Whether you own a website or you make them for a living, you know how important mobile optimization is in today’s society. Nearly two-thirds of cell phone users say they use their phone to access the Internet, and one-third of those users report that they go online mostly with their cell phone instead of a regular desktop or laptop. With so many people using their cell phones to visit websites, it’s important to consider the following WordPress (WP) plugins to help your site run more efficiently.
WP Smush.it Condenses Images
Image via Flickr by garryknight
Images often contain a lot of useless information such as creation date and type of camera used to take the picture. WP Smush.it uses Yahoo’s Smush.it services to reduce the size of the image and strip away the information that isn’t necessary. This helps reduce mobile visitors’ bandwidth needs and cuts down on load times as well. Additionally, the plugin runs in the background and automatically optimizes the images as they’re uploaded, so the image won’t lose its visual quality.
WP Touch Automatically Optimizes for Mobile Users
With over six million downloads, it’s easy to see why WP Touch is one of the most popular plugins for mobile optimization. This plugin offers both a paid and a free version. With the free version, you have one mobile theme and the ability to customize font, colors, and language detection.
The paid version offers seven themes, support for responsive images, the possibility to post ads, and a mobile caching option. The plugin is very easy to set up and is automatically optimized for mobile users. Plus, users also have the option of switching to the regular theme if they want.
Jetpack Mobile Theme Displays Excerpts of Posts
Jetpack is a free plugin that offers plenty of optimization tools for every type of WordPress website. The plugin offers fast mobile theme load times, analytics, and a clean interface. Those who install Jetpack can also dig deeper and really customize their website with features such as custom backgrounds, custom menus and headers, and the ability to display excerpts or full versions of posts.
iThemes Mobile Allows Customization for Different Platforms
While iThemes Mobile doesn’t offer a free version of their plugin, the amount of customization that it allows you to do to your site makes it worth the price. The plugin has four customizable themes and even allows users to create their own. You can use it to change the navigation menus, headlines, and fonts. More impressively, you can assign different views to different mobile platforms. For example, if visiting a website on your iPhone 5C with Retina and a larger, more vivid display, you can customize your site to look different than if you’re visiting on an Android device.
BJ Lazy Load Cuts Down Load Time
BJ Lazy Load is another great option for those who want their sites to load quickly without sacrificing image quality for users of their site. When a site “lazy loads,” it means that the images and other media files will only load when they become visible on the screen instead of loading all at once. This significantly cuts down on loading size and time for those viewing the site on a mobile phone.
WordPress Mobile Edition Slims Sites Down for Quick Loading
Regular WordPress sites can be as large as 900 KB. When a site this big isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, it can take a long time to load or even stall. WordPress Mobile Edition compresses a 900 KB site into just 90 KB, making it smooth and easy to view on a mobile device.
The plugin automatically detects if users are viewing the site from a mobile device and loads a mobile-specific theme when they are. Users can also choose to switch to the regular theme, and the plugin will remember their choice for the next time they visit. You can also insert social links, mobile AdSense ads, and shortcodes with this plugin.
If you’re looking for some quick ways to make your mobile website better with WordPress, consider these plugins to automatically optimize your site and offer a user-friendly experience for all your visitors.