This is the guest post by Jett Hagletorn.
It can take time to make your website perform like clockwork on mobile devices. Read on to find out how to make your WordPress site more mobile-friendly in 2017.
Every year, more and more web users start spending more time browsing on mobiles than on desktops. This explains why it’s so important to create a positive experience for those viewing your site on tablets and phones and ensure they can get the information they need when away from laptops and desktops.
What is inside?
Create better rankings
Creating a great mobile experience isn’t the only reason to make your site mobile-friendly. The big search giants like Google are dishing out better rankings to mobile-friendly sites and penalising those who haven’t optimised their sites for mobile. Therefore, it’s essential that you make your site as responsive as possible.
Tools from Google
There are steps you can take and tools you can use to find out just how mobile-friendly your site is. You should try looking at your site on a variety of handheld devices rather than just one to get a good insight into how responsive it is.
Google have released a tool for testing responsiveness which will tell you whether your site is deemed to be mobile-friendly or not. If you see red when you use the tool, you will need to take more steps to get the required results.
The company also released a Mobile-Friendly Test API which enables you to test URLs with automated tools and allows you to test the key parts of your site without being forced to manually switch on the browser tool.
Make sure you have the latest version of WordPress. If you don’t, you could be unnecessarily provided site users with an unsatisfying experience. Some themes are more mobile-friendly than others. If your current theme seems to be holding you back, find out if a newer version of it is available.
If it isn’t you may wish to switch to different one. Some advanced WP users choose to create their own themes. The vast majority of themes are now mobile-friendly, but there are still some on the market that require tweaking. If you’re paying for a theme, you may wish to try out the demo site and browse the web to read reviews from existing users before you hand over your money.
Are your plugins suitable?
Plugins can create a wonderful user experience, but some widgets and CTA buttons aren’t suitable for mobile devices, especially if they don’t scale down well. If the lack of scalability is a problem for you, you may well wish to look at alternatives.
Pop-ups can cause big problems on mobile sites, and Google has even been penalising sites that have intrusive ones that dominate the mobile experience. They have also been taking action over opt—ins that cover content and need to be dismissed before pages can be viewed.
Therefore, it could be wise to eliminate opt-ins and pop-ups from your site if you are aiming for an improved mobile user experience. Great mobile-friendly sites load quickly, have correctly-loading pictures, are easy to navigate and have text that’s easy to read.
Recommended plugins for mobile sites
Some of the most celebrated plugins for mobile sites include the WPTouch Mobile Plugin. This plugin brings an elegant and simple theme and won’t have a negative impact on search results. All themes offered by the plugin pass Google’s mobile test. You can choose between the free and pro version of the plugin.
Touchy is another plugin that’s won glowing reviews over recent years. This plugin makes desktop sites perfect for smaller screens and gives you control over the appearance of your mobile site whilst allowing the desktop version to stay the way it is.
AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages is designed to make pages load instantly and delivers a streamlined and stripped-down version of your site for mobiles. This solution is ideal for sites with a great deal of content and is SEO-friendly.
Noticed any improvements?
Run a Speed Test after you have taken some of the steps outlined above to see if they have made a difference to the performance of your site and find out if you still need to make changes.