3 Reasons Mobile WordPress Themes Trounce Mobile Subdomains

Making your website mobile-friendly isn’t just a good idea – it’s a necessity. With more people accessing the Web via smartphones and tablets these says, any site administrators who haven’t “mobile-equipped” their online real estate are well behind the curve. In 2011, do you really want to miss out on a substantial chunk of traffic just because your site is hard to read on an iPhone?

Of course not. That’s why many sites direct mobile traffic to sub-domains (e.g. “example.com” becomes “mobile.example.com”), a workable solution if you have time to generate new versions of each page from scratch.

Luckily for WordPress users, mobile themes like WPTouch and WordPress Mobile Pack offer a better alternative to mobile sub-domains. Here are 3 reasons why:

1. Maintenance

Having a mobile sub-domain requires you to maintain multiple versions of each and every page – a laborious task if you don’t have a large staff.

Mobile themes, on the other hand, simply deliver all of your existing content in a mobile-friendly format. You can maintain your site as usual and rest assured that everything will display properly in mobile browsers.

2. SEO

When other sites link to your content, those links help you rank higher in the search engines. If you have multiple domains, all of which have different permalinks for each page, you forfeit your ability to rank well in the search listings.

Think of it this way: I post an update on my blog and get 10 links. 5 of those links are from desktop users, and they point to the post on my main domain. The other 5 links come from mobile users, all of whom were redirected from my main domain to a dedicated mobile sub-domain. Their links go to the mobile version of the post – the one they pulled up on their phones.

Instead of getting 10 links for my post, I really only got 5 for each version – a situation that leads to lower overall rankings for my content.

With a mobile WordPress theme, however, your content stays in one place. The page you serve to mobile visitors is the same one that exists on your main domain – everyone who links to it is linking to the same page.

3. Sharing

Mobile sub-domains can also cause social media havoc.

Let’s say you tweet a link from your phone and your colleague clicks it on her desktop computer. She’ll get the mobile version of the site that you tweeted – a version that is probably all text, heavily compressed into a tiny column, and devoid of any navigational links to help her explore other corners of your site.

This is not good for the user, and it’s unlikely that she’ll share any of your content with others.

Again, your mobile WordPress theme can save the day here. With no separate link for anyone to share, you don’t risk serving the wrong version of your site to any visitors.

And since several mobile themes are free, there’s little reason to put off “mobilizing” your site any longer. Spend an afternoon setting up a mobile WordPress theme and stop missing out on all that great traffic.

This post was contributed by Adam Green. Adam writes copy for tech companies and stays up to speed on enterprise fraud management software as best he can. Follow him on Twitter @IAmAdamGreen.

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  • Tools & Resources for Multi-Author WordPress Blogs

    When setting up a WordPress blog that allows for multiple authors, it seems many people think all that is involved is to setup additional author profiles and/or start accepting guest posts.   Unfortunately, it really isn’t that simple if you want to create a high quality WordPress blog.

    Setting up a multi-author WordPress blog may require you to use a number of WordPress plugins to support a variety of functions.   Ideally you’ll also want your theme to be hacked to help maximize the exposure your authors get.   Examples include creating a “Write for Us” page, creating author profile pages, setting your theme to display the author’s profile below their posts, etc.

    Multiple Author WordPress Plugins

    Here are a couple WordPress plugins that we’ve covered in the past that are ideal for multi-author WordPress blogs:

    • Author Exposed – Adds a full featured display of the authors profile.
    • Role Manager Plugin – Allows you to control what the various WordPress user roles can and cannot do.

    And here are a few other WordPress plugins that you may also have an interest in (we use a few of these here at WordPress Hacks):

    • Author Advertising – Plugin that allows you to share Google AdSense income or other advertising between multiple authors.
    • Blog Metrics – Collects blog metrics based upon the author of the posts.
    • List Authors Widget – Displays a list of authors in your widgets panel linking to the authors.php page.
    • Multiple Authors – Allows multiple authors to be listed for an individual WordPress post, automatically keeping track of who has edited the entry.

    Multiple Author WordPress Hacks

    Here are a few WordPress Hacks we’ve published in the past to help you hack your WordPress theme to be more multi-author friendly:

    I’m sure there are also some WordPress plugins or WordPress hacks which aren’t listed above.   Have any multiple author tools or resources you’d like to add to this list?  Let us know in the comments so we can update our post!

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  • Will the WordPress 2.7 Core Update Feature Work With My Web Host?

    One of the most anticipated new features with WordPress 2.7 is the new core update feature which will automatically update your WordPress installation, removing the tedious process of installing the software yourself or waiting for Fantastico to update with the latest version of WordPress. 

    However, this new feature is not necessarily compatible with every web host, so it looks like the WordPress community has created a very nice list of Web Hosts that the Core Update Feature is Compatible With.   It probably won’t affect whether you upgrade or not, but you can check this list to confirm your web host is included.

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  • Collection of WordPress Resources

    As I mentioned in a post written last month, I wanted to collect everyones WordPress resources so I could throw together a WordPress resources page. After all, WordPress is community-based and it seemed like a good way to support WordPress users. I am proud to say that I was able to combine my favorite WordPress sites with yours to create a WordPress resources page here at Hack WordPress, which I hope people will find useful.

    If you are wondering why a couple sites are left off the list, it is probably for one of two reasons. The first is that I don’t know about it and the second is because I had to leave off (for the most part) any submitted blogs that occasionally write about WordPress (such as a category or whatever). This is because the collection of WordPress resources is already very large and these types of lists can get out of hand if you don’t draw the line somewhere.

    As with my WordPress theme galleries and other lists I maintain here, my ultimate goal is to keep this page useful. As a result, I will make every attempt to keep this page updated over time. You can help by letting us know if you find any invalid links or you would like to see something added.

    As for the list itself, here is what I’ve collected so far:

    WordPress Blogs WordPress Themes
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