Online businesses are expected to employ a fluid ‘one-web’ strategy with their WordPress deployments to ensure streamlined, responsive and adaptive website experience across all platforms and devices. Not only for users but also because Google now expects your site to work flawlessly on mobile.
Converting your site into some sort of mobile version takes some thinking prior to choosing the best WordPress mobile plugin to do the job. You may only want to make a mobile site, as opposed to an app that sends out push notifications and uses geolocation services. You also might already like the mobile version of your WordPress site but dislike the menu that comes with it.
So, the first step is understanding that there are different mobile interfaces to choose from.
In this article, we’ll outline several WordPress mobile plugins with drastically different features. Then, we’ll talk about the ones that might work best for you and your organization.
One of the best ways to start learning which WordPress mobile plugin is right for you is by installing them on your WordPress site and seeing which feels right. So, here’s the shortlist of plugins we’ve tested and decided on. Even if you go straight for the in-depth reviews below this, I still encourage you to test out a few of them yourself–since some will work better with your theme than others.
Upon first glance, it may seem like all of the WordPress mobile plugin solutions are pretty similar. You might think, why not just grab one and go with it? Well, after some in-depth research we realized that that’s far from the case. In the following review, you’ll learn how some of the interfaces are far more elegant than others, and how some of the plugins offer apps, while others are more focused on the mobile website.
Saying that, keep reading to learn more about which features stand out in each WordPress mobile plugin. After that, we’ll outline which one is best for you in each situation.
The WPtouch plugin is definitely one of the most popular choices when WordPress site owners need to quickly turn their websites into mobile interfaces. The key behind the plugin is that it quickly changes any theme you have installed and makes it more usable for people with mobile devices. One thing that’s interesting about WPtouch is that it factors in the Google Mobile Test and makes sure that your site passes that test. This way, you’re able to maintain your SEO rankings and potentially improve them in the future.
With the free version of WPtouch, your desktop website design stays intact, but the mobile version is changed to a fast, stylish, and user-friendly version made only for smaller devices like phones and tablets. In addition, you’re able to complete this process without being a coder.
A Premium Version of the WPtouch plugin is available for those who would like to improve their features with better mobile themes and certain extensions for incorporating advertisements into your mobile site. In addition to that, the Premium Version includes caching options, web font controls, and direct support from the WPtouch developers. You can purchase the WPtouch Pro plugin from its website. The cheapest plan starts at $79 per year and works on one WordPress site.
If you’d like to put the plugin on more sites, or get developer or multisite support, you choose from one of the more expensive plans. All in all, the pricing looks rather reasonable if you’re interested in better-looking mobile themes and some features for ads, related posts, and more.
The AMP for WP plugin provides a mobile website for your current site. The AMP stands for accelerated mobile page, referring to its speed and efficiency. It’s an impressive package that requires you to put in minimal effort to replace your current non-responsive theme. Also, if you have a responsive theme, it’s a good idea to test to see how fast it’s loading. If it’s not up to your standards, simply replace it with the AMP for WP plugin. The actual core AMP for WP plugin is completely free. You receive all of the features in a quick download from the WordPress plugin library. However, some elements on a mobile phone don’t quite show up as well when compared to a desktop.
Therefore, AMP for WP sells certain extensions individually or in packages. You can also buy different mobile themes that are typically more functional and beautiful than the default ones. What’s great about this setup is that most extensions and themes sell for less than $10. One of the extensions is for posting ads on your mobile theme, while others allow your theme to work better with contact forms, WooCommerce, caching plugins, and more.
There’s also the option to go with a membership and gain access to all of the themes and extensions. For instance, if you only need the extensions and themes for a personal site, it’ll cost you $149 per year. Several other plans are available, but it tops out at $499 per year for agencies that need the extensions on an unlimited number of sites.
But just remember, the entire AMP for WP plugin is free. So, you shouldn’t upgrade unless there’s a specific extension that you absolutely need or if you’re trying to improve your theme. I’d argue that the majority of features are already packed into the core plugin, with tools for Facebook comments support, landing pages, email optin subscriptions, and more.
Check out our in-depth tutorial on how to configure and set up AMP for WP.
Jetpack, as you may know, is from Automattic and provides a collection of tools so that you don’t have to keep installing dozens of plugins. You receive everything from security tools to social options, and design services to marketing modules. Considering this is an article about WordPress mobile plugins, it would definitely make sense to focus on the mobile capabilities. Well, Jetpack also provides a mobile theme that can be implemented for your website by going into your Jetpack settings area.
The theme only operates when it detects a mobile device, and it can override your current responsive theme if you’d like to do that. The thing we like most about the Jetpack mobile theme is that it has a decent number of settings for adjusting how the website looks on these smaller devices. For example, you might want to change around how your menu looks, or display huge featured images if you think they look too cluttered on a mobile phone.
This is a free feature from Jetpack, so it might be worth your while if you’re planning on using some of the other Jetpack features that come along with it. We also enjoy the simplicity of the Jetpack mobile theme. It almost looks like it has the basic WordPress branding, but you can change around the colors to match your own business. But overall, this is one of the most reliable mobile interfaces you can find. It’s clean, fast, and ready to make your website look good for both users and search engines.
The WordPress Mobile Pack offers what it calls progressive web apps. These are fast, reliable apps with some interesting features such as push notifications and smooth animations for the mobile interface. It’s important to not be confused by how the developers use the term “app.” These aren’t apps like the ones you would download from an app store to your phone. These are standard mobile websites that get loaded onto the user’s browser. The reason they call them apps is because you get to choose from several templates that mimic the user interface of an actual iPhone or Android app.
So, remember that if you want a real app for your WordPress site, you’ll have to look elsewhere. However, the themes are beautiful and this type of “app” design is sure to make your mobile site stand out compared to some of the standard responsive themes we’ve seen on the market.
The free version of the WordPress Mobile Pack has a wide range of features and a simple process for setting up your mobile website. It tries to mimic an app the best it can, by prompting users to save the mobile website to their homescreen for later use. You also get a default theme that includes six different cover pages that rotate for a fresh feel at all times. You’re able to adjust items like your logo, fonts, and colors, all from the convenience of your WordPress dashboard. As we mentioned before, the WordPress Mobile Pack plugin does have a free version. But if you’d like to get more customization options and a large collection of app themes, the Pro version starts at $99 per year.
The WP Mobile Menu plugin is a great solution for those who would like to put more focus on the mobile menu part of your website. It’s quite common to see beautiful responsive websites that have terrible menus. Unfortunately, the menu is usually how someone moves around your website, unless they’re clicking on call to action buttons or links. The mobile menu should have a smooth slide-in effect, with large icons, menu text, and buttons.
So, the main reason you would consider this WordPress mobile plugin is if you already have a responsive website that you enjoy, yet you think there’s something to be desired in the menu. Therefore, you would install this plugin and gain full control of that mobile menu without damaging what’s being shown from your previously created mobile site (potentially from your WordPress theme).
These mobile menus are beautiful. They offer controls for Google Fonts, background images, naked headers, and more. You can configure the menu to show three depth levels or stick to the regular menu configuration you have for your website. The standard WP Mobile Menu plugin can be downloaded for free. It doesn’t matter how many websites you implement the mobile menu on.
Some organizations would prefer the Professional version, which starts at $6.99 per month and allows for features like a header search, menu item icons, and 2000+ icons. There’s even a WooCommerce plan for $9.99 per month. This has all of the Professional plan features, along with a menu cart icon, sliding cart, and more. Finally, the Enterprise version is $39.99 and offers a private Slack channel, personal success manager, and special rates for custom development.
The Max Menu Menu plugin works on multiple levels of your website design. Overall, it converts any existing WordPress menu into a mega menu–a menu that shows all page options even if there are dozens of them (perfect for eCommerce sites or online magazines). To start, your desktop menu is converted into a mega menu, then you’re able to customize which pages and posts are revealed on the menu. The plugin has been extensively tested on mobile browsers as well, so it does the trick for a mega menu on the mobile interface. The only problem is that you’re still stuck with the mobile version of your website, so hopefully, you already have a beautiful mobile interface that came with your WordPress theme.
The plugin includes a drag and drop menu builder for cutting out any coding that would usually be involved. After installing the plugin and activating the menu, you’re able to place any WordPress widget into the menu, along with buttons to other pages on your site. All of the features are built on the current WordPress menu system, and it even supports flyouts and other animated menu styles.
All of the features mentioned so far are included in the Free version, but you do have the option to upgrade to the Pro version of Max Mega Menu. It depends on how many sites you’d like to use the plugin on, but the pricing starts at $23 per year for use on one site. After that, there’s a Business License for $39 per year on five sites and a Developer License for $99 per year on 99 sites.
Some companies try to build an app or mobile website with WordPress and all it ends up being is an RSS feed pulling blog articles into the app. However, the AppPresser plugin takes a completely different approach by making real apps that link to your WordPress site. Therefore, you’re not generating a mobile site, but a legitimate app that goes on the user’s phone and could potentially be placed in one of the App Stores. The AppPresser program creates both Android and iPhone apps, using an excellent combination of features to integrate with your current plugins and make your website look unique and beautiful on a mobile device.
Keep in mind that the AppPresser developers state that the plugin is mainly for website builders who have some experience. If you’re a complete beginner you might find this too complex and should contact AppPresser for custom app building services.
Regardless, AppPresser has several integrated WordPress plugins. So you have the opportunity to link to plugins like WooCommerce and BuddyPress. Since it’s creating an app for you, there are plenty of other features like push notifications and device camera uploads.
Since AppPresser is really only for developers, the pricing is a bit higher than your average mobile WordPress plugin. That said, it should pay off if you’re charging clients to make a mobile app as well as a website. The Starter plan sells for $19 per month and gets you the app builders, one year of support, and a theme. The real functionality comes along with the Agency plan, which is $49 per month and offers features like geolocation services, social sharing, and AdMob Ads.
Not all of the plugins are going to work for every situation. For instance, some of them are only for building mobile menus, while others will transform your current site into a workable mobile website.
So, which one is the right one for you? Let’s break it down:
If you have any questions about the best WordPress mobile plugin for you, let us know in the comment section below. Hopefully, this guide helps you to the right decision!
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