Ensuring My Real Estate Blog Is Mobile Friendly!
Near the end of December, I was shopping for a van online at the large, local multi-dealer All Star Automotive here in Baton Rouge. While they have a fancy website on a desktop computer, their site didn't work on my iPhone, which was disappointing because I was traveling a lot during the holidays. I began to wonder just how my home appraisal blogs function on a mobile device. So, I tried them out and most did function normally because I had installed the WPTouch plugin. But, some of my sites looked better than others on my iPhone.
This is one of my home appraisal blogs on my desktop computer http://www.homeappraisalsbatonrouge.com/
This is that same blog and how it looks on my iPhone after spending time configuring WPTouch
NOTE: Notice that at the top of the page (on the left below) is my header or banner with my contact information, which is the very first thing the visitor sees. I set it up this way intentionally because if their mobile experience isn't fantastic, at least they have my contact information immediately.
WPTouch Looks Best On A Mobile Device Once Configured!
In the past, I would just install the WPTouch plugin, activate it and I was done. It's no wonder why my sites looked plain on a mobile device. This is what WPTouch makes your blog look like without much configuration - pretty boring. The view above is what WPTouch looks like after configuration and making the customized "Home" page the default page. So, the challenge becomes making your site mobile ready without having it look boring.
EXCEPTIONS!? My friend and appraiser colleague, Ryan Lundquist with Lundquist Appraisal Blog in Sacramento CA, told me this past weekend that he's not really that concerned with the mobile readiness issue since his blog looks and functions well on his Android Smart Phone. And, Ryan is correct that his site below looks great and functions well on my iPhone. On both of our sites, we're using the Wordpress "Neo-Classical 2 Column Theme", which is a simpler, less complicated theme to build and operate.
My friends, Alison and Orlando Masis with The Appraisal IQ in Austin TX, host http://theappraisaliq.com/, a more intense Enterprise Child Theme from Studiopress.com and it looks and functions well on my iPhone in 2011. In my opinion, their blog is the best Home Appraisal Blog in the U.S. artistically. See photos below.
And, it seems that the simpler Wordpress themes function better on mobile devices without the WPTouch plugin. The sites with lots of flash and java script are most challenging for mobile devices and that's where the WPTouch or WPTouch Pro plugin may be helpful.
Also, there's the Wordpress Mobile Pack and Wordpress Mobile Edition plugins as well that may help. I haven't tried the Mobile Edition yet and am not really sold on the look of the Mobile Pack. This is my http://www.batonrougedivorceappraisals.com/ mobile look on my iphone.
It's time to begin thinking and taking action to make your sites mobile ready. It's 2011 and people have a low tolerance for those that don't keep up. I was on a major internet marketer's blog site yesterday and was frustrated this his video wouldn't play on my iPhone. It wouldn't even play on in my specific flash video player app, Skyfire. When a person has an interest in your product or service, be sure they can view your offering on a mobile device!
And, would you have any tips for me making my sites better mobile ready? I'd really appreciate your tips or opinions. Bill Cobb