Over on the Brave New Code blog who created the plugins, they have featured my website while asking me a few questions regarding their plugin.
They also suggested alterations for my mobile themed website, that could take better advantage of the WPtouch Pro plugin features. I will address those suggestions in a moment, however here is what I had to say about the plugin WPtouch Pro:
How long have you been using WPtouch Pro?
James: I have been a proud user of WPtouch Pro since January 2011 and since then I have never even bothered looking for alternatives. It more than meets my requirements and more important, those of my users.
Why did you choose WPtouch Pro to power your mobile site?
James: I am sure like most website owners, the statistics of your visitors become an important factor in a site’s evolution. It is my constant endeavour to push forward and support new and growing markets.
It doesn’t take much digging to realise that desktop browsers are quickly eroding into a minority and that the mobile variants are becoming the dominant force. We are not quite there yet, but it is only a matter of time as users’ desire to consume data on the go continues to expand at a rapid pace.
What do you like most about using WPtouch Pro?
James: Although I believe there is still a strong need to cater to traditional computers and their Internet browsers, including an optimised mobile version that works wonderfully on both smartphones and the iPad has become essential. No one wants to sit back and wait while their mobile connection loads a mass of images and pretty extras that add absolutely nothing to the smaller smartphone displays. Not only does WPtouch Pro cater to this type of device, but is also optimised for the touch-screen experience.
The customisation options to personalise your mobile website, the mass of features that provide site visitors with an attractive and efficient environment, and the secure knowledge that the support is there if you need it make WPtouch Pro an exceptional product and one that should be strongly considered on your own website.
What improvements would you like to see included in future WPtouch Pro updates?
James: There are always new developments and additional features added to this software however, for me personally, I would love to see a ‘zone’ approach adopted where areas of the website can include additional information outside of the standard post & page content. So for example, an area where a rotating selection of featured posts is displayed on the home page. Although this can be added in the theme manually, a field to do this kind of addition would be welcome.
Brave New Code’s Suggestions
You can view their suggestions in full on the Brave New Code blog, however I will address their recommendations here…
1. Include Flickr stream in mobile experience.
With WPtouch Pro you can add your Flickr stream to both the iPad and mobile themes. On the iPad, this makes a lot of sense as the extra screen viewing area really does an impressive job of presenting your image uploads from this service.
The mobile theme option I had actually overlooked, although upon enabling this feature I will certainly be leaving it on.
Presented in a grid of thumbnails, users can now access my Flickr stream on both their iPad or smartphone.
2. Include the live video stream page in the mobile theme.
The Live Video Stream page is an area within my website that allows visitors to view Google+ HangOuts I transmit live for both my website and others. You can also view the recordings here as well when there are no current live events.
I had to exclude two pages within the WPtouch Pro settings due to the video not fitting correctly within the mobile theme content area and Google’s calendar embed not formatting for smaller screens. This is probably something I have coded incorrectly, however the latest version of WPtouch Pro seems to have upset all of my video embeds at the moment. I would usually be concerned about such things, however the WPtouch Pro support team are always fantastic so I will able to sort this out soon.
3. Enable iOS Web-App Mode.
iOS Web-App mode allows visitors using iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad to add an icon to the home screen, looking and acting a little like an actual app.
As much as I adore this feature, I had to disable it. I use a variety of plugins on my website to increase functionality and although this works perfectly fine in Safari, within Web-App mode they struggle.
Disqus for example is a comment management and presentation system that allows me to give visitors an excellent way to comment on articles with a vast amount of extra features not present in a standard WordPress install. This works perfectly well under Safari on iOS devices, however under the Web-App mode – viewing the comments becomes an extremely basic affair.