• Hi,

    I’m new to this mobile stuff, therefore I have a general question:

    As I see it WordPress Mobile Pack delivers different themes for different mobile devices. So this is NOT responsive design as Google has pointed out is it’s FAVORITE version of mobile design, right?

    So could someone help me out and tell me what’s better to use: A responsive theme or a plugin like WordPress Mobile Pack?

    Thanks in advance for your help.



Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Thought about it a little and think:

    For the mobile USER it’s probably better to have special pages created with a plugin like WordPress Mobile Pack. With it you can also change and control mobile pages better.

    As Google states, it’s better to have a responsive site. Google says also that it’s risky to have server side user agent detection because this does not work every time perfectly.

    What do you think?



    Take the default Twenty Eleven theme. It’s a responsive theme which scales rather nicely depending on screen size. You can try it with your own browser by making the window very narrow. You will see how the menu/header section transforms when going below certain widths. And images are scaled down (in dimensions, not in files size!) to keep fitting inside the width of the content area…

    But that is all that it actually does. If you design your theme stylesheet a bit better, you can make it use smaller header and background images (in file size, not only in dimensions!) but that is about the limit that you can do with a responsive WP theme.

    It cannot re-process images so they are actually smaller in file size so they keep looking nice (in their scaled down dimensions) while taking much less bandwidth and download time than the original images.

    This last part is rather important if you (1) have many images and other media on your site and (2) are developing for the mobile web where you are aiming for visitors that usually have some data limit or pay-per-MB subscription, or are using the slower/low-bandwidth GPRS network. There might also be other issues like Flash player not being available on many mobile devices or even the lack of javascript (although this is rarely seen anymore these days) …

    It is these things that many of the mobile plugins aim to take on. And not surprisingly, I think, due to the complex nature, arrive at various stages of achieving it.

    The optimal situation in my mind would be using a responsive theme AND a mobile plugin (directing to an external service or an alternative WP theme) and then configure the plugin to only direct the smallest devices to the mobile theme (with smaller sized image files) and let larger devices such as the latest smart-phones and tablets, which usually are on Wifi or 3G high-bandwidth mobile networks, see your normal responsive theme.

    I imagine it still would not be perfect but closer to the ideal anyway. What do you think?

    Thanks RavanH for the exhaust answer.

    I’m not so good in programming and this mobile thing. So it’s over my head what you write in the last paragraph and how to implement this.

    Have you already an example of your ideal situation or how one can implement it?


    What I mean is a combination of what Google wants and what like you say: mobile visitors want. So use a responsive theme that will suit your normal visitors and visitors with tablet devices (ipad etc) and maybe slightly smaller devices like 5 inch smartphones.

    And then install one of the mobile plugins out there and change the list of devices it should act on (I suppose most of the mobile plugins have this option) in such a way that it does not include these larger smartphones and tablets.

    This way, the mobile plugin will only serve a very different but lightweight and faster version of your site to those that are likely on very small screens and using a slower connection.

    You would not need to do any programming for this, just change the mobile plugin settings. But you would have to find out which devices you would like to serve the mobile theme to and which one to serve the normal (responsive) theme.

    The problem, as I see it, is, that you have to do some work to DEFINE those “small” devices. And every month new ones appear. So you have to look out for them constantly and update your list, right?


    Right. That is exactly it…

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • The topic ‘WordPress Mobile Pack and responsive theme’ is closed to new replies.