Warning: 34 Million People Can’t Read Your Blog!
Last I checked, Apple had sold like a hundred gazillion iPods and iPhones.
Okay, just counting iPhones alone, they’ve sold more like 33.75 million as of fourth quarter 2009. [source]
Remember, that’s not counting any iPod Touch sales.
Plus, millions more Crackberries, PDAs, web-enabled cell phones, and handheld Internet devices have been sold all across the world.
I don’t think I’d be exaggerating if I said that 70 million people worldwide can now surf the Internet on a handheld device. And even if it were “only” 34 million people, that’s a LOT of mobile web surfers!
Question: Have you ever wondered how many people are trying to read your blog using a handheld mobile device? And have you ever seen what your blog looks like on one?
I only recently got an iPhone in July 2009 — so I’m not casting stones here at all — and all of a sudden I realized why “the mobile web” is actually a really big deal.
One morning in particular brought this to the front of my mind. My friend was traveling and my brother had slept through his alarm clock, so all of a sudden I found myself at Panera alone… without a book. (The horror!)
But I did have my iPhone.
So I stopped in at a few of my favorite blogs.
Let me tell you: It was practically impossible to read some of them! The words wouldn’t resize, the borders wouldn’t flex, and I’d be stuck scrolling left to right and squinting to read the super-small font.
Not a pleasant experience.
Then I tried to read my blog. And it wasn’t much better!
The fact is, a blog that’s designed to be read on a computer cannot be easily read on a screen that’s perhaps one-tenth or even one-twentieth the size of a full computer screen.
That’s when I got curious about how to modify my blog for mobile readers.
Turns out, it’s way easier than I thought — if you have a WordPress blog.
All you have to do in WordPress is scroll down to “Plugins” from within the admin panel and click on “Add New.” Type “WordPress Mobile Pack” into the search box. Click “Install” next to the plugin to install it.
From there, customize as you wish.
It’s a beautiful thing. Because immediately you will have a site that is easily viewed and read by any mobile web user.
Problem solved! (Not to mention you can now grab the eyeballs of a few million web surfers who are stuck in department stores while their wives try on clothes.)
-Ryan M. Healy