In November 2014, Google introduced the mobile friendly label for their mobile search results. Sites which are not mobile friendly face the danger of not appearing Google’s mobile search results. Google has also introduced an online tool for checking the mobile friendliness of a website.
When I tested my sites on this tool, I discovered that they were not mobile friendly. Because my sites WordPress-based, I started searching for plugins that can make my sites mobile friendly. I immediately stumbled on WPtouch, which offers a mobile suite for WordPress.
It is reported that over seven million WordPress users and companies, including some of the world’s top brands use WPtouch. I installed it on my blogs and everything was fine. My blogs passed the mobile friendly test on Google.
But there was a big problem. As I was trying to find out how I can implement the Adsense codes on their mobile theme, I discovered that that facility is only available only for those who go for the WPtouch Pro. This advanced version of WPtouch is not free. Prices range from US$66 to US$349.
The extra services offered are so exciting, but for me I have not reached the stage of paying such amounts of money for my blog. I just need simple Google ads, nothing sophisticated. As much as I liked WPtouch so much, I was left with no choice but just to deactivate it and delete it from blog.
I resumed searching for a WordPress mobile plugin that allows free Google Adsence banner placements. As my searching continued, I stumbled on Jetpack, a free plugin developed by Automattic, the same company that develops the WordPress software. Among so many facilities, Jetpack comes with a mobile friendly theme. I activated it after installing and activating Jetpack.
I then downloaded a free Mobile Theme Ads plugin for Jetpack written by Jeremy Herve . I installed it and set up my Google Adsense. On top of the mobile friendliness, my ads are up and running and I haven’t paid anything for these wonderful tools.
In addition, Jetpack comes with more than facilities, which will make most of the current plug-ins irrelevant. Some of these Jetpack facilities that I have activated on this blog include:
- Beautiful Maths: This helps to include LATEX mathematical equations and formulae in blog posts.
- Custom CSS: This gives the the ability to add to or replace the theme’s CSS, all while supplying syntax coloring, auto-indentation, and immediate feedback on the validity of the CSS that one is writing.
- Custom Content Types: This helps to organize and display different types of content on your site, separate from posts and pages.
- Enhanced Distribution: Jetpack automatically takes the published content from the blog or website and shares it instantly with third party services like search engines, increasing reach and traffic.
- Extra sidebar widgets: Incorporation of extra widgets in the sidebars
- Gravatar Hovercards: They enhance plain Gravatar images with information about a person: name, bio, pictures, their contact info, and other services.
- JSON API: Allow authorization of applications and services to securely connect to the blog and allow them to use blog’s content in new ways and offer a new functionality.
- Manage: Enabling Manage allows you to update your self-hosted WordPress sites along with any WordPress.com sites you have, all in one simple dashboard.
- Spelling and grammar: The After the Deadline Proofreading service improves your writing by using artificial intelligence to find your errors and offer smart suggestions.
- Protect: This is a cloud-powered brute force attack prevention tool. We leverage the millions of WordPress sites to identify and block malicious IPs.
I have just presented ten of these facilities, but there are many and from what I see the trend is increasing. If you are running a self-hosted WordPress blog or website, I strongly recommend the Jetpack plugin.