iwphone Image by Purple Lime

Most of you are probably sick of hearing about the iPhone by now. But given that there is no escaping Apple-mania today, you might want to take half an hour to prep your blog for iPhone use.

Thankfully, it’s all very easy to do.

iPhone-Specific Theme Plugin

iWPhone is a WordPress plugin that serves a made-for-iPhone theme to anyone viewing your blog from an iPhone or iPod Touch.

You can see how the theme looks on Flickr.

But is the theme better than your regular blog theme?

In some cases, yes. Reading text off a colored background isn’t always a great experience at iPhone level, and given that very few people on a  small screen are going to read your ads, there is little gain in showing them.

The iWPhone plugin provides a clean, simple interface that’s easy to read from. It also has a pretty cool feature where tapping anywhere on the content of an excerpt will load the post page.

However, the iPhone web browser is great. The vast majority of sites look great on the iPhone, and yours is probably one of them. If so, keep your custom design. It’s much more unique and much more memorable than the iPhone theme will ever be.

And the great browser is one of the main reasons people buy the iPhone; they want to see the real internet, not an “optimized” version.

In the end, you need to know how your current design looks on an iPhone. If it isn’t up to scratch, the iWPhone plugin is an easy way to fix it.

Create a Web-Clip Icon

Web-clips allow iPhone users to create a link to your web page on their dashboard.

To create a custom web clip icon for your blog, create an image that follows these rules:

  • Square image. The iPhone adds the rounded corners itself, and adds a drop shadow effect.
  • Has dimensions 57×57 pixels.
  • Has no gloss effects. Again, the iPhone adds those itself.

Then simply upload it to the root folder of your site, with the name apple-touch-icon.png

The icon will then be used for every page on your site. If you want to have a different icon for a specific page in your site, you can do so by adding the following code to the page’s <head> section:

<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/custom_icon.png"/>

The official Apple documentation on this is here, and their advice for designing your icon is here. And you can see the Pro Blog Design icon here.

iPhone Blogging Apps

For the iPhone owners themselves; WordPress users should check out the official WordPress iPhone App.

At the minute it only covers writing and editing posts, but given that it was only announced yesterday, it has plenty of time to grow! I have my fingers crossed for comment moderation to be the next feature on the list.

The app will be released for free, for both wordpress.com and wordpress.org users, via the app store when it’s ready.

And for Typepad users (if you don’t already know!), Six Apart have a great free blogging app already available in the app store.

Preparing your blog for the iPhone is easy. Sadly, deciding whether or not to buy one isn’t. I can’t make up my mind! What do you think of it?

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