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I would like to build a mobile version of my WordPress site. To avoid the problems and costs with developing for native platforms, I'd like to go for an HTML/CSS/jQuery approach that would be accessible from the Webkit browsers. The main site is already developed in WordPress, and content can be directly taken from the CMS.

I'd like the mobile version to be available from a specific URL such as www.mysite.com/mobile or mobile.mysite.com

How can I set this new URL to point to this version of the site? And how will this new URL change as I browse through the mobile site? And how can I load this URL by default when a user accesses the site from a mobile device?

Am I right to think that I can then develop this as I would make a normal theme for WordPress, with no other worry about this being meant for mobile devices rather than desktop?

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I'm leaning towards the decision to use WPTouch at this point, would be nice if any users of this plugin would confirm if it indeed covers all my requirements. –  drtanz Jan 11 '12 at 20:10
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Have a look at the WordPress Mobile Pack plugin. Amongst many features, it allows you to map a (sub)domain to another theme.

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Thanks, I've also found WPTouch, which goes even further in terms of ease-of-use and rapid development potential. –  drtanz Jan 11 '12 at 20:07
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To build the theme in itself i'd recommend you jQuery Mobile. I've already used it for a few wordpress mobile sites, work great.

You can then use a plugin like WPtap Mobile Detector to automatically redirect the mobile users to the mobile theme that you've created. This will let them navigate with the same urls as desktop version but through the mobile architecture you've set in the theme.

About the mobile domain like mobile.mysite.com going directly to the mobile version from any device, i don't see yet how we can implement this in a wordpress site.

Hope it helps.

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Thanks will definitely be looking into this. –  drtanz Jan 11 '12 at 20:08
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For the detection and redirection part, www.handsetdetection.com can help you create a seamless rule that you can implement depending on what you require.

To show you how simple it is to set things up you can check this out: How to Add a Site Profile in Handset Detection

I Hope this helps.

Cheers!

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Your question conflicts slightly. I get the feeling you don't necessarily want a mobile site, but a mobile-optimized or responsive website. This would mean however that you wouldn't need another subdomain or separate directory, your site would just adapt to the device width. Your development steps are more or less minimal (and would take a day or so).

Start off by adapting a flexible/responsive grid as your CSS framework (i.e. 1140 Grid). A number of these already have media queries built-in to handle typical device widths (i.e. Desktop -> Tablet -> Smartphone). At this point, you just need to test, test, test. There's no easy way around it, and within each respective device width change (i.e. CSS media queries), you'll need to decide how you want to change the CSS there (i.e. adding 'display:none' to unnecessary widgets for smartphone users, etc.).

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Thanks that is an approach I'll be using for new websites, this just happens to be an older site which has already been completed, and it's not worth redoing at this stage, we just need something to make it more mobile-friendly. WPTouch seems to be the quickest way to achieve our goals, from what I've seen. –  drtanz Jan 11 '12 at 20:09
    
To be honest, switching out some of the top-level CSS containers or just making them mobile-friendly will probably take the same amount of time as configuring and getting a 3rd party plug-in just "right". WPTouch certainly has its limits when trying to convey your brand/site design, but I haven't seen the site so it's hard to judge for sure. –  Noel Tock Jan 11 '12 at 21:23
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