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5 mobile solutions about Joomla templates and plug-ins

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Mobile solutions for your Joomla websites

Mobile solutions for Joomla websites

In the mobile age which we are living in, more and more users access websites via smart mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android-based or Windows-based mobiles. It brings a new challenge to website developers - Providing the look-and-feel of a mobile device's user interface effectively.

Joomla CMS is not an exception. Joomla developers provide some mobile solutions for your websites. Take the phone out of your pocket and check out yours website with the mobile Joomla products below.

A general review

A mobile's screen is smaller than a computer's screen. That is, on a mobile, only the main content should be displayed. You can create a website layout for mobiles by using plug-ins or templates.

I picked the most popular Joomla templates and plug-ins mobile devices and tested them out on the iPhone and iPad:

Product name

Joomla version

Mobile support

PROs

CONs

PLUG-INS

Mobile Joomla

1.5, 1.7, 2.5

- iPhone

- Android

- Blackberry

- Nokia

- All other phones

- Free

- Quite comprehensive settings

- Four 3rd-party extensions supported.

- Support various mobile phone types

- Sophisticated settings

- Limited mobile themes

J Admin Mobile

1.5, 1.7

- iPhone

- Easy to use

- No support for other mobile phone types

- Still buggy

TEMPLATES

Templates based on Gantry framework

1.5, 1.7, 2.5

- iPhone

- Android

- Comprehensive settings

- No support for other mobile phone types
- No additional 3rd-party extensions support

Templates based on JSN Framework

1.5, 1.7, 2.5

- iPhone

- Android

- Mobiles based on Windows OS

- Easy to use

- Fast

- No additional 3rd-party extensions support

Templates based on Warp Framework

1.5, 1.7

- iPhone

- Android

- Easy to use

- Fast & smooth

- No support for other mobile phone types

- Limited module positions

Detailed reviews

Joomla Plug-ins

Mobile Joomla

Mobile Joomla plug-in

Front-end and Back-end of Mobile Joomla

If you ask about mobile solutions on forums, Mobile Joomla might be one of the first plug-ins recommendations. In general, Mobile Joomla is quite flexible to customize the mobile website as you wish.

This plug-in permits you to present your website on various mobile device types: iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia and other phones. You can customize the mobile layout with 9 module positions; custom templates, menu and homepage for each device category. You don't need to worry about images presentation since it allows you choose to remove or re-size images on the mobile as well. Beside this, it comes with 4 additional extensions: Remove Support Ads, Youtube Mobile, Login Mobile and Google Analytics Mobile.

However, personally, I think that it is quite complex to use. There are too many parameters to set up; and, many parameter names are not self-explanatory.

Download (Registration required) - Documentation

J Admin Mobile

Joomla mobile solutions: J Admin mobile plug-in

J Admin Mobile shows the content on your website

If you have to edit content on your website from your iPhone, you may consider choosing J Admin Mobile (JAM). It allows you to manage some core sections such as Articles, Sections, Categories, etc in the back-end of site remotely.

There are 2 editions of J Admin Mobile:

  • Free Edition: You can use it on only one website. You get full permissions in the Articles section, but just get the view permission in the other sections. Besides this, there is an advertisement displayed on your website.
  • Premium Edition: You can use it on unlimited websites. You get full permissions in all sections that J Admin Mobile supports and there is no advertisement displayed on your website.

J Admin Mobile sounds promising. So I took a test of its Free Edition first. However, it is just suitable with simple work, not serious work. In the Articles section, there is no the built-in Tiny MCE editor and you need to edit the article in the html code. You will be limited if you want to edit the all of the content. Moreover, I couldn't re-size images to insert them into an article.

Download / Buy (an iTunes account is required) - Documentation

Joomla Templates

Some Joomla templates come with built-in versions for mobile devices. The settings can be configured in the back-end of the templates.

Templates based on RT Gantry framework

Joomla mobile solutions: Gantr framework templates

The mobile version and PC version of RT Gantry framework

If you have used Joomla, Rockettheme is definitely not an unfamiliar provider to you. This is a leading vendor with nice templates and extensions.

You won't be disappointed with the mobile version of their templates which are based on the RT Gantry framework. It is quite flexible since it allows you to organize your content in 7 module positions and customize 9 menu animations. You can also set Scalable content to enabled or disabled to allow your users to zoom your content. Big images will be automatically re-sized to suit your website.

Last but not least, detailed on-site guidelines can help you use it easily.

Download / Buy - Documentation

Templates based on JSN framework

Joomla mobile solutions: JSN framework templates

The mobile version and PC version of JSN framework

Simple, easy to use, and highly effective are the criteria which Joomlashine used to create their Joomla templates on PC, and it is also true of the mobile version. Compact and lightweight, with a fast loading speed - it has an original look like the desktop version.

9 module positions allow you to display the main content quite comfortably. All child menu items are presented as a tree in a collapsible panel. And you can still keep your favorite features such as rich icons and icon on menus in this version.

You don't need to recreate or copy modules and menus with JSN Tendo. You just need to configure (map) the modules from their regular positions to mobile positions. As a result, the template will be displayed as you wish on mobile.

Download / Buy - Documentation

Templates based on Warp framework

Joomla mobile solutions: Warp framework templates

The mobile version and PC version of Warp framework

Using templates based on Warp Framework is a comfortable experience. It is clean and neat with 5 available positions which help readers focus on the main content. Besides this, a drop down menu, a search and a login section are grouped in the toolbar in the top right. To guarantee fast and smooth animations of the layout, JavaScript effects are eliminated.

There are no complex settings with the mobile version of Warp Framework. It is very easy to understand and easy to configure the mobile version with 8 parameters in the back-end. And you don't need to worry about its quality -it is stable.

Buy - Documentation

In conclusion

Template support for mobile devices is still not so popular. Besides the mobile solutions mentioned above, you can also use the plugin Auto Template Switcher or other Joomla templates such as the JA T3 framework based templates of Joomlart, the Morph framework based templates of JoomlaJunkie, the Zen Grid 2 based templates of Joomlabamboo, etc.

Have you tested any of the above mobile solutions? Please feel free to share your experience with us.

* Feb 22, 2012: Some information has been updated: Some of the Joomla products above now support Joomla 2.5
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