People are browsing the web on their smartphones and tablets more than ever. Is your WordPress site optimized for mobile web browsing? If not, you should consider installing a WordPress mobile theme. It's very easy to do since it comes in the form on a plugin, and you shouldn't need to make any changes to the current way that your site looks.
Here are five great WordPress mobile themes, some of which are free and others that are premium. Once installed, the theme detects what kind of browser is being used by whoever visits, and loads the mobile theme when it detects a mobile web browser.
This is a top choice for WordPress users. It’s gotten great reviews, and even better—it’s free. The plugin uses a simple default theme that is used on your site when it detects a mobile browser. It then displays the theme as the setting configured from the admin section of WordPress.
You can select a different mobile theme for each mobile browser, including themes designed for iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Parm OS, Blackberry, Opera Mini and others.
If you want more customizable features and aren’t too picky about how pretty the mobile layout looks, the WordPress Mobile Pack plugin is another great option. It acts as a complete toolkit to mobilize your WordPress site, including themes, a mobile switcher and even mobile widgets. The design is kept simple and is not particularly impressive, but when it comes to mobile browsing, usability often trumps looks.
Features include a mobile switcher, a standard mobile theme, a set of advanced themes for Nokia and WebKit devices, custom color settings, valid XHTML-MP 1 standards adherence, device adaptation for images, a mobile admin panel, mobile widgets, mobile analytics, a barcode widget and automatic listing. That’s a lot of stuff! And it’s also free.
Another great free WordPress mobile theme, the WP Mobile Detector plugin can detect standard and advanced mobile devices and then displays a compatible mobilized theme. You can select one from several theme options, and while they’re still kept pretty simple, most of them have a bit of a nicer look than what comes with the WordPress Mobile Pack, as described above.
It gives you advanced mobile statistics, the option for image resizing, automatic content formatting and it’s able to detect over 5,000 mobile phones. The plugin can differentiate between standard devices and advanced devices to ensure content is always optimized.
ThemeForest.com has some of the most beautiful premium themes you’ve ever seen, and if you want a mobile theme that’s more pleasing to the eye, we recommend the My Mobile Page WordPress Theme. If you incorporate a lot of images in your WordPress site, this is a wonderful option.
It’s a minimal theme that offers you a selection of colored skins to choose from, and has automatic resolution detection so it displays content properly for devices like the iPad. There’s a gallery slideshow that uses jQuery thumbs, drop down menus, resizable images, and many more advanced features. It doesn’t come free, but these are the kinds of things you get for a small fee. To host this mobile theme on one website, you can get it from Theme Forest for just $25.
ElegantThemes.com is another popular resource for premium WordPress themes, and their HandHeld Mobile plugin is topnotch. Beautifully designed, this mobile theme definitely gives your site and elegant look on mobile devices without sacrificing navigation and user friendliness.
The plugin has a built in gallery section for portfolios, a dropdown menu, a header to display your logo, a blog layout option and mobile optimized threaded comments. It also uses Ajax loading and the layouts tab lets you adjust the site structure for more customizability.
The Elegant Themes site is built more like a membership site, so instead of paying a flat fee for one theme, you pay about $40 per month to get into the membership area where you have access to all of their themes and plugins.