How To Create a Mobile Version of Your Blog

Mobile Web browsing is getting bigger and bigger. Everyday, more and more people are surfing the Internet on their iPhones or Blackberries. Some estimates put the share of mobile traffic at 20% for certain types of websites and it’s growing. Big companies like Twitter and Facebook have seen the trend – the next Internet will be mobile – and are capitalizing on it by creating mobile versions of their sites so users can have a better experience.

Most sites and blogs don’t work well on mobile. Long load times, incompatible content and difficult navigation can be frustrating to users. Blog owners need to optimize their blogs in order to increase mobile traffic and revenue. You don’t need the financial might of a company like Facebook to create a mobile version of your blog. As a matter fact, you can do it for free with a service call MOBIFY.

I just launched a mobile version of John Chow dot Com and the response so far has been extremely positive. The load up time is super quick because the mobile version consumes only 25K vs. the 1.3MB taken up by the front page of the full version. Here’s a screen shot of the mobile version of my blog taken from my iPhone. You can view it with any Web browser here.

Mobile.JohnChow.com

How To Create a Mobile Blog with MOBIFY

MOBIFY makes desktop sites appear on mobile as if they were designed for a small screen. With the service you can create a mobile view of your websites and blogs in just minutes and improve its compatibility with thousands of devices. MOBIFY provides a high quality, effective mobile strategy while maintaining your brand, domain and site structure.

Using MOBIFY is a lot more involved than using a mobile WordPress plugin like WPtouch. However, the results look way better than anything WPtouch can produce. My colors and branding are maintained with MOBIFY and that was the most important thing to me. I also have a navigation bar and can show previews of each blog posts instead of just the headlines. Additional features of MOBIFY includes the ability to add both Google and AdMob analytics and Google Maps key. It will be very interesting to find out how many of my readers are reading my blog on their mobile devices.

Setting up a MOBIFY blog is a three-step process. You need to design the mobile version of your site using the MOBIFY dashboard. The video below shows how that’s done.

After you’re satisfied with the look and feel of your mobile blog, you have to insert a piece of JavaScript into the head tag of your header.php file. Alternatively, you can use the MOBIFY WordPress plugin to do it for you (that’s what I used). There are also plugins for other blogging programs.

The last step requires you to add a DNS CNAME record to point to your mobile URL. In my case, the URL is mobile.JohnChow.com. Congrats! You now have a mobile version of your blog. The next time someone visits your blog with a mobile device, the MOBIFY plugin will detect the device and will display the mobile version to them.

If you have an iPhone or any other mobile Internet device, check out the mobile version of John Chow dot Com and tell me what you think. If you want to create your own mobile blog, head on over to MOBIFY and create it. The service is free. You can’t beat that price!

MOBIFY – Make Your Website Mobile

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