Last night I installed the WordPress Plug-in WPtouch after I watched a very informative video by Chris Pirillo.

I’ve been using my iTouch quite often, I got it from coComment. I noticed that when I load blogs on it I have to expand each one so I can read the content of the posts. This takes time and when I don’t have a lot of it I skip ahead to a faster loading blog. I stumbled upon the video above while looking for ways in which to add a blog icon to my blog so it can show up on the iTouch/iPhone home screen. I wanted to make my blog stand out on the iPhone.

My iTouch Blog Icon
Notice the two blog icons at the bottom of my iTouch home screen. One is for The BenSpark and the other for The Wired Kayaker.

I downloaded and installed WPtouch and added a blog icon for this blog to the proper location. Then I went to my iTouch to see what the blog looked like. Here are some screen shots that show the features of using WPtouch. Basically, what the plug-in does is that it reformats your blog into an iTouch compatible theme. This speeds up load times and improves readability of your posts. This is what it looks like.

The WPtouch Theme
Installing WPtouch on your wordpress blog reformats your blog for speed and readability on the iPhone/iTouch. Here we see

  1. The number of comments on a post and the date of the post
  2. A snapshot of your post, with a large link to push to go directly to the content of that post
  3. Categories and Tags are included for additional navigation
  4. You can quickly load additional entries
  5. Click the “+” sign to add this blog as a bookmark or better yet add it to your home screen

Here are two well known blogs on the iTouch, how easy to read are they?

Shoemoney.com on the iTouch
Shoemoney.com
John Chow on the iTouch
JohnChow.com

Not very, you have to pinch and expand each one just to read a post.

What I am going for is ease of readability and speed of load time. I want readers to instantly recognize my blog and add it to their Home Screen, so I had to give them something that was recognizable for my brand.

Add BenSpark to Home Screen
When you add BenSpark.com to the iPhone/iTouch home screen you get a distinctive and recognizable image that you can click to go directly to the BenSpark Blog.

So now that a reader has added The BenSpark to their iTouch they can click it right from the Home Screen and go right to my blog. Once they are there they can click on any of the latest blog posts or choose to see some older ones. Once they select a blog post they will see a well formatted and easy to read blog post. See what I mean below.

itouch_07
  1. Search box, readers can type in search terms to find posts from you
  2. Post titles can include the date, time,
  3. author and gravatar as well as an option to
  4. skip to the comments section.

Easy reading
With WPtouch your posts are formatted for very easy reading. No need to pinch or expand the screen.

Plug-ins that work with WPtouch
  1. You can still show your affiliate items in the posts.
  2. SezWho plug-in is supported with WPtouch
  3. Sociable plug-in is supported by WPtouch plug in
  4. You can show your categories
  5. You can show your tags
  6. Navigating between posts is easy.

Gravatars
  1. With WPtouch you can easily choose whether or not to show gravatars on your posts
  2. The plug-in Comment Luv is also compatible with the plug-in WPtouch

But what if you want to see the blog as it was created and intended to be seen on a browser. That is easy, you can select that option at the bottom of each screen.

Switching views

I hope that you can now see the importance of making your blog stand out on the iTouch/iPhone. With so many people using both products it would be a waste not to enhance your blog to serve their needs as well, especially when you can use a great plug in like WPtouch. There are many more features to the plug-in itself, you can set colors, decide if gravatars will be seen and even add additional icons for each of your blog pages like the about page and disclosure policy page.

* One caveat is that if you are using WP-Cache you need to configure it. And if you are using WP Super Cache. Currently, it does not work correctly with WPtouch. They’re working on it, though. Visit the WPtouch homepage for updates.

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12 Responses to “What can WPtouch do for my blog?”

  1. Well written Drew and your screenshots give such great examples. I love learning about plugins which do so much!

    Heather in Beautiful BCs last blog post..Dragon Naturally Speaking in Action!

  2. Drew says:

    Thanks very much Heather, I hope you were able to read both portions because they really help out as a whole piece. I split them between two blogs.

  3. pete says:

    This is great information, thanks. I’ve been thinking about the viability of my blog on a mobile device, but never got beyond that. WPtouch (and your post) pretty much answered all of my questions.

  4. Drew says:

    Thanks Pete,
    I have only had my iTouch for a week but am discovering great stuff every day. Glad this was useful. Don’t miss the other part of the post on the Wired Kayaker.

  5. […] What can WPtouch do for my blog? | The BenSpark on October 25, 2008 4:23 pm […] I’ve been using my iTouch quite often, I got it from coComment. I noticed that when I load blogs on it I have to expand each one so I can read the content of the posts. This takes time and when I don’t have a lot of it I skip ahead to a faster loading blog. I stumbled upon the video above while looking for ways in which to add a blog icon to my blog so it can show up on the iTouch/iPhone home screen. I wanted to make my blog stand out on the iPhone. […] […]

  6. Tim says:

    Thanks for sharing this info. Tim

    Tims last blog post..Please support 2009 Boston Breast Cancer 3-Day walkers

  7. Drew says:

    Thanks for dropping a comment here Tim. I’m not sure what is out there for a blogger blog account but there may be options for adding blog icons and making the formatting more iTouch friendly.

  8. Janis says:

    And for all other mobile devices you could use WP viewMobile (http://www.handypark.de/webmaster/blogs/wp-viewmobile-en.html)

  9. Drew says:

    Janis,

    That is good information to know. Thanks.

  10. […] changes to your blog automatic so that iPhone/iTouch readers get a valuable user experience. I wrote about the WPtouch plugin once before but this time I’m focusing a bit more on branding. This plugin will automatically […]

  11. John Raser says:

    pre-screen shot discovery? LOL
    .-= Look at what John Raser wrote blog ..How many idiots does it take to mount a flat screen? =-.

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