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This course shows how to create a mobile version of an existing WordPress web site by leveraging ready-made solutions. Author Morten Rand-Hendriksen demonstrates how to install and configure three different plugins: WP Mobile Detector, which automatically detects the visitor's mobile device type and displays an auto-formatted theme; WPtouch, which transforms a site into an iPhone application-style theme with just a few clicks; and the WordPress Mobile Pack toolkit for making more fine-tuned adjustments. Morten also covers modifying the appearance of the mobile site and tracking its analytics and other stats. This course offers a variety of ways to get a stylish and nimble mobile site up and running quickly, without having to edit any code.
WordPress Mobile Pack gives you several options when it comes to handling mobile visitors. At the core of the plug-in, is the Mobile Theme Switcher, which just like the name suggests, allows you to switch the theme when the site is accessed from a mobile device. This means you're not bound by the themes that come with a plug-in, you can also create your own custom themes that show up only on mobile devices. The Mobile Theme Switcher has several different options. To get to it we have to go to the Dashboard, and if we go to Appearance you'll see that WordPress Mobile Pack has added three new options: Mobile Theme, Mobile Widgets and Mobile Switcher, we want to go to Mobile Switcher.
From the Mobile Switcher Configuration page we can set up how the plug-in identifies mobile devices and what theme we serve up to those mobile devices. From the top we have the Switcher mode where the identification happens. We can disable the function so that we don't detect mobile devices. I don't know why you would want to do that, but you can. You also have Browser detection, which is the standard mode. This is the default and the one I recommend you do. It identifies the browser as a mobile browser, or a desktop browser, and then serves up themes depending on that. You can also use Domain mapping.
This requires that you have access to your DNS settings, and that your DNS host allows you to do Wildcard Mapping, but it allows you to sets a different domain, for instance m.something, for the mobile site, which can be useful in some cases, or you can do both Browser Detection and Domain Mapping. For almost all cases Browser Detection is the best option, so you should leave it at that. Directly below we can select what Mobile theme we want to use. WordPress Mobile Pack ships with four custom mobile themes.
They all look pretty much the same except for the color. The base is kind of brownish then you have a blue, a green, and a red option. But in addition, you get a list of all the themes you have installed on your site, and you can use any of these themes as a mobile theme. And this is really cool if you have a custom theme for your site that controls how it looks, and you also want to serve up a custom experience for people who access the site with mobile devices because you can then create a custom version of your theme just for mobile devices so that whenever someone visits your site on a mobile device, they will get your theme customized for a mobile experience.
If you don't have your own custom mobile theme, but you're still going to serve up something other, than the cookie-cutter themes that come with the WordPress Mobile Pack, you can choose to use a Responsive theme like Twenty Eleven or another responsive theme just for the mobile devices. The next three options relate to the Switcher mode, so if you set the Switcher mode to Domain mapping, you can now change the Desktop domain and the Mobile domains so that the different users land on the correct sites. Like I said before, this is an advanced option, and it's really not necessary if you use the Browser detection option, but if you do, and you know what you're doing you can experiment with these settings as well.
Finally, at the bottom you have Footer links. This allows you to place a small link in the footer of the mobile site that gives the visitor the ability to jump back to the desktop site. This is really useful because a lot of people when they land on these mobile sites don't like what they see or they maybe looking for something specific like an image or gallery or something that's being excluded by the mobile theme. By giving them this link they can choose to go back to the desktop experience even if it's a sub-optimal experience, meaning you're handing the control over the experience over to your user, and that's always a good idea.
If you make any changes to the Mobile Switcher settings, always remember to click Save Changes before you leave the page.
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