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Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (24 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849515727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849515726
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,602,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a web designer who uses WordPress to build business websites and specialises in mobile and responsive development. I run a web design agency (Compass Design) based in Birmingham, UK, where we offer web design and development as well as graphic design and social media support.

My first published book brings these areas of expertise together - WordPress Mobile Web Development gives you a full guide to making your WordPress website mobile, from quick and easy plugins, through responsive design through to developing web apps. I've also written a number of articles on web design, mobile design and WordPress, for Smashing Magazine, Opera and my own blog.

I've dabbled in fiction writing - as yet to be published! I'm working on a couple of novels which touch on political themes with a hint of science fiction.

Find out more about me and read my blog at http://compass-design.co.uk.

Product Description

About the Author

Rachel McCollin

Rachel McCollin is director at Compass Design (http://compass-design.co.uk/). She has been developing WordPress sites, including mobile sites, since early 2010. She has spoken on this topic at WordCamp, written articles and blogged about it. Rachel has developed a reputation in the UK WordPress community as an expert on the topic. She has experience building mobile WordPress sites for a variety of clients and has written tutorials on technical subjects.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Give your WordPress sites a boost!

So many of us web developers and designers depend on WordPress to fulfil the needs of our customers, and it is often hard to find information on niche WP topics, especially things like making WP sites responsive. I know there are responsive themes available for WP, but that is only a small part of creating mobile-friendly sites.

So I opened Rachel's book with anticipation, having read some of her work before on various web sites, and I wasn't disappointed. She covers pretty much anything you could possibly need to get started in this area in a friendly approachable style, starting from the basics and moving up to more complicated topics. She starts off by giving sound advice on using mobile plugins and themes - great, because there is such a lot to choose from out there. The next major section of the book looks at using media queries to optimise different facets of your layout, from general containers, to nav menus, to text.

Then we get to the real meat of the responsive umbrella - responsive images. Rachel presents some pretty nifty techniques for making video and images responsive on a WP site, including serving different file size images, rather than just changing the display size.

The rest of the book concludes nicely, with tips for creative web app interfaces for WP sites, dynamically altering the content sent to (or displayed on) different devices using server- and client-side technologies, and how to handle testing and updates. If you're a WP developer working in this day and age, you'll probably find a lot of useful stuff crammed inside these pages.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A comprehensive book on responsive design 25 Nov. 2012
By Juanjo Fernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
We live at a time when it's essential to make our websites or web apps accessible from several different types of devices: desktop computers with big screens, smartphones with small touchscreens, tablets, netbooks, televisions, consoles, etc.

As a result, starting in the web development world is becoming more difficult for newbies. This book tries to make that path easier by doing a thorough explanation of all steps to be followed to make our websites or web apps more accessible.

Going further into details on the book's contents, it has to be stressed that is focused to newbies, but to make the most of it is highly recommended to have experience with CSS. PHP isn't essential, although it helps. Nor is it necessary experience with WordPress, but if you've used before you will feel more comfortable following explanations.

This book is part of the series "Learn by doing" by Packt Publishing, which means that it's eminently practical. It's advisable to read it in front of your computer and write, modify and experiment with the code you will find that is abundant.

It consists of 10 chapters that I will comment below:

Chapter 1: Starting with the basics, this chapter tries to make a website accessible using free WordPress plugins. We use an example website called Carbonelli's, which is an ice cream store, and we'll see continuously throughout the book. Rachel McCollin makes an exhaustive review of the five most used WordPress plugins to make a responsive site, explaining their pros and cons and installing and configuring two of them.

Chapter 2: Using plugins is a valid option in some cases, but it has many limitations. If you need something more flexible, the next step is to use a responsive WordPress theme, which is the focus of this chapter. Again we find an exhaustive comparison of different responsive themes. Rachel walks you through the installation process and shows the result for desktop computers and mobile devices.

Also install a theme switcher plugin type. These kind of plugins change the WordPress theme when they detect that the user is accessing from a mobile device.

Chapter 3: So far, we have seen the possibilities we have to develop our responsive website without touching code, but this will change in this chapter that focuses on Media Queries. We start making our layout to fluid, changing the pixel dimensions to percentages, then we'll define breakpoints for desktop computers, tablets in portrait mode, smartphones in landscape mode and smartphones in portrait mode. Finally we'll create Media Queries for each of these breakpoints.

Chapter 4: This chapter continues where we left off in the previous one and we'll play much CSS code. Basically we will make the necessary adjustments in Media Queries that we created for the Carbonelli's website to looks properly at any resolution. The process followed by Rachel is: shows a site's image before the changes, explains the necessary adjustments and the reason, shows the code to achieve our goal (change the font size, adjust width, margins, etc.) and finally shows a picture with the result. An extensive and very detailed chapter.

Chapter 5: Now that we have a website with a responsive design for any type of device, it's time to improve the user experience (UX). To achieve this, certain adjustments are necessary in the theme, such as changing the font size, using ems instead of pixels, changing font type and modifying the navigation. All this according to the device's resolution.

Chapter 6: One of the big issues to ensure a responsive design is to deal properly with images and video. The reason is that, unlike the rest of elements that make up a website, in this case isn't enough to fit the width with the layout, the real challenge is to ensure that the mobile devices doesn't download the images full size version while we only need to show a much smaller one. We all know that data consumption has a price in such devices when we are not using WiFi, so it's a very important issue for our users.

Well, this chapter exactly focuses this and solve the problem using a plugin that allows you to serve different content based on the device.

Chapter 7: Following improvements in user experience, now that we are able to detect the type of device accessing our site, we can provide data tailored for different devices. I have found it very interesting to know the kind of information searched by the users depending on the type of device that they are using.

Chapter 8: This chapter explains, among other things, what's a web app and what options we have when converting a website into a web application. Then we will see step by step what we need to do in order to begin transforming the visual appearance of Carbonelli's website in a web application.

Chapter 9: Once we have the web app visuals, we must change out app's functionality. Rachel starts by reviewing the different types of plugins that we can use: E-commerce plugins, geolocation, social media, etc. to finally explain how we can add a feature that allows our users to create and sell custom ice creams using PayPal as a payment method.

Chapter 10: The last step before launching our web app is to test it in a variety of browsers and devices. This chapter shows us the different options we have to achieve it: using browsers' plugins that modify the browser size or change the User Agent, and use various mobile devices' emulators.

In summary and as I said at the beginning of this review, it's a practical book that forces us to adopt an active attitude when it comes to reading. Isn't enough to sit back into your favorite couch, you have to roll up your sleeves and start writing code and experimenting. In addition, each chapter includes a brief test that will help us to check if we master the skills. At the end of the book we can find the solutions and explanations to each question.

This is a book that, as the title suggests, is focused to newbies. Surely not make you an expert on the subject, but it's a great start to keep you learning about responsive design, something that are more and more important every day.

Finally I must emphasize that, although the book focuses on modifying a website using WordPress, you will find content very useful even if you don't use this CMS, especially from chapter 3, which is when we started to modify CSS code.
Review 19 Dec. 2012
By Milan Petrovic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Book is split into 10 chapters. First chapter deals with use of plugins to deliver mobile version of a website. Step by step instructions are included for few popular plugins. Second chapter is about using responsive themes that use same theme for mobile and desktop viewing, adjusting layout to different screen size using CSS.

Chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6 are dedicated to building a responsive theme from setting up media queries for different devices, setting the layout to follow the responsive approach, working with theme elements and optimizing content for smaller screens (images before all). Chapter 8 deals with the detection of the device visiting the page and different method for this.

Chapters 9 and 10 are dedicated to web apps, and methods for building them, and what plugins and tools you can use to enhance the app. Last chapter is about testing the mobile websites without using devices, all through desktop simulators for different platforms.

Chapters on web apps are lacking and they are missing the much needed information about different mobile platforms and specific aspects needed for such apps on different devices. There is only a list of websites for different mobile systems and nothing more. testing chapter is also lacking information for more popular mobile environments, most likely due to the fact that only Opera has real testing tools for its mobile browsers.

This is very good book. It was written for beginners, and it delivers relevant information for various methods on making mobile friendly website. Step by step tutorials in it are great, easy to follow and understand. There are some things that maybe are not exactly for beginners, but even code and CSS examples are followed by a lot of explanations.
Does what it says on the tin 14 Dec. 2012
By 4eyes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book comprehensively covers the options available to make a Wordpress site work well on all mobile devices - phones and tablets. Whilst aimed at the beginner, more advanced developers will find many useful tips and resources throughout the book.

WordPress Mobile Web Development: Beginner's Guide starts with some simple steps a developer can take to enhance how his site will look on different devices. The meat of the book discusses what is meant by responsive design and how to provide a good user experience on all devices using more hands-on techniques. Native apps are discussed and what the developer can do to make use of a browser's in-built functionality. There is also a discussion on useful techniques and strategies for testing and debugging your site.

Each chapter provides numerous resources for downloading and references for further research. Techniques are detailed via a step by step approach and accompanied by a good use of screenshots. Many of the chapters include pop quizzes for you to test your understanding and retention.
The first two chapters address the resources available to make a wordpress site mobile friendly. There are a number of themes and plugins available to download, enabling the developer to quickly ensure their site works well on all devices. The book explains the different impact these resources have on both development and end result. The author walks the reader through the steps to implement responsive themes or plugins including a description of the options and how to use them.
The next five chapters focus on the theory of responsive design and more advanced techniques to customise the mobile experience. Issues of accessibility, response times and ease of interaction are addressed both from a theoretical and practical perspective. The author repeatedly refers back to these issues to help the developer determine which technique is the most suitable to use.

Specific chapters focus on the different aspects of a website - page layout, text, navigation, images and videos - and how to make them responsive. In these chapters, you will learn how to use media queries, optimize images as well as file size and adjust your layout depending on device size and orientation. The author identifies different strategies to employ depending on the objective of the page and offers solutions for different problems. For example if space is an issue for displaying the navigation, she suggests using an accordion effect or using a fixed position button to link to the navigation further down the page. You can download a sample chapter at [...]
The 2 chapters on native apps provide a good overview on their pros and cons versus mobile sites. Immediate and longer term solutions for a developer to consider are identified and as in previous chapters, third party solutions are offered for further investigation. The final chapter on testing is excellent, providing invaluable techniques and resources for testing. Clearly testing on all mobile devices is challenging and this chapter provides a number of options.

I highly recommend this book to beginning developers with a small caveat - experience with Wordpress is essential and knowledge of CSS is useful. More advanced developers and developers who do not use Wordpress will also benefit from the many resources and references discussed. My only criticism of this book is that, unlike some books, it does not provide the full code for the example site which would enable the user to properly try out all the code and techniques.
Give your WordPress sites a boost! 12 Oct. 2012
By Chris Mills - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Give your WordPress sites a boost!

So many of us web developers and designers depend on WordPress to fulfil the needs of our customers, and it is often hard to find information on niche WP topics, especially things like making WP sites responsive. I know there are responsive themes available for WP, but that is only a small part of creating mobile-friendly sites.

So I opened Rachel's book with anticipation, having read some of her work before on various web sites, and I wasn't disappointed. She covers pretty much anything you could possibly need to get started in this area in a friendly approachable style, starting from the basics and moving up to more complicated topics. She starts off by giving sound advice on using mobile plugins and themes - great, because there is such a lot to choose from out there. The next major section of the book looks at using media queries to optimise different facets of your layout, from general containers, to nav menus, to text.

Then we get to the real meat of the responsive umbrella - responsive images. Rachel presents some pretty nifty techniques for making video and images responsive on a WP site, including serving different file size images, rather than just changing the display size.

The rest of the book concludes nicely, with tips for creative web app interfaces for WP sites, dynamically altering the content sent to (or displayed on) different devices using server- and client-side technologies, and how to handle testing and updates. If you're a WP developer working in this day and age, you'll probably find a lot of useful stuff crammed inside these pages.
Author very approachable 17 Jan. 2013
By Bill Keevers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author's website [...] has direct contact information. I wanted to emulate her sample WordPress site [...] so I could follow along more closely. After I e-mailed her, she sent me her Dropbox account so I could download all the files. Then when I experience an error, she e-mailed me that I needed to install the Mobble plugin [...]
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