switch to a WordPress mobile theme.
  • WPtouch—Transform your WordPress site into a mobile application, accessible by a variety of mobile devices including the iPhone, iPod touch, Palm Pre/Pixi, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Figure 5 shows an example of the WPtouch screen, available after you install the plugin.

Figure 5 WPtouch offers a variety of mobile options.

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