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Making Your Blog Mobile Friendly with Plug-Ins

A plug-in is a software package that you can add to a blog to enhance its features. You can use plug-ins to fight off spammers, add your Twitter feed to a sidebar, integrate Google Maps into your blog, and much more.

You can find thousands of WordPress plug-ins. You can spend hours browsing the myriad ways that programmers around the world have tried to customize the functions of WordPress blogs. If you have any PHP programming skills, you might even come up with some new ways on your own.

Not all plug-ins are available for blogs hosted on WordPress.com (as opposed to hosting WordPress on your web server or a commercial hosting service). WordPress.com limits the plug-in options on its free service because of security concerns, but you can request that any plug-in be added. Search the Themes section to find themes that support the iPhone.

For the majority of bloggers who host their own WordPress blogs, here are a few of the WordPress plug-ins for the iPhone/iPad recommended for use on your blog.

  • WordPress Mobile Pack: The most sophisticated of the mobile plug-ins, the WordPress Mobile Pack adds a suite of tools, including a mobile switcher, themes, widget, and mobile admin panel. That means you can take care of everything you need in order to optimize your blog for mobile devices with this single handy plug-in.

    It redirects mobile devices to a simplified theme that displays a version of your blog correctly on smaller screens, and adds other mobile design touches. In addition, this plug-in adds analytics to help you track mobile traffic, and it even has a mobile ad widget that’s integrated with Google AdSense and the AdMob advertising network.

  • WPtouch: One of the most popular plug-ins for the iPhone and other mobile devices, this add-on solves several problems at once. It converts the look of your blog into something akin to an iPhone app by adding a special theme. It enables you to customize your blog’s appearance.

    And the developers promise that it won’t change a single line of code in your main WordPress theme. If you upgrade to the pro version, you can customize the design even further.

  • iPhone Control Panel: This plug-in makes it possible to add custom CSS, designed specifically for the iPhone, and directs iPhone devices to display those styles instead of main styles for your WordPress theme. In addition, you get a bookmark icon and the ability to redirect visitors to a distinct URL.

  • iPhone-WebApp-Redirection: As its name implies, this plug-in detects whether visitors are using the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and then directs them to a specified URL. This detection makes it easy for you to direct visitors to any page or special version of your site based on their devices. This plug-in can also detect phones that run the Android operating system, as well as some Blackberry phones and other devices.

  • iPhone Theme Switcher: This plug-in lets you automatically change the theme used in your blog when someone views the blog with an iPhone.

  • iPhone Countdown: Use this plug-in to add a countdown counter to your blog — a great way to remind visitors how many shopping days they have before Christmas, how many days before the next election, or any other date you want to make sure your visitors don’t miss.

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