I can remember searching around frantically for a mobile theme to install on my blog. With all the smartphones that were becoming increasingly popular a few years ago, I saw the need to accommodate their limited browsing capabilities.
Periodically, I still see blog posts, such as on Famous Bloggers, encouraging bloggers to accommodate their mobile viewers.
Don’t miss out on mobile traffic! Don’t miss out on an opportunity to monetize your mobile theme! Blah Blah Blah!
What I’ve come to realize as a mobile browser is that I actually hate mobile themes! I dislike the limited functionality of these themes. I immediately look for the “switch to desktop” or “turn off mobile” options. All the while I’m losing the few precious moments that I had to check out blog updates.
As I’ve grown more frustrated with these themes, here’s why I believe mobile themes are no longer a necessity:
- It’s a waste of time for readers like me who quickly search for the “desktop” button.
- This should probably be number one, because it’s my biggest pet peeve – there is no Twitter button in the mobile theme! That means I can’t share your post without jumping through 50,000 hoops (which I don’t have time for, BTW). No sharing on Facebook, Stumbleupon, Google+ – nada! Most mobile themes remove the sharing buttons that are otherwise available on the regular version of a blog. I have no problem using the Tweet button from my phone otherwise, and in order to tweet a post, I have to first switch to the regular version if the option exists.
- The ComLuv plugin rarely works properly, if it’s even an option. So no “last post” benefit is available unless I waste time switching to the regular version.
- They are outdated! Many people have more updated phones now that are capable of viewing blogs in their regular state. And for those who can’t – there’s still the Opera Mini App that pretty much let’s you see a site in its entirety.
- It ruins your branding and makes your site look like everyone else’s. It’s visually uninteresting and most bloggers tend to use the same boring mobile theme. That’s right, even my favorite sites like Problogger and Famousblogger look alike in the mobile world. The visual elements that make those sites unique are no longer present.
- Mobile themes sometimes strip images from the blog post. Yeah, those cool images that usually draw the visual learners in are no longer there. All that time taken to format and perfectly size images, wasted on the eye of the mobile viewer.
- Videos may disappear in the mobile version. So if you skip the intro and explanation of your video, mobile users won’t even know what they’re missing. So much for optimizing your blog for mobile…
- Unless you have a major site, there are no real benefits to mobile monetization, Adsense for Mobile clicks are generally less than a dollar. Besides, when I view the regular version of a site, the regular Adsense ads display just fine.
So really, I don’t see a need for the mobile version anymore. Maybe last year this would’ve been still an essential component, but not anymore. With all of the tablets, iPhones, and Android powered devices, mobile viewing isn’t as limited as it used to be.
I opted out of creating a mobile version for WeBlogBetter. What do you think about this? If you view this blog via a mobile browser, are there any drawbacks I’m missing? What about you, have you optimized your site for mobile? What’s your experience with mobile monetization?