It is vital that you have a mobile friendly website but many webmasters and site owners may be unsure about how to go about ensuring their website is mobile friendly. If you have a WordPress site on your own domain, ensuring that it is optimised for mobile use is a very simple process.
First of all, you will probably want to know if making your site mobile friendly is of benefit. On the whole, it is because the number of mobile users is rising all the time and Google is placing a greater level of importance on sites being mobile friendly.
However, if you want to understand the relevancy of being mobile friendly for your business, and you have Google Analytics installed, you can do so. If you look under Audience > Mobile > Overview, you will find how many people have visited your website from a mobile device. You can even look under Devices to determine the specific devices that people use to visit your site. If you want to ensure that all of these people, and people like them get the best user experience from your site, you need to make sure that your website is mobile friendly.
There are two very easy ways to ensure that your WordPress is optimised for mobile users
• Use responsive themes (I like to buy these from Theme Forest)
• Install a WordPress mobile plugin
Use responsive themes
There are many WordPress theme developers who are working towards creating responsive themes, which means that if you select their theme, it will adapt to provide your user with a display that is optimised for their device. Using a responsive theme will ensure that all of the content and features of your site will be available for all users, desktop and mobile users, which is something that you should be keen to offer to your clients.
Install a WordPress mobile plugin
If you are not using a responsive theme and you do not wish to alter the theme and design of your website, you will find that a mobile plugin is likely to be of benefit. There are a number of mobile plugins for WordPress to choose from with a popular option being WPtouch. This provides you with an additional theme for your site, and this will be displayed to anyone that visits your site from a mobile device.
This is a decent solution but it will not provide the same level of features that switching to a responsive theme would provide to your users. This plugin will provide users with the main content from your pages and posts but they will miss out on social sharing buttons, sidebars and anything that has been custom coded into the template of your main theme.
Tips to bear in mind for mobile optimisation;
Always test your website on a smartphone
You should load up your site on a smartphone and then use and review the site in the way that a normal customer would. You should be looking to examine the look of the site, how easy it is to navigate around the site and how easy it is to use contact forms and opt-ins, to make an order and to search for information.
Consider the load time
It is important that your site loads quickly because research indicates that 40% of users will switch to another site of a website takes more than three seconds to load up. This means that while optimising for mobile users is important, optimising for fast loading times is also important. Steps you can take to improve your loading time include minimising the size of images, minimising plugins and making sure that there are no unnecessary scripts on the page. Remember the user might be using their mobile phone signal to load the page rather than wifi.
A great tool to test the speed of your site is Pingdom
Do not have pop-ups
If you are unable to prevent your popups from appearing when mobile users visit your site, you should look to remove these pop-ups altogether. Pop-ups that overlay page content and which are difficult to shut down will cause many users to avoid using a particular site.
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