On Formatting for the iPhone

Mobile devices, capable of browsing the Internet, are becoming more and more commonplace, and to make it easier for people on a mobile device, like an iPhone, I’ve had a mobile plugin for WordPress in my install, the WordPress Mobile Edition plugin, to reformat the blog into something mobile friendly.

Earlier in the week, I read this blog post about how WordPress.com was giving users of that service access to two different mobile formats — one iPhone/Touch specific, one for more generic mobile devices. The latter was done through the same WordPress Mobile Edition plugin I was using, and I was curious about the iPhone-specific plugin they were using, WPtouch.

I knew that there are about a dozen people who read this website through an iPhone, from London to Buenos Aires, from New York to Chicago to Seattle. I liked the screenshots in the WP.com blog post of what a WordPress blog looked like using WPtouch; more bells and whistles, a more inviting layout.

I downloaded the WPtouch plugin, uploaded the files, and set to configuring it.

For once, I was glad I had Safari on my system, so I could use its Developer Mode to see my website the way it would look on an iPhone.

There was actually very little to configure. I created an icon for the website, which is my first name written in Tolkien’s Tengwar alphabet. Then I had to select which pages I wanted to show in a dropdown menu and select the icons that went with each.

The options in the configuration page were generally straightforward. I overlooked the option to have comments show on static pages, and that was quickly rectified. I made one coding change under the hood; for commenters without Gravatars, I wanted the WPtouch theme to default to custom Wavatars instead of a faceless body.

It looks good, in Safari anyway. Hopefully the dozen iPhone regulars here will agree. 🙂

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

One thought on “On Formatting for the iPhone

  1. Ah, most excellent formatting; as an iPhone visitor to your site, I have to say I was perfectly happy to continue using the mobile version of the blog for once instead of switching to the PC version. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work at the moment, but it may just be a problem with my particular browser.

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