There is no love lost between WordPress and Opera Mini

WordPress and Opera Mini are two popular platforms of the web – many websites are powered by WordPress and many mobile web users around the world use Opera Mini browser to access the web. But that is where the similarities end. For the most part, WordPress and Opera Mini are at loggerheads.

As at 2015, WordPress powered 25% percent of all sites across the web. That was about 75 million websites. Opera Mini used to be huge once. But the overall share of the Opera family in the mobile Web browser market was about 5.84% in September 2017. This means that Opera Mini has a smaller share than 5.84%. Opera Mini is no longer the powerful platform that it once was.

wordpress and opera mini

The Fundamental Differences Between WordPress And Opera Mini

In order to provide all the extra functionalities that modern websites are known for, WordPress relies on JavaScript and Ajax. Opera Mini, on the other hand, strips websites of JavaScript and Ajax during compression in order to deliver faster web browsing and lower data consumption.

All the differences between the two platforms and all the clashes that happen when they meet boil down to the above fundamental point.

WordPress’ goal is to deliver modern and advanced functionality to websites while Opera Mini seeks to strip off all those in order to deliver faster web browsing and lower data consumption.

As long as all you do with Opera Mini is browse and read on a WordPress website, you are good. But once it is time to interact and engage – login, post comments, and carry out other tasks – chances are that you will get hit with one JavaScript error or the other.

How Opera Mini Works

You see, Opera Mini requests web pages through Opera Software’s compression proxy server. The compression server processes and compresses requested web pages before sending them to the mobile phone browser. The compression ratio is extremely high at 90% and the transfer speed is much faster because of this.

This is great for a section of the world where users struggle with slow networks and high data tariffs. The server pre-processing by Opera Mini increases compatibility with web pages not designed for mobile phones. Opera Mini users save time and cash.

However, interactive websites – like WordPress-powered sites – which depend on the device processing JavaScript do not work properly. Problem.

Why WordPress Developers Do Not Care

The statistics presented earlier explain why WordPress developers do not give a hoot about Opera Mini compatibility. Today’s top mobile browsers are Chrome, Safari, UC Browser and Samsung Internet. Those four platforms command 90% of the mobile browser market. Opera Mini has a paltry share less than 5% of the market.

It sounds like a similar situation to that of Windows Phone and BlackBerry mobile platforms. Why should any developer give a rat’s ass about Opera Mini with such a minuscule position on the mobile browser chart?

Bridging The Gap Between Functionality and Data Compression

As far back as 2013, I argued that data compression is the future of mobile web browsers. And that has happened. Other browsers have adopted data compression too, but instead of the harsh 90% that opera Mini does, killing all advanced functionality, browsers like Chrome are much less aggressive and do not interface with scripts.

That is because the future is both compression and advanced functionality. And other mobile web browsers have picked up on that.

These new browsers compress without killing off advanced functionality. Even video content is being compressed these days, but not enough to make them washy and tasteless. Opera Mini’s aggressive compression may very well be the cause of its death. WordPress will win; Opera Mini looks like it is on its way out.

Even In Africa…

It can be argued that if you want to target mobile web users in say Africa, Opera Mini cannot be ignored. That may have been true years ago. It no longer is. Statistics tell us that opera Mini is losing the battle. Even in Africa, Opera Mini is fast losing mobile market share to Google Chrome.

Opera Mini’s September 2017 market share has shrunk to 32% and Google Chrome has grown to take the top spot at 37%, as this report details.

As far as the clash between WordPress and Opera Mini is concerned, there is only one outcome. And it will happen sooner than later.

Award-winning Content creator, Digital marketing consultant, Trainer, Conference speaker, and Nigeria's pioneer and foremost mobile phone reviewer. Legend.

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