WordPress Mobile Edition: Redirect Flaw or Bloatware?

MobilityNigeria is powered by WordPress. As such, the site uses the WordPress Mobile Edition (WME) plugin by Alex King to cater for mobile users. WordPress Mobile Edition presents a mobile-friendly version of WordPress sites to mobile versions. It is a great piece of work.

mn-mobile1Up until a week or two ago, MobilityNigeria utilized WME version 2.1a, and it worked flawlessly. Then we upgraded to the sleek, new version 3.03 (3.04, the latest version, kept returning an activation error).

Yesterday night, I did some browsing on a more basic phone than the super-smartphones I normally use. Visiting MobilityNigeria on the phone’s browser returned an error to the effect that the page was “too large” to be downloaded. I repeatedly tried to access the site but got similar results.

Finally, I thought of checking another WordPress site that uses WME 3.03, www.davidajao.com/blog. Surprise, surprise – same result!

Note that MobilityNigeria never had this problem with even the most basic of mobile browsers when it was running WME 2.1a. I reverted to WME 2.1a this morning, and MobilityNigeria now loads fine on that same phone.

Clearly, WME 3.03 was doing something wrong. I see two options:

  1. WME 3.03 is not redirecting the browser in question to the mobile version, and so the browser is attempting to load the web interface and finding it too large, or
  2. The default WME 3.03 theme (Carrington Mobile), which we used, is bloated, and the mobile browser in question finds it too large

I went through the mobile browser’s User Agent list for both WME 2.1a and WME 3.03, and besides the touch browsers, YahooCrawler, and Samsung Omnia agents added to 3.03, the list is the same.

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From here, it looks like the problem is that of bloatware – the Carrignton Mobile theme just being too large for some mobile browsers to handle. But then, I may have missed something along the way.

Anyone facing these issues? Any ideas? I’ll also send a feedback to the developer, so we can see if anything can be worked out.

In the meantime, MobilityNigeria stays with WME 2.1a.

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

12 thoughts on “WordPress Mobile Edition: Redirect Flaw or Bloatware?

  • May 16, 2009 at 7:53 am
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    It turns out that I don’t use Alex King’s mobile edition plugin for my personal blog. I use a different one made in South Africa. You might want to read the full details about the latest WME release again.

  • May 16, 2009 at 8:03 am
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    Dave,

    The interface are so similar, and the results of loading both on the same browser are the same. I suspect that they are basically the same at the core. But then, I may be wrong.

    What’s the name of the mobile plugin you are using? A download link will be appreciated too, so I can check it out.

  • May 16, 2009 at 7:57 pm
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    Okay guys. It has been a busy day for me, but I finally have the WordPress Mobile Pack from MobiForge running, and its beautiful. The range of configurable options is just amazing.

    Here are a few details:
    – use my own custom mobile theme
    – very basic mobile admin that should work on less capable browsers. For example, I am now able to post new articles and moderate comments from the built-in browser of the LG KS360
    – use of widgets in mobile version

    This is indeed a very capable replacement for Alex King’s plugin (a good job in itself). What is a real bonus with this plugin is that it makes true mobility possible on WordPress, as against mobility on high-end devices.

    I am putting together an article to address why the mobile web won’t become mainstream until more basic devices (not just high-end mobiles and smartphones) are able to access a wider range of web services. Watch this space!

  • May 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm
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    David, I downloaded and checked the MobilePress structure, and it is quite different. Still it produces similar results as Alex King’s plugin.

    As mentioned earlier, your blog doesn’t load on the more basic mobile browser I am using at the moment.

    I think you should give the dotMobi plugin a try. It solved the problem for MobilityArena.com. Cheers!

  • May 17, 2009 at 7:55 pm
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    Hi Yomi,
    I am glad you found our plugin useful 😀 and thanks for your feedback on mobiforge, keep it coming 🙂

    I am also personally looking forward to read your thoughts on mobile web for more basic devices: that is a point dotMobi has been stressing from the beginning (which is one of the reasons we published our testing tool http://ready.mobi to help people build more standard mobile sites), and I think you are in an interesting position to give us an interesting perspective on how we can make things better on that front.

    Francesco

  • Jun 18, 2009 at 5:59 pm
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    I have not tried any of the above suggestions, but have learned things from the discussion so far.
    Well done guys.

  • Aug 27, 2009 at 11:29 am
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    Hi all – I’ve got another great option for you – and it’s better than the one you’ve already talked about!

    It’s called the Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin for WordPress and it mobilizes your blog. It works for every single device, from a WML phone to a brand new swanky phone with XHTML. Images are dynamically resized and you get the option to really customize your blog any way you want.

    In addition, you can upload mobile logos, style your site so the mobile version matches the website and you retain your brand identity. You also get loads of control over mobile SEO.

    If you fancy giving it a go, the URL is http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wapple-architect/ – it’d be great to hear your feedback!

    If you need any help setting it up or would like any assistance enhancing your mobile blog, get in touch over at http://mobilewebjunkie.com and I’ll do my best to lend a hand!

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