How to Make Your WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly
Nowadays, having a mobile-friendly website is the new norm. You will be surprised to know that more than half of search queries on the internet are made from mobile devices.
Today, people are moving to mobile devices over traditional desktop devices. So if you want to keep your online business up, you need a website which is ready to be displayed in the different shape and size of screens.
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This guide is going to help you know why it is crucial to have a mobile-friendly site and how you can turn your WordPress site into a mobile-friendly website. But before that, let's understand what exactly a mobile-friendly website is!
What is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
Mobile friendly websites are those websites that have been designed to display accurately even on smaller screens such as smartphones, tablets, etc. Such sites automatically adjust to the smaller screen size and format the content in a mobile-friendly manner.
On the other hand, a standard desktop website is not well-rendered on these devices.
Some of the features of a mobile-friendly website are:
- Easy mobile-friendly navigation
- Easy-to-read text
- Touch-friendly page elements
- Fast-loading web pages
Why is a Mobile-Friendly Website Important?
According to a report of 2016, 52.7% of total internet usage came from mobile devices. And every year the number of mobile internet users are increasing.
It means if your website is not mobile-friendly, you may lose more than 50% of traffic. Moreover, a mobile-friendly design creates a positive user experience and makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for on a website.
Besides user experience, there is one more reason your website should be mobile-friendly and that is Mobilegeddon algorithm by Google. This algorithm was released on April 21, 2015 to encourage mobile-friendly pages.
The aim of its release was boosting mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results of Google.
Google implemented this algorithm in the manner so that it can reward mobile-friendly websites. It means if any website is not mobile-friendly, it may fail to perform well in Google’s search results.
This brought a big change in website building. As a result, today everyone demands a fully responsive website.
How to Make A WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly
WordPress is one of the most popular and largest CMS platforms in the world powering 29% of the internet. Therefore, we will talk about how to make a WordPress site mobile friendly so in case if you are running a WP site or planning to build, you may get help from this guide.
Fortunately, when it comes WP, there are countless tools and ways that can help you get up to speed and create a fully-functional mobile responsive website.
First Take The Mobile-Friendly Test
Even if your web developer is assuring you that he has built a mobile-friendly WP site yet it is crucial to test it personally. There is a possibility that your website is looking great on one mobile device (like on your personal smartphone) but it may look bad on other devices.
Therefore, you should test it on different screen sizes to know if your developer has accurately optimized your website for different screen sizes or not.
There are numerous tools available that can help you test your site. However, one popular is gifted by Google itself i.e. Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.
This free tool is exceptionally easy to use. You just need to enter your website’s URL, it will give you a quick assessment of your website’s mobile design. You will see a success message if your site is a mobile friend. This message should look like this.
Choose A Responsive WordPress Theme
Selecting the right responsive theme can be your biggest step to a mobile-friendly website. Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to WordPress mobile responsive themes. All the latest WordPress themes are fully-responsive.
If your WP theme has been around for awhile, go and check your WP version and current theme version. See if any updates are pending, begin with those. Most of these updates carry mobile-friendly elements. Perhaps, these updations are enough to fix your issues.
For instance, WordPress 4.4 version has added some functionality for responsive images. If these updates are not working for you, it’s time to find a new fully-responsive WordPress theme.
Add Responsive Plugins Only
As you know, plugins are important to add extra functionality to your site. However, it doesn't mean they should make the user interface look bad. Make sure plugins you have installed on your site scale effectively on all screen sizes.
Not all plugins are smart enough to automatically scale according to different screen sizes but make sure you have the option to disable them on smaller screen sizes.
For instance, a sidebar widget is a good choice for a desktop site, but if it is dominating the mobile design, it will not give an ideal user experience.
Therefore, like themes, before selecting plugins, pay attention to their features. Check in advance, whether they are going behave well on small-screen devices or not!
It can be a good idea to read reviews or find a demo before making a purchase.
It is of no importance if you have a mobile-responsive site but it fails to load fast. Nevertheless, you can implement AMP on your WP site to improve the speed of your site.
For those who are not aware of AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source technology from Google that improves the speed of web content. Generally, this technology helps mobile pages load quickly via its lightweight framework.
The aim of this whole platform is offering pure readability and speed. It automatically eliminates irrelevant stuff from a website. Things like videos and images don’t load until users don’t scroll them into view.
AMP can be a great option for sites that produce tons of content.
Here you can read the complete guide on How to setup WordPress AMP compatible site.
Don’t Use Pop-Ups for Mobile Devices
If you need to create an email list with your WP site, there are variety opt-in forms available. Though most of these opt-in forms work perfectly on mobile devices yet those that cover the main content of the site could be penalized by Google. Therefore, keep your WordPress site mobile-friendly by avoiding such pop-ups on your mobile design. Most providers offer options for disabling intrusive pop-ups on mobile devices.
Now let's take a look at some WP plugins that can help you make a mobile-responsive WordPress site.
We don’t need to explain how important are images in a website design. Images not only enhance the content value but also help visitors feel comfortable and connected to your site.
However, sometimes they could be responsible users leaving your site and moving to your competitor, especially when these images are too heavy to load because of their size and weight. And by resizing images you can make them look unattractive.
So the question is how to keep images great without compromising page load speed! The answer is WordPress image smush plugin.
It is a 100% free tool, which automatically optimizes and compresses images to the perfect size and upload them into media library. The best part is, it all happens without losing the image quality. The WP Smush plugin allows users to set rules for max height and width to scale down large images.
In most cases, large images are responsible for slowing down the speed of your mobile site. This plugin uses advanced technology to quickly compress all your images.
Besides this, it automatically removes unnecessary data that may slow down your website. Installing this plugin is quite easy. In just a few steps you are ready to optimize and compress all the images on your website.
- Install the plugin.
- Pick the images that require compressing.
- Hit ‘Smush Now’.
WPtouch is a widely used mobile plugin which adds a simple yet effective mobile theme for mobile visitors for your WP site without affecting search engine ranking.
This plugin converts your website into a mobile-friendly version immediately without affecting your SEO strategies. This is a free WordPress tool which is even recommended by Google itself. You can buy its pro version (starts at $69) for more theme options, features and control.
JetPack is all-in-one plugin that gives more than just a mobile responsive design. This single plugin can supercharge your website performance by optimizing your site for mobile devices.
The plugin has hundreds of professional themes available for any kind of site. Moreover, it has powerful customization tools you can use to provide a faster mobile experience.
The plugins owns a site verification tools called photon for accelerating your website speed. If you want a free and easy solution to make your WordPress site mobile friendly, the plugin is a good option for you.
Some of its features are:
- It has easy integration with the WordPress mobile apps.
- It supports lazy image loading feature and provides a faster mobile experience.
- It supports unlimited and fast image & video content delivery network.
Apart from this, JetPack plugin also offers various marketing services as well. It can help you with:
- Automated sharing and scheduling of posts on your social media accounts.
- Simple buttons for PayPal payment
- SEO tools for WordPress
WordPress Mobile Pack
It is a powerful mobile plugin that lets you help transform your site’s content into a mobile web application. The plugin is powered by multiple mobile app themes which you can buy separately or as a bundle.
This mobile plugin works perfectly on Android devices, Apple iOs and on various popular browsers such as Chrome, Safari, etc.
Mobile Pack comes in both free and paid version. The free version lets you do change color, text, etc. whereas paid version has some advanced features such as social media button, more theme options, different options for monetization, etc.
Some other things it enables you to do
- You can install a banner to give users way to add your mobile app to their home screen so that they can return to your app.
- It provides security through HTTPS.
- It offers responsive UI.
- It gives your users smooth navigation and scrolling experience so that they can access each and every part of your content.
SuperFly WP Menu Plugin
Along with beautiful design, user-friendly navigation is an important component of a good user experience. Superfly is the first choice of millions of people when it comes to creating a 100% responsive WP menu which is super user-friendly on both desktop and mobile version.
This handy plugin makes website navigation much easier. Additionally, it has a ton of customization options, including styling menu, enhanced mobile support, etc.
Any Mobile Theme Switcher
It is another popular plugin that enables you to create a fully mobile-responsive without making many efforts. This amazing WP plugin recognizes the mobile browser of the device which is trying to view your site and display a mobile theme accordingly on the basis of setting you have done in admin.
It is capable of detecting almost all kinds of mobile browsers, including Opera, Dolphin, Chrome, FireFox, Flynx, etc. The best part is you can choose different mobile themes for each mobile browser.
Some of the features of its pro version are
- It is loaded with better mobile detection feature.
- It works with W3 Total Cache.
- Offers QR code for mobile bookmarking
These are few tools and ways that can help you make your WordPress website absolutely mobile-friendly. If you have more ideas on the same, feel free to share with us in the following comment section.