My pal and nacho eating drinking buddy Duane has been working away with Dale Mugford on some cool stuff for WordPress for awhile now and has finally made available a plugin, called WPTouch, that allows you present your site optionally to visitors using iPhones or the iPod Touch.
This plugin formats your WordPress site to better be viewed on Mobile Safari that is installed on those devices. There are a number of built in features beyond the presentation layer as well. It also gives you the option to view the ‘normal’ version of the site if you edit your theme (I haven’t yet). Up until now, I’ve had a simple plugin running on my site that simple changes the view of this site to remove the left and right gray sides that are unnecessary on a small screen.
I just installed the plugin after checking out a few versions over the past little while that Duane sent my way. So far I’m pretty impressed. I need to tweak a few things in my CSS files and possibly in the plugin as I’m not crazy about how some of my posts appear but it should be a trivial amount of effort to get it the way I like it.
Compare the different presentations:
I’m still undecided if I want these customized versions of sites when I surf on my iPhone. It’s more work to maintain the site in keeping plugins like this up to date as well as it kind of goes against the whole single version of the web thing. Another downside is that if I see something on a ‘desktop’ browsed version of a site and then because of formatting changes to the layout of the site on a handheld device, it can be pain to find what I was looking for if I have to fight the automatic formatting imposed on me. At least Duane’s plugin gives you the choice (assuming the site owner has made the changes necessary to their theme template). I *DO* enjoy some things to be custom formatted on my iPhone (like a number of Google’s apps) but it sets a precedent that I thought we were trying to get away from (browser specific versioning).
If you have one of the devices, let me know what you think of this site running on Duane’s plugin. While you’re at it, why not check out Duane’s other WordPress goodies on his newly launched site (with Dale Mugford), BraveNewCode.com.