WPtouch Pro Review – Mobile Plugin for WordPress

WPtouch Pro is a plugin by BraveNewCode, and is the big brother of the free WPtouch plugin. The whole idea of this plugin is to enable you to easily create a mobile experience for your website's users.
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WPtouch Pro is a plugin by BraveNewCode, and is the big brother of the free WPtouch plugin.

The whole idea of this plugin is to enable you to easily create a mobile experience for your website’s users.

There are currently two options for mobile themes. The first is to have a responsive theme, which automatically adapts to the screen size it is being viewed upon. While this can be a great option for blogs with a straightforward design, many times it is unpractical for larger sites as it will slow down the sites (need to download all desktop content) and also make it very complex for the designer/developer to change things around depending on the device. There’s also the issue of excessive scrolling/too much content.

With a server side solution like WPtouch Pro you can offer a more streamlined solution that can create a specific mobile experience while maintaining optimal performance on any device.

The average size of a webpage is almost 1.5MB, and this is likely to continue rising every year. Responsive design usually adds a bit more kb in order to load the extra code and media for each device, making it more resource intensive on mobile devices.

In contrast, server-side solutions like WPtouch Pro leverage the benefits of detecting mobile device types like phones and tablets in order to deliver a fast and dependable mobile-optimized web experience.

If you’d like to know why a server side solution can be better than a responsive theme, be sure to click on the banner below:

Responsive-Design-vs-Server-Side-Solutions-Header-600x169

If you already know that you want a server-side solution and are interested in WPtouch Pro, read on as we examine the features of this plugin.

Features

There are way many features to list here, but let’s take a brief look at how WPtouch Pro works.

First of all, if you are already using WPtouch, you should know that the Pro version, which we are reviewing today, is a completely different beast that gives you the real power to take things further. With the Pro version, you get:

  • Full customisation options
  • Custom post type support
  • iPad support
  • Multi-level navigation menus
  • Threaded comments, inline replies
  • Custom ads
  • and more…

All these features are, in my opinion, essential for a proper mobile theme conversion, and I therefore urge you to upgrade to the Pro version. The free version is great to give you a taste of what WPtouch Pro can do, and to get you accustomed to how this plugin works.

WP Touch mobile plugin themes

WPtouch Pro gives you the ability to generate an iPad and smartphone version of your theme. There is a default theme included, which is the one shown above. However, you can create your own themes or child themes in much the same way as you would create your own theme with WordPress itself. Below I have included some examples of custom teams within WPtouch Pro.

You can do whatever you want when it comes to theming and customisation. This is an important point because many people are fooled into thinking that WPtouch Pro powered websites all look the same on mobile devices. It is probably true that many of those who purchase WPtouch Pro just activate the default theme and leave it at that. It’s a very good theme and works perfectly, so if they don’t have the necessary skills or time to customise further, it at least ensures a mobile-friendly display of their site in just a few minutes of set up time.

So yes, many of the WPtouch Pro powered websites look the same, but only because their owners haven’t created a custom theme yet. This can be compared to saying that all WordPress websites look the same. Yes, many people just use the TwentyTwelve theme that ships with WordPress, but many more come up with a totally custom design that has nothing WordPressy about it.

I would also mention ad management as a salient feature of WPtouch Pro. If you’re using Adsense and you want to show the ads also on mobile devices, just add your Adsense credentials and choose where the ads are to be displayed. That’s it, you’re done! This works also with other ad networks. For example if you are using BuySellAds, you can just grab the JavaScript code they give you and paste it into WPtouch Pro.

WPtouch Pro iPad features are another biggie. WPtouch Pro on iPad takes its cues from standard iPad user interfaces— so your visitors will instantly know how to navigate your website. WPtouch Pro uses iPad-native touch and scrolling gestures that are simply incredible to use. Unlike anything else, visitors will be amazed at the application-like experience it delivers. Buttons, controls, and links all respond with zero latency, because WPtouch Pro on iPad detects and takes advantage of touch interaction directly. iPad support is something optional, so you turn it on if you want to, but it’s certainly very useful, especially if your site’s theme is not responsive at all.

Here are some examples of sites that are using WPtouch Pro, as you can notice, you are completely free to customise the mobile templates as you wish, thus creating a custom theme that is especially tailored for each screen size the site is accessed from.

wptouch mobile theme example grolsch-wptouch-pro-mobile-theme kqna.com mobile wptouch pro

Support

WPtouch Pro comes with comprehensive online documentation which can be accessed on BraveNewCode’s website by logging in. With the developer version of the plugin you also get access to the developer docs and function reference.

They also have a forum where you can receive quick answers to your questions, as well as read through the vast knowledge base that has already been built up. Chances are that someone else has already asked your question and you will find it answered, so you can find what you need very quickly with the WPtouch Pro forum support solution.

After using WPtouch Pro for a while, you will come to the realisation that the guys at BraveNewCode are really passionate about mobile solutions, and they also take an interest in their customers.

This is evident when you see initiatives like WPtouch Pro Tips Central, where WPtouch Pro users can submit their site for review by the WPtouch Pro team. The team will analyse how the site owner is using WPtouch Pro and suggest improvements that can be implemented. Since WPtouch Pro is a very powerful plugin and only your imagination is the limit when it comes to customisation, such reviews help users get the most out of their purchase. It’s a very innovative initiative and I hope many other plugin authors can follow suit on this one.

Pricing

WPtouch comes in three flavours, excluding the free version, which you can easily download from the WordPress plugin repository.

  • Pro Single ($49)
  • Pro 5 Pack ($99)
  • Pro Developer ($199)

As you’ve probably already deduced, the $49 version is good for one site, while the 5 Pack lets you use the plugin on up to 5 different WordPress installations. The Developer version can be used on as many sites as you want, and is ideal for agencies or web developers who offer mobile conversion as one of their services.

All licenses Include:

  • One-time fee, not annual
  • 7-day refund guarantee
  • Basic product support in our forums
  • Free upgrades through all 2.x point releases (2.1, 2.2, 2.3 etc)
  • Access to knowledge base & basic docs
  • Download anytime, or download previous versions

Unlimited / Developer Licenses Also Include:

  • Priority support
  • Custom theming support
  • Developer documentation
  • Function reference
  • Design assets and resources

Since BraveNewCode is a Canadian company, the prices are in Canadian dollars, which are pretty much equivalent to US dollars at the moment.

I find the pricing of this plugin to be very affordable. Considering that you are getting a complete mobile experience just by installing and setting up this plugin, $49 is a low price to pay. The benefits for your readers will justify the price.

The developer option is also great if you’re a WordPress developer. You can easily offer static theme to mobile theme conversion services to your clients and have WPtouch pro repay itself many times over.

Conclusion

Building a responsive theme may not always be the best solution for your site, and that’s where WPtouch Pro comes in. Nothing else beats WPtouch pro when it comes to sophistication and the sheer speed at which you can produce a mobile version of your site.

WPtouch is no new kid on the block, having been a constant leader in the mobile plugin market for the last two years since its launch. The free version has been downloaded close to a staggering 4,000,000 times, making it one of the most popular plugins of all time. This gives you an idea of how well regarded WPtouch is within the WordPress community. I highly recommend WPtouch Pro for building mobile websites with WordPress.

Download WPtouch Pro

Do you use WPtouch Pro already? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience. If you’re thinking about purchasing WPtouch Pro but have some doubts, be sure to let us know and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

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23 Responses

  1. Unless you are a pro user, which is the audience that WP Touch Pro is aimed at, I think going with a responsive theme is still the best option.

    I think modern browsers are smart enough not to download content that is hidden by the responsive CSS so that addresses the file size issue (a little). And the biggest caveat: shortcodes won’t work when you use a server side solution like WP Touch Pro. So all your custom [slideshow] and [button] will just appear as unstyled square brackets in the content.

  2. what ctr should i expect with wp touch pro for my gaming website? I was using the free version and to be honest it was quite low, around 0.25%.

  3. Although wptouch pro does support custom post types, it does not support custom post archive pages. A problem if you have bbpress installed.

  4. WP Touch Pro sure looks great, but buying it now would be buying it at the worst time imaginable. You’re right, you get free upgrades through all 2.x point releases and that’s cool. Problem is the most recent version of WP Touch Pro is 2.8.2, so basically you’re paying the full amount for an end of life license. When they release version 3.0, probably within a few weeks or months, you have to buy a brand new license – again. I don’t know if there’s an upgrade discount, but right now that doesn’t look like a good deal to me. For now I stick with the free version, waiting and waiting to buy version 3.0.

  5. Hi! My name is Joyce and I’m BraveNewCode’s community specialist.

    Thanks so much for your interest in WPtouch Pro! Sorry to hear we’ve kept you waiting for version 3.0. When it does become available we expect you’ll find it was worth the wait!

    When we launch the next major release of WPtouch Pro, current customers will be offered an upgrade discount. We’ll also make sure to take care of our recent purchasers.

    Hope this helps answer your concerns. If you have any outstanding questions, please feel free to drop me a note at info[at]bravenewcode[dot]com

  6. Hi guys. I’ve used wp touch pro on Another website. However I’m testing a new web app using wordpress as the CMS. I’ve tried to use any mobile theme switcher however I’m unable to include custom-page.php files and add theme to page attributes drop down.

    How can I add my custom page templates with different loops and taxonomies so when I add a new page to get an option to use the page template in attributes.

    My mobile theme is not a child theme. Must it be a child theme to work? I’m using the jquery mobile framework to markup. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Hi–
    I am trying to set up WPTouch on my website: instabraid.com. I have completely set it up and it works great, except I cannot figure out how to implement ads on the mobile website– they are showing up blank. I have inserted my publisher ID and everything required to provide advertising on your mobile site, yet it still is not showing up. Please let me know if you have any insight or suggestions to how this can be fixed.
    Thanks!
    Instabraid

    1. Hi, did you try the Bravenewcode support forum? They are very quick to help you out, I’m sure they can easily fix your issue. If you get no solution please post again and I’ll investigate further myself.

  8. My wife ordered the single version and could never get it to work. They refused to refund her money. They kept telling her that she needed to read the limitations. This is not a company that I would ever do business with again.

  9. I am using the WP Touch free version to make sure it works the way I want it to before upgrading and I am having issues. My page speed for mobile is horrendous because of render blocking javascript. How do I get javascript to load asynchronously? it doesn’t seem to work with w3TC. I’ve read about adding in user agents and each time I try my site crashes. Are these features the same in free and pro version? I don know the pro version has the built in cache.

  10. Hey Steve,

    Sorry for the late reply, but I just stumbled upon your comment. Please have your wife contact me personally via our contact form and I’d be happy to try and sort it out with her. We obviously want happy customers, even those who choose not to use the product.

    Also Chelle, I trust you managed to get some help via our support team, but if not drop us a line and we’ll make sure to get you sorted out.

    Regards,
    Duane Storey
    Co-founder, BraveNewCode

  11. I’ve had a horrible experience with these guys so far. Paid $199 dollars and it does not easily integrate with my theme. Make sure you look at their refund guarantee it is deceptive. They basically tell you to work with their support staff if you have problems which does not honor and incompatibility warranty at all as there are no stipulations for them

    If someone is not happy they are not happy. 200 buxs down the toilet. Thanks wptouch. Buyer beware. I suggest anyone else with a bad experience to post their experience with these guys. It is not a very honest business practice. I bought in light of the “refund guarantee”. Disappointed 0/5 for something I cannot use and paid $200 for

    1. Hi Kallumjm,

      Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience with WPtouch Pro. We obviously want our customers to be happy with the product.

      In the past we had a real problem with friendly fraud, basically where someone would purchase WPtouch Pro and immediately ask for a refund. Their intent was just to receive a free copy of WPtouch Pro without paying for it. To help combat that, we changed our refund policy to ensure that people at least engaged our support team before asking for a refund. This is in line with many other commercial WordPress plugins.

      There is a clear hyperlink that describes our policy in full before purchasing the plugin, and customers have to agree to those terms before making the purchase. I’m sorry this seems deceptive to you, but the information is readily available, in plain english, to all customers who read the policy.

      In almost all cases where customers face legitimate issues, our support team is usually able to help resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction. In cases where there is a capability issue, we will give a refund without hesitation. In all fairness though, you purchased the product last night, and our support team only works during the day in PST. So they’ve only had a few hours to even try to assist you. But since you would like a refund immediately, we just processed it in full on PayPal.

      Sorry that your experience wasn’t to your satisfaction. We’ll aim to do better in the future.

      Regards,
      Duane Storey
      Co-founder, BraveNewCode Inc.

  12. Wptouch dealt with me in a quick and effective manner. I am also in online business and understand the need for online reputation. WPtouch remedied the problem within an hour of me posting this. I’d like to say that is very honorable and from other experiences with other companies, thought my money was gone for sure. Great customer service and follow through.

    I told WPtouch that they should implement some things and that I will be a customer once these are fixed. I couldn’t implement these things to fit into my website and my sales dropped. This is unacceptable with a website that makes a large monthly income. Anyway I am happy with the outcome and am sure WPtouch will do well especially in light of Google’s new rules of hurting sites that are not “mobile friendly”. This is actually the main reason I bought this plugin.

    Anyway, one suggestion would be to offer a free 3 day trial rather than the refund guarantee. I do feel it is slightly deceptive. The free trial of the pro version would allow stores with big volume to see if the plugin is compatible. The plugin is protected with the licensing and many website owners don’t mind paying $200 for something that works and helps boost sales. People like me are not interested in buying anything that is cracked or pirated due to fear of malware and incompatibility issues with further updates.

    Just my suggestion. Thank you Duane and WPtouch. I do respect a business that honors their word. For others, I suggest to try WPtouch. It could really boost your rankings and help with the large amount of increasing smartphone traffic.

    1. There is a free version of WPtouch, which in many ways acts like a trial version for our customers. The license for WPtouch Pro only gives you access to support and auto-updates – it isn’t used to limit the product, which would be against the GPL. So people who pay and then ask for a refund can continue to use the Pro version of the product without paying, since the functionality isn’t limited at all. That’s the nature of our refund policy: it’s meant to strike a balance between the customer needing to make sure it works on their website, and our need to combat deceptive practices such as friendly fraud.

      But we’re glad you are pleased with the result now. Hopefully now you understand the nature of the refund policy a little better. It’s not meant to be deceptive, but rather to protect both us and the customer in the transaction.

      Regards,
      Duane Storey
      BraveNewCode Inc.

  13. WPTouch (free version) only displays the left side of most pages when viewed on my Window phone (Nokia 920), with no way for the user to scroll or move to the hidden parts of pages. That makes it unusable so I had to deactivate it. Does the Pro version allow the user to move/scroll to the parts of pages that won’t fit on the small mobile screen?

    http://ca-bankruptcylaw.com

  14. Stay away from WPtouch….they don’t respond to customers’ inquiries and support is ZERO.

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