Having a responsive website is no longer a luxury or something to brag to your friends with, but it is an absolute necessity. And, your website must be 100% responsive…by April 21, 2015!
Why the urgency? Because more than 80% of people are viewing websites using their cell phones, iPads, tablets, or other mobile devices. Google has chosen that date to change the way its search system works so that it features websites or content that has been optimized for mobile devices.
The quick fix for WordPress users has always been a free plugin called WP-Touch. When we started supporting WordPress as early as 2008, we would load WP-Touch on every client website implementation. It was free, fast, and it just worked.
Yet, as clients grew more web-savvy and mobile-aware, the requests began to come in for more complex requirements and theme customization. Retrofitting WP-Touch to meet those needs just became functionally and financially unrealistic. Today, we’d like to share our stance on WP-Touch and why it’s simply NOT a solution we offer any longer.
Then, I’ll share our new solution for providing 100% mobile ready responsive websites for WordPress users.
Why We No Longer Offer WP-Touch for Getting Your Website Mobile Responsive
- The Hidden Costs of Free – The big attraction to WP-Touch has always been its price. By simply installing their free version, virtually any WordPress website could be seen and read on any mobile device. Where we would run into problems as a service provider was when the client would ask for customization.
If you have a customized look and feel to your home page or customization made to any page or post throughout your website, you will likely run into problems with the WP-Touch plugin (or any other standard plugin) as well.
You will either have to pay for the Pro version at $40 and customize some more or have your developer customize the plugin itself to add the functionality you’re looking for. Both scenarios bring your charge up to $100-$300.
- Good Themes Cost Extra – Sure, WP-Touch Pro provides some available themes. But, they’re no dummies. The most attractive themes, the ones you will be interested in, will likely require additional payment to WP-Touch. Now you’re up to $100-$300 again just for a look and feel you can live with. And, even they require customization.
Here’s a review we saw from an experienced user that drives home our point better than anything we could say:
Tobiassaid on January 28, 2014
“Experienced uers beware. I thought that with the volume of sales and positive reviews wptouch gets, it would be a snap to get what I need. I was wrong. You are forced into various methods of doing things and the customizations are very limited. If you are okay with a few simple templates, no custom CSS, and loss of desktop theme functionality, go for it.”
- Big Targets – Here’s the one that no one thinks about until they experience the event. Popular plugins become big targets for hackers. WP-Touch experienced this the hard way last summer when its code was breached. If WP-Touch is one of the most popular mobile plugins, then don’t be surprised if they get hacked again sometime soon leaving your website open to malicious code being inserted on your pages and posts. The results of malicious code being inserted to your website could require $1,000 or more to fix.
- Slower Load Time – A little more than a year ago, Google started factoring “load time” into their search results. This is the speed at which a page of your website becomes visible to a website visitor. We’ve found WordPress websites serve their pages faster when there are less plugins installed. So, by simply NOT installing the WP-Touch plugin, your website will be visible to readers faster, Google will see that speed (it’s all in Google Analytics by the way), and will give you just a wee bit higher search positions.
- Plugin Compatibility Challenges – WP-Touch and equivalent plugins sometimes sometimes don’t talk to each other. The result is that whatever functionality happens to your website may not be happening for the person looking at your website through a mobile device.
- Problems with Caching Plugins – Even with the message in #5 above, we feel there should be a special message for caching plugins. If your WordPress website gets more than 500 or so visits per month, you probably already know about caching plugins. Your website hosting provider has probably already forced you to install one if you are at that level of traffic or hither. Just be on the lookout that WP-Touch plugin has been known to not work right with caching plugins. It’s not an every occurrence event, so I can’t say it’s across the board. But the problem still can exist.
- Plugin Upgrades – Plugins get upgraded and updated seemingly on a weekly basis. If you don’t keep them up-to-date, your website is in security risk. If you DO keep them current, you run the added risk of the next version number not being compatible with your website or other plugins. The WP-Touch plugin is a pretty important one. If any of your plugins are not compatible with the latest version of WP-Touch or you have customization components inside WP-Touch that get overridden by upgraded software, you’re going to suddenly drop everything to fix your mobile website or remove plugins to gain functionality again.
We just feel the time for WP-Touch has come and gone. There are too many maintenance factors to stay on top of for it to be a good choice for most of the clients we work with that do not want to be constantly monitoring their websites for technical issues!
So, allow us to present two options for solutions…
Offer #1: Responsive WordPress
Our first solution is to have us build a mobile responsive WordPress theme for you. This theme would have the same qualities as your existing website. We would simply use components of the current look and feel of your website and create a theme that is already mobile responsive.
- 100% responsive for all pages and posts assuring consistent appearance for all browser types, versions, and no matter what type of screen, phone or mobile device you are using.
- Load time will probably be even faster for your mobile site than your standard website is for your computer
- Full support and warranty. If you don’t like the look/feel, we will change it, which is definitely not the case with plugins.
- Fastest load time possible for a mobile-ready WordPress website
- Upgrade or update as many WordPress plugins or WordPress versions and your responsive website will remain mobile compliant…guaranteed!
- And, most importantly, your site will satisfy the mobile requirements of Google for organic search!
We normally charge $750 for this service, but with Google’s deadline looming, we want give you incentive to get this done NOW instead of waiting until April 22. Rush jobs after the deadline may carry extra charges.
Until the end of March, use this coupon for our Early Bird special of just $449:
Coupon Code: RESPONSIVEWP
Offer #2: Move From WordPress
If your website is not already responsive and you’re wanting to move past WordPress and into a content management system that has WordPress features without the huge hackability risks and need for constant plugins and WordPress version upgrades, well, maybe it’s time you look into CloudNet360.
CloudNet360 is a business automation tool with one common database. So, your CRM, shopping cart, digital downloads, opt-in forms with auto-responders, surveys, squeeze pages, sales funnels, membership sites, scheduling system and even project manager share one database and one web-based system.
- No more charges for website hosting as it is built-in to your monthly paid subscription
- No worry about malicious code latching on to outdated plugins because the system is self-contained
- Easier to manage content than WordPress
- Website builder produces your website within a responsive theme so there is no additional effort needed to create a responsive website
- All the important features of WordPress like SEO, blog, video display, 3-silo approach to home page, sliders, but with much more functionality
This is the more-involved approach but is a good choice if you’ve been thinking about getting a re-design AND if you either sell product or use your website to generate leads.
You can sign-up for a fully featured and fully functional 30-Day Trial account for $4.95 by clicking anywhere on this image:
HereNextYear is a Platinum Level, certified channel partner service provider for CloudNet360.
If you’re not sure which direction to take, call 720-535-9285 or complete the contact form to setup a free consultation.
– – – – –
Marty Dickinson is the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club manager and author of Lions Always Win: How to Spot What You Want in Business and Life…and Get it Too!. Without knowing what you truly want, and the tools to get you there, your business is guaranteed to fail.