Making your wordpress blog mobile Friendly

Making your blog available on mobile platforms

WPTouch WordPress for mobile phonesHave you ever wondered how to make your wordpress available on the iphone, blackberry and all those other great phones? Well I found this plugin which does an amazing job of that without having to change a thing on your wordpress blog.

WPtouch is an entire theme package for your WordPress website. The plugin makes your WordPress website load lightning fast on touch mobile devices, show your content beautifully, all while not interfering with your regular theme. I tried this out on my iphone and it works great. I haven’t tried it on the other phones like the G1 and the blackberry yet.

You can search for “WPTouch” in your WordPress plugin browser, or you can download the plugin directly. Its a totally free plugin.

Download WPTouch here

Here are the basic FAQs from the site to answer typical questions about ther plugin. You really should just try it.

I Thought The IPhone/IPod Touch/Android Shows My
Website Just Fine The Way It Is Now?

Yes, that’s true for the most part. However, not all websites are created equal, with some sites failing to translate well in the viewport of a small mobile device. Many WordPress sites today make heavy use of different javascripts which significantly increase the load time of pages, and drive your visitors on 3G/EDGE batty. So we’ve come up with WPtouch, a lightweight, fast-loading, feature-rich and highly-customized “theme application” which includes an admin interface to let you customize many aspects of your site’s presentation.

Well, What If My Users Don’t Like It & Want To See My Regular Site?

There’s an option in the footer on WPtouch for your users to easily switch between theWPtouch view and your site’s regular appearance. It’s that easy. We even automatically put a little snippet of code into your current theme which will be shown only to iPhone/iPod/Android visitors, giving them control to switch between the two site themes easily.

Will It Slow Down My Blog?

Not bloody likely! Unless of course you’re getting slammed with all sorts of traffic because you’ve installed this sexy thang. The theme package for WPtouch is small (260kb or so). It was designed to be as lightweight and speedy as possible, while still serving your site’s content in a richly presented way, sparing no essential features like search, login, categories, tags, comments etc.

 

Updating, adding posts and creating draft posts on the IPhone

WoIn addition to making your wordpress blog easily readable and user friendly on mobile phones, there is a way to keep up your blog, add new ideas before you forget and a number of other things. And all this from your IPhone.

I found a plugin that works great for that. It allows you to edit posts and a number of other things. You can add numerous wordpress sites and manage them all from there. Adding a WordPress.com blog is simple after you have downloaded the app.

You can search “WordPress” from your phones App Store or you can get the link directly from here:

 

Manage WordPress on your IPhone


Creating a website with WordPress

Creating a good website with wordpress is very easy once you have the right direction. In this article I will give you the basic steps to starting up a website/blog with WordPress.

First things first before we begin. WordPress is not the ony content management system for blogs/websites — there are many others. I prefer wordpress over anything else due to it’s simplicity and ease of updating and adding plug in functionality.

WordPress was originally designed for the creation of blogs. A lot of websites are centered around the idea of a blog which is new articles published frequently. For most websites to do well they need to provide constant valuable information at a decent rate. If you put up a couple of pages on a website and leave it at that, most likely your website will drop from the search engines and disappear.

I love the idea of building a website around WordPress and I am working on numerous other websites using it.

WordPress Basics

A WordPress website consists of these main things:

  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Categories
  • A Template

This makes WordPress simple to understand.

Posts: posts are articles written that fit into a category. Posts have an Author, A Published Date, A Title, Content, Tags and Comments.

Pages: Pages are basic articles that are linked to directly. Examples of pages are “About Us”, “Prices”, “Contact Us”, etc. In WordPress, posts and pages are different. Pages have an author, A Published Date, A Title, Content, Tags and they can have comments. Pages are generally directly linked to and are not part of any category.

Categories: categories separate posts into understandable divisions. Examples of categories are: Blog, Photoshop, Funny, etc. Categories help people find posts that they are interested in. Categories can have any amount of sub categories. An example of this is a category of “Computers” can have a sub category of “Windows” or even “Troubleshooting”.

A Theme: every WordPress site has a theme. A theme decides how to show your posts, pages and categories. A theme can also have any number of additional content, like a sidebar or a menu, etc. These are also called templates.

Tags: tags are keywords for posts and pages. Keywords also help people find an article or page that they might be interested in. It is very important to add tags to your posts so that people can actually find them. Some blog systems don’t differentiate between tags and categories.

Comments: comments are very important to a blog. Each post can have comments on it. Comments can be a suggestion, a question regarding the post, or request for clarification. Comments constantly update the post with additional content and help create more interest in your post.

Author: and author in wordpress is the person who wrote the article. In a WordPress site, there can be numerous authors writing posts. It is good to have numerous authors for a blog so that one guy isn’t staying up all night updating the blog.

These are some of the basic things you need to know to work with WordPress and to be succesful with what you are trying to do. We will now talk about how to set up a wordpress blog with ease.

Building Steps

Step 1: Get a domain name and hosting service.

An example of a domain name is “www.techassistnow.com”. A domain name is always unique. A hosting service has many computers to hold information, you will need to set it up so that your website and all of its data has a place to live.

I will tell you how to set these up for the hosting provider that I use. The hosting provider I use is called “1&1“. Using this domain name checker, check if the domain you want is available. If it is, then purchase the hosting option you want. I recommend 1and1 beginner if this is your first website.

For any other hosting provider, read the instructions on their website. In any case, you want to make your your hosting has PHP and mysql.

Step 2: Collect the necessary info from your hosting provider

Once you have a domain name and a website host, you should now have this basic information:

FTP Host:

FTP Username:

FTP Password:

Database Host:

Database Username:

Database Password:

Having this information is neccesary to starting your wordpress site. Once you have this information, continue through these steps. If you don’t have a database, contact your hosting provider on how to create a database.

Step 3: Download & Install WordPress

To download WordPress click here.

A very simple guide to installing wordpress click here.

Step 4: Customize with themes and plugins

Plugins

Installing plugins is very simple, you just go to the “Plugins” menu and click add new. Then you can search for the name of the plugin and install it right from WordPress. You can also download the .zip file and install it that way by clicking on the “Choose File” button.

Here is a list of the fundamental plugins you should have:

  • All in one SEO Pack: This plugin sets up WordPress for Search Engine Optimization. Download it here.
  • WP-Cache: This plugin greatly increases the speed that your WordPress site loads. Download it here.
  • Askimet: This plugin detects spam comments and is very important. Download it here.
  • Contact form: Every website has a way to contact the website editors. This plugin makes it very simple to have complex contact forms for this purpose. Download it here.
  • WP-DB-Backup: Allows you easily to backup your core WordPress database tables. This is a very important plugin for protecting your website from being completely ruined. I recommend it for any WordPress installation. Download it here.

There are a lot of additional useful plugins that can be used. I will list some of them here so you get an idea of the possibilities.

  • Broken Link Checker: Checking broken links can be annoying to you and your public. This plugin makes it simple by checking images and links if they are broken. If so,  you are notfified. Download it here.
  • Google XML Sitemap: This plugin creates an updated xml sitemap for Google. Good for SEO. Download it here.
  • Sharethis: great for adding social marketing buttons to all of your posts. Download it here.
  • WP ECommerce: Turns your site into an online store. This is just an example of a plugin that adds a whole store to your wordpress site for free. Download it here.

As you can see, there are many WordPress plugins. You can pretty much get a plugin for anything you want to do with WordPress.

Themes

Installing themes is very simple with the newest version of wordpress. All you have to do is go to the “themes” menu and click “add theme” and then upload a zipped file of your theme. WordPress will automatically install the theme for you. You should also install any recommended plugins for that theme.

Here is a list of website that have  a good free themes that you might like.  There are so many options and looks available for themes — it’s hard for me to list them all — but I will point you in the right direction.

Step 5: Start adding content!!

Now you have your WordPress site set up. Start writing and adding posts with unique content. Make sure you also add the standard pages (Contact, About, Etc).

This is a simple guide to start your WordPress website. There are many advanced features and theme custumizations still possible after this point. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to these advanced features — just google what you are trying to do.

Great WordPress theme club: Elegant Themes

 

Elegant Themes
Elegant Themes

 

 

I was looking around for a while for some well built wordpress themes. I spent many an hour downloading, installing and setting up themes. I couldn’t find anything I really liked.

I was trying to find something with some nice affects, Ajax and something solid.

I stumbled onto Elegant themes and looked at the demos. Almost all of the themes are very nicely designed and well put together.

The only bad thing is the cost. It’s 20 bucks to be able to download any template for a year.

I have used 3 of the templates on my sites and they are great. So far, this is the most valuable set of WordPress for the money.

Other “Theme Clubs” charge you $50 for one overdesigned theme with just enough special effects and glitz to distract you from your wordpress blog’s actual content.

So far I’ve used Evid, EGallery and Quadro(For this site). 

Check it out: www.elegantthemes.com

If you like the themes, leave us a comment. We’d love to hear what you think.