How to Make your WordPress Website Mobile-Friendly

Short Version of this article:

If you have a WordPress site running on a theme that is not responsive or mobile friendly and don’t want to do a full redesign then the plugin WPTouch will fix your problem.

It effectively adds a mobile theme to your site so that smartphone visitors are shown the WPTouch powered version of the site and tablet and desktop/laptop users get the full desktop version of the site (WP Touch also has tablet themes if necessary).

The plugin is quite simple to use and if you’re comfortable using the WordPress default editor you’ll be well capable of setting up WPTouch.

The pricing is dirt cheap and costs less than hiring a developer for a couple of hours.

Check it out at www.wptouch.com

Why Mobile Is Important

Over half of the users on the internet browse from a mobile device at any one time and for some of the client sites we work with as much as 70-80% of their traffic comes from visitors on a mobile device.

To be competitive online, it is crucial that you have a mobile friendly version of your site. Google now penalizes websites that are not mobile friendly so not only is a mobile or smartphone friendly site important for visitors, it’s important for SEO and Google rankings too. 

Google now has something called “Mobile First Indexing” which means for most sites they’ll primarily look at the mobile version of the site to determine where it should rank.


How to Determine Exactly How Many Of Your Visitors Are on Mobile

If you’re using Google Analytics it’ll tell you exactly how many visitors you’re getting from each device type under Audience->Mobile->Overview – the number for your site will probably surprise you.

The screenshots below highlight where you can find this data. In this example approximately 57% of all visitors to the site were using a mobile device. Click the images to enlarge.

Logon to Google Analytics at google.com/analytics

 Where to find mobile visitor statistics in Google Analytics

 

Where to find mobile visitor statistics in Google Analytics


Is Your Site Mobile Compatible?

There’s an easy way to determine whether your site is mobile or smartphone friendly. Google provide a free tool called the mobile friendly test tool (creative name right!)

If you’re not sure whether your site is mobile compatible, give the tool a try, here’s the link: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

It’s free and takes 60-90 seconds.

Google Mobile Friendly Tester


More Comprehensive Mobile & Smartphone Friendly Testing

If you’re serious about SEO and Google rankings, it’s worth doing a full audit of your site using an SEO audit tool – use this link to try SEMRush (our preferred site audit tool) for 7 days completely free.

Semrush will check your site for mobile compatibility AND will pick up any other issues that are potentially hurting your Google rankings that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Things like slow page loading, broken links and pages Google can’t crawl along with 100s of other potential SEO issues.

SEMRush Mobile Friendly Test

SEO Page Audit


How to Make a WP site Mobile-friendly – The Easy Way 

As an online marketing agency we inherit sites of all different flavours many of which are not mobile friendly. Rebuilding a site to be responsive can be a massive project, especially if the site is getting a lot of traffic and is heavily monetized (i.e. making a ton of money)

Website rebuilds for big sites can also take a ton of time 3-6 months is not unusual for a site redesign for a big site.

Our solution to this problem is to use WP Touch

It’s quick and easy to install, it loads lightning fast and it doesn’t require a huge redesign project either. There’s also a bunch of different themes available AND a Woocommerce dedicated theme so if you’re looking to make a Woocommerce site mobile friendly that’s an easy shortcut.

 


Responsive vs Adaptive

There’s two ways to make a site mobile compatible:

  1. Use a theme that is “responsive” which means it automatically resizes to match the device the visitor is using
  2. Adaptive which means the site shows a different design to mobile visitors or visitors on a specific device type -> WPTouch is adaptive.

We talked about mobile friendly websites on an episode of our podcast back in 2015 – if you’re looking to dig deeper on the topic click play below and have a listen or alternatively click here to download in MP3 format.


Making sure the site load FAST!

A fast loading website is a critical component of keeping both Google and mobile visitors happy and website speed is now an important part of the Google search algorithm where slow sites will not rank as high as fast sites.

This article goes into more detail around how to test your site speed, WordPress speed optimization and some simple ways you can get your site loading much faster.

 

Leave A Response