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Showcase of Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin for WordPress

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Since its launch in June, the Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin for WordPress has seen a huge amount of usage. So much so that it now deserves a showcase article discussing success stories so far about blogs that have installed the plugin.

Hopefully your site is one of those featured, but if not, don’t despair because I’m going to include a few tips and tricks at the end of this article that will mean that in the next showcase, I can’t fail to include yours!
But before showing you a few screenshots of great looking blogs, here’s an overview of why the plugin is so different to other ones and a list of some of the features available.

Why it’s different to other plugins

  • Other mobile plugins for WordPress use a default mobile style which results in an inconsistent experience for your users, Wapple Architect Mobile plugin for WordPress retains the styling of your site from web to mobile.
  • There’s no redirection to a mobile version of the blog – URLs are exactly the same on web and mobile giving you the ability to promote and use one single domain!
  • No transcoding happens here – the mobile version is written in WAPL (an advanced mobile markup language) that results in a completely tailored solution perfect for your mobile visitors.
  • Other plugins try to replicate every single feature and plugin you’ve installed onto the mobile version. We know what mobile users want and have written this plugin with that in mind – the result is a far better user experience.

Features

  • Every single mobile device is detected and all aspects of your blog are tailored to the visiting handset. Sites aren’t dumbed down to the lowest common denominator but instead use the features and functionality that advanced phones offer.
  • Devices are detected by using Wapple’s advanced web services instead of relying on inferior 3rd party tools. If you view your blog with a brand new, never before seen handset, it’ll still work perfectly!
  • Any theme you’ve installed and have styled for web will be carried across to mobile giving you a consistent look and feel for each and every one of your visitors.
  • Dynamic resizing of images
  • Retain SEO, preserve your URL structure and promote one single domain
  • Support for multi-lingual characters – even funny characters that make their way onto your blog (from a copy and paste from Word for example) are handled.
  • Comment from mobile! Turn on the feature and your visitors can leave comments from their handset.
  • Upload mobile specific header/footer images – resized on the fly to fit a visitors handset perfectly
  • Place mobile friendly navigation links around your site to help users browse around your blog
  • Advanced pagination – split up long posts into manageable chunks that make reading a post on mobile easier
  • Complete freedom over how you want to style your mobile site. We’ve done our best to make the mobile stylesheet as comprehensive as possible but no doubt there will be a few things you want to change – you can by editing a few settings.
  • Control over almost every element on your mobile page:- change the size and quality of images on posts and pages, show tags and categories in different sections, you can even change the wording of certain elements on your site!
  • Plus much much more! For a full feature list, visit the plugin homepage here.

Gallery

So without further ado, here are some screenshots of great looking mobile blogs that are using the Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin for WordPress (click the thumbnail for a bigger view).

WordPress Showcase - Mobile Web Junkie

WordPress Showcase - Mobile Web Junkie

WordPress Showcase - Red Yellow

WordPress Showcase - Red Yellow

Blackberry Boards News

WordPress Showcase - Blackberry Boards News

WordPress Showcase - Ben90

WordPress Showcase - Ben90

WordPress Showcase - The MDA

WordPress Showcase - The MDA

WordPress Showcase - Evo Hosting

WordPress Showcase - Evo Hosting

Each one of these sites has been adapted from the standard install of the mobile plugin. Changing it to your particular need is easy work even for a style novice – so far the largest amount of customization has been 10 lines on The MDA Blog. There are classes and IDs available on all elements so you can really get creative but if you need some help and guidance, get in touch.

Tips for making your mobile site look better

With so many options to configure with this plugin, creating a mobile friendly blog is easy. But if you want a bit more help, here are a few great tips that we’ve used to create some amazing looking mobile blogs.

  • Upload a header image into the “Basic Settings” section of the Wapple Architect settings page. The best logos that work on mobile are ones that have solid colours in the background and are as big as possible – the image will be dynamically resized on the fly to fit a visitors mobile phone so anything over 500 pixels in width is good.
  • Don’t forget that once you’ve selected an image, change the “Use Mobile header Image” option to be “Yes”
  • Turn on commenting on posts. In the “Posts Settings” area, change the “Allow comments on posts” to “Yes”.
  • If you have lots of really long posts, turn on “Do Pagination” under “Posts Settings” – it’ll dynamically chop up your posts into mobile friendly pages. If you want even more control over pagination, change the “Post length” setting to something suitable – around 2000 is what we’ve found to be the magic number.
  • Turn on the “Show home link” and “Show next/previous links” in “Posts Settings”. This will put some handy navigation links at the top and bottom of the page back to the homepage and to the next and previous posts – remember, it’s harder for mobile users to navigate so they need all the help you can give them.

Finally, the biggest tip we can give you is to get styling!

Whilst we’ve made every effort to ensure that the mobile version of your blog looks as much like the website as possible, there’s always room for improvement. So delve right into the 2 mobile stylesheets – they’re both in the “Mobile Theme Settings” area. You can change anything in there but the 2nd one is where you really want to place your custom styles.

With just a few minutes work customizing your mobile blog, it’s easy to create something that looks far better than if you’d have used a standard mobile template or even worse, have it transcoded!

Let me know how you get on and if you do create a blog you think is worthy of being showcased, let me know the URL so I can include it next time!

8 Responses

  1. Mea Culpa says:

    As I’ve already told you via Twitter: When tested with ready.mobi the mobilized version of your blog gets a 2/5 rating. That’s not all too good. Similar plugins get a 5/5 scoring.

  2. Henry Goodwin says:

    Nice showcase. Defintly one of the best mobile plugins.

    @Mea Culpa, .mobi is somewhat of a dated standard to base things by. For me the advantages of scaling graphics and being able to keep the same site style/branding, out weighs the .mobi rating. All the examples above create a much better user experience because the branding/style remains consistent.

    Not pointing fingers, but the mobile version of your blog crops post images badly, and at that point as a user, i don’t care what .mobi rating it has, all i know is that it’s broken. And that’s on an iPhone, what would it look like on a nokia 6300? Give the plugin a go is all i can say. I used it and i haven’t looked back.

  3. Carm says:

    I’ve got this error on the admin page:

    “You do not have SOAP installed, this plugin needs SOAP in order to communicate with Wapple’s web services”

    Nice to know that something’s missing, and that your FAQ insists that it’s necessary.

    Not so nice that I can’t find any instructions on your site for where to get this, or how to install it.

    My site host doesn’t show this as an application I can install.

    So, what is this and how do I install it?

  4. Rich Gubby says:

    Hi,

    SOAP is how the plugin communicates with web services to provide the level of service that it does. The current version however, requires you to have it installed.

    Version 1.4 will be released on monday (17th Aug) and this version doesn’t require you to have SOAP!

    So for now, sit tight because you won’t have to install anything! It’ll be well worth the wait too – there are loads of new features coming in this new version to give you even more control over how your mobile site looks to your readers!

  5. Rich Gubby says:

    Update: SOAP is now not needed for the plugin to work correctly. The plugin detects if it’s available and if it’s not, it falls back to REST.

    With regards to the ready.mobi, the plugin scores a 5/5 for the majority of sites with it enabled. http://mobilewebjunkie.com scores a 4/5.

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