How to make your WordPress site mobile friendly
July 23. 2019
These days, having a mobile-friendly website isn’t just a mere option – it’s a necessity. Having in mind that mobile users now account for more than half of all internet traffic, it gives you an idea of just how important it is to make your WordPress site mobile friendly. You don’t want to fall behind the competition, right? Luckily, one of the benefits of using WordPress websites is that it’s relatively easy to optimize your site for mobile users – as long as you follow some general guidelines. Unfortunately, simply installing a responsive theme and calling it a day won’t do the trick. You first need to understand what exactly it means to have a mobile-friendly website in this day and age, how to test your site and see if it fulfills all of Google’s demands and, finally, learn how to make your site more friendly for mobile users.
Why is it so important to make your WordPress site mobile friendly
In the fast-paced life of today, people are turning to their phones as opposed to their PCs. They love the possibility of finding what they are looking for while on their way to work. Having a mobile-friendly website that is ready to display on any screen size will improve user experience, and that can only mean positive things for your website. Secondly, as of 2015, Google has implemented new guidelines by which it rewards sites which are estimated as mobile-friendly with better rankings. Boosting the SEO of your website is one way to achieve a better ranking – making your WordPress site mobile friendly is another one. Our recommendation? For the best results, work on both of these aspects and you’ll achieve your goal in no time!
Mobile-first indexing is an innovation that has sparked a lot of interest
This indexing system has been in the makings for quite some time. Finally, after a year and a half of experimentation and testing, Google has presented mobile-first indexing – a system where the mobile version of a page is used for indexing and ranking, as opposed to a desktop one. This new system was developed with the intention of helping mobile users find the content they are looking for with improved ease. This new system ranks the pages based on how mobile-friendly they are, and how well they function on smaller screens. So, in case you want to focus on a wider audience, making your site mobile friendly is the next logical step.
Test the waters by taking the mobile-friendly test
You may very well be able to open and browse through your WordPress website on your personal phone without any problems. Contrary to what you may think, that doesn’t mean your site is mobile-friendly. To truly know whether it is convenient for mobile users, you would have to make sure it works well on screens of all sizes. Performing the test manually by using dozens of different phones would be time-consuming, not to mention tedious. Luckily, there’s a tool out there that makes testing your site for mobile-friendliness as easy as ABC, and it’s completely free for use. With Test My Site, all you have to do enter your site’s URL and wait for the results. If you start seeing red, don’t panic – simply follow the following steps. They make it easy for any website owner to create a mobile-friendly site.
Make your WordPress site mobile friendly in four steps
A little heads-up – make sure you don’t skip any step. They all play a major role in website mobile optimization and are on this list for a good reason. And that reason is soon to be discovered.
Have a responsive WordPress theme installed
Start by checking the current version and theme your website is using. In case it’s of newer age, chances are you are good. But if your WordPress theme hasn’t been updated recently, it’s high time for you to install a new version. Keeping your website updated is very important for the proper functioning of your site. In case you don’t want to hire professional website support, this is something you’ll have to monitor by yourself at all times.
In case you are really serious about keeping your current theme, there are still some options. WordPress is able to offer a few plugins that will help you create a mobile version of your website, and some of the most well-known ones are:
- WordPress Mobile Pack
- WordPress Mobile Edition
Install only those plugins which are mobile-optimized
Overall, plugins are great additions to WordPress websites, as they enable all sorts of new functions. However, you’ll have to be very careful when installing new plugins, as not all of them will be mobile-friendly. Before adding any plugin that adds stuff to the frontend, check what other website owners had to say about it by reading reviews. If it turns out it won’t help you make your WordPress site mobile friendly, well, it’s clear what you should do. Although the final decision rests solely on your shoulders!
Optimize images and make sure that the look is right to make your site more mobile-friendly
The key to making images more usable on mobile devices is to make them smaller. The larger the media file, the longer it will take to load. And the goal is to make your WordPress site load faster, not slower! Besides, the overall look of your website will differ when seen on a large screen and a smaller one, like the ones mobile phones have. To improve overall user experience, make sure all content scales well so that it becomes easy for a person to find its way around your website.
Bootstrap and Flexbox
If you want to develop a responsive website that will help you develop mobile-first content, give Bootstrap a thought. It’s completely free to download and use and yet it comes jam-packed with benefits. Being developed for mobile projects first and foremost, Bootstrap uses different media queries to create a layout that will work well on the small screen of a mobile phone. For achieving that same goal, you can also decide to opt for Flexbox. With Flexbox, you get all sorts of features to choose from. For example, equaling out the empty space between different items and aligning those items on the main and cross axes.
As a layout model, it offers advanced space distribution between items and it allows you to align your text the way you want to. And that’s one of the things to pay attention to when creating a mobile-friendly website – the font size, the layout, and the empty-space between clickable parts. If the font size and the space between clickable parts are too small, you can rest assured Google will notice it, and it won’t bring about any positive results.
The time you spend on trying to make your WordPress site mobile friendly will never be time wasted. It will reflect well on your search rankings, improve user experience and make your website a true joy to visit. In our book, that’s more than enough to entice any website owner to spend some time following the entries listed here. At the end of the day, though, you have the final say!