Make Your WordPress Blog iPhone Compatible Using WPtouch

I’m sure most of you would agree with me that the iPhone is the world’s most popular smartphone. Even if you don’t agree with that statement per se, you’d definitely agree that it is the world’s most popular smartphone for accessing the Internet.

There was a time when web pages had to be written specially for mobile devices and most devices available in the market just couldn’t display regular web sites designed using HTML.

The Safari browser on the iPhone and iPod touch devices is responsible for more than half of the world’s mobile Internet usage and it doesn’t look like that uptrend is going to change soon.┬áThe reason behind this popularity is that, unlike other smart phone browsers, mobile Safari can display regular webpages as well as desktop based web browsers.

But, while the iPhone and iPod touch browsers display almost all websites perfectly, using a mobile specific theme you can offer a lot of advantages to your visitors.

For one, the mobile optimized pages will load a lot faster. The fonts will be optimized for reading on a device with a small screen and last but not the least, the user won’t have to scroll and zoom just to read the content.

But, if you’re worried that you’ll have to do a complete rewrite of your blog’s theme to make a mobile optimized version, don’t worry, WPtouch is here to your rescue.

WPtouch is a wordpress plugin that completely changes the way your blog looks on a mobile device like the iPhone, iPod touch or the Android. In that sense, it acts more like a theme for your blog rather than a plugin.

If you’re using wordpress version 2.8 or above, the easiest method to install WPtouch is to login to the admin panel and click on the “Add New” link under Plugins.

Search for the term WPtouch and when the WPtouch plugin shows up in the search results, click on the Install link to install it automatically.

WPtouch Install

Once the installation is completed, you can activate the plugin by clicking on the Activate link on the same page.

Activate WPtouch

The plugin will now be installed and activated, ready to start serving a mobile version of your blog to your iPhone totting visitors.

If you want, you can just leave it at that and WPtouch will happily keep serving your visitors as long as you want, but if you’re like me and like to customize each and every part of your blog, I’d suggest that you give the Settings pane a look and customize certain aspects of WPtouch to better match your blog.

Click on the WPtouch link under Settings.

WPtouch Settings

This is where you can change the theme’s style, colors and the icons used. When you’re happy with your custom changes, click the Save Options button.

If you use the WP Super Cache plugin on your blog, like I do, then you need to make some more changes to the your setup.

Click on the WP Super Cache link under Settings and check the tick box that says “Mobile Device Support” and click the Update Status button.

WP Super Cache Settings

Scroll a little further down the page and you’ll find the Rejected User Agents text box. You need to add the following user agents to the list that is already there.

  • phone
  • ipod
  • android
  • dream
  • cupcake
  • webos
  • incognito
  • webmate
  • opera mini
  • blackberry9530
  • blackberry9500

Save the list.

That’s it. You can now happily declare your blog as the most mobile friendly blog in the neighborhood.