Going mobile with blogging

I’ve had several comments that my blog is not mobile web enabled and that I need to “put my money where my mouth is” and “practice what I preach”. Little did they know that I have in fact been investigating the various mobile web options and doing my homework. In fact, just in the last week I started experimenting on my live blog, which I will add is a scary thing to do and there have been some problems. So if you come back to the website and it looks like something has changed, it’s very possible it’s related to my ongoing modernizing efforts. And, puh-lease let me know if you see something is broken.

The approach(es). I’ve started with the approach of having two different themed websites: one theme for desktop and one theme for mobile web. Why? Because I’ve gotten quite a bit of feedback that some people like the utilitarian look and feel of the desktop theme. On that note, if you don’t like it now is the time to say something. I’m also looking at responsive (fluid) designs that use CSS3 media queries to hide and unhide content depending on the device and browser you are using. I’ll be tackling responsive designs next, and perhaps much sooner than expected if approach numero uno crashes and burns in a flaming, twisted mess.

Challenges. I can say one of my primary challenges is handling legacy content, for example short codes and existing plugins such as the ones that affect page load performance like Total Cache. If you are just starting out fresh then your life is significantly easier as you are starting with a clean slate. But I have almost 100 blog posts that need care and feeding and I don’t really want to be manually changing page content, if I don’t have to, so that the new website theme or plugin can have its’ way.

Fallback plan. At the moment I’m being very careful with taking a full backup of the website and the database, as well as copying specific files before playing with any plugins or theme changes. In the best case scenario I’d like to create a completely separate copy of the website to play with, however there is a good chance this isn’t going to happen unless I simply can’t get a theme or plug-in to work. Usually theme or plug-in changes are relatively painless, with the emphasis on ‘relatively’. Besides, I always recommend clients create a test copy of their website that’s not visible to the public. But, they are usually big(ger) organizations and have more resources. I may still do this if time permits, but my theory is if I really mess something up I can restore the site or database.