Why Your WordPress Site Should Be Mobile Friendly and How To Do It

To be fair, you’ve probably already heard (maybe from a web designer or a marketing company) that your website content needs to be mobile friendly if you want to be competitive in today’s online market. But, it’s not just eCommerce sites that should adhere to this rule. The amount of internet consumption via mobile use has increased dramatically. 3 years ago, for the first time, the number of mobile users surpassed the number of desktop users. Today, the number of mobile users is forecast to pass the 5 billion mark. More importantly for WordPress site owners, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones in 2018. It’s imperative that visitors have the best user experience with your site to encourage them to stay there and return later.

Whilst mobile responsiveness is a key factor that contributes to keeping visitors on your site, the actual content on your site should be mobile friendly too. In other words, mobile users may have different needs and wants than desktop users. A well structured WordPress site for mobile users means more than sharing content that fits a particular screen. Essentially, it is creating new content and adapting existing content to meet the demands of mobile users. So, in order to make your WordPress site ‘mobile friendly,’ there is a lot to consider here.

How important is Mobile Responsiveness?

Mobile blogs and websites should be ‘responsive’ to the device on which they are consumed. Little else frustrates a mobile user more than having to expand a page for readability. In fact, most readers will give up and move on. A good mobile-friendly website will ensure at the very least, responsive and readable content. With that out of the way, let’s proceed onto what we mean by ‘mobile friendly’.

Mobile Friendly Content

When done right, mobile-friendly WordPress sites should provide customers and prospects using smartphones and tablets, personalized, location and time-sensitive content. Users who consume mobile content now expect to get what they want, when they want, even if they’re on the go.

Video Content

Featuring videos within your mobile-friendly WordPress site has never been more essential. Those who have grown up with the web, consume more online video than TV. They’re sharable and can generate more traffic to your site.  The use of mobile video allows the inclusion of detailed and explained information- an ideal way to showcase complex information in a simplified and colloquial way.

Podcast Content

With nearly 6 million people tuning into a podcast each week in the UK alone, neglecting this feature of mobile content could pose a risk of losing a large portion of your readership/listenership. Further, a survey of over 300,000 podcast listeners insisted that around 63% bought something a host had promoted. A further 71% said they visited a sponsors site.  For any eCommerce site, this is a direct way to increase sales and boost traffic.

Making Headlines Mobile Friendly

The importance of headlines in any copy dominates on every platform; from desktop to print to discourse. And it’s no different for mobile content. In fact, mobile-friendly headlines become more important for two reasons. The size constraints for mobile devices warrant the need for shorter, snappier headlines. Second, it has been suggested that mobile devices seem to have shortened our attention spans. New research suggests that we can now process information at greater speeds, but we have trouble focusing due to constant switches between information on different devices. Therefore, adopting mobile content to accommodate short attention spans seems appropriately strategic.

How to Make your WordPress Site Mobile Friendly

The first thing to do is to implement a mobile version of your site. Thankfully, all modern WordPress themes come with responsive capabilities. So, you have an abundance of options to choose from when selecting your theme. Regardless of the goals of your site, i.e to sell, promote, challenge, inform, educate or to entertain, remember to test the mobile responsiveness of the theme thoroughly before you proceed with making it mobile friendly.

Use Mobile Optimizing Plugins

The beautiful thing about using WordPress to create your site is the practically unlimited amount of plugins available to optimize your strategy. At first glance, it may seem like all of the WordPress plugin solutions are similar and essentially do the same thing. However, following some in-depth research, this article comes to realize that that’s not the case. Some interfaces are far more elegant than others, some offer app building aids, whilst others are more focused on the mobile website.

1: Jetpack

This all in one plugin is an essential tool for design, marketing, and security. Jetpack boasts features fro not only optimizing your website for mobiles, but also for site analytics, automated social media posting, unlimited themes and more. The best part, it is completely free to install and use.

If your WordPress site isn’t responsive on mobile, and you’re not able to update your theme to one that is, Jetpack Mobile Theme allows you to create a simplified, mobile-friendly version of your site. The theme displays your content in an uncluttered interface for phones- making it ideal for visitors viewing your content on the go.

In addition, users have the option to switch to the desktop version by clicking the ‘view full site’ link at the bottom of each page, so they can choose to enjoy the full experience. The layout automatically adjusts based on the screen size. It keeps a consistent look but effectively adapts to smaller screens.

Key features of Jetpack include:

  • SEO tools for social networking channels
  • Full integration with all major WordPress mobile apps
  • Ample variations for mobile-optimized themes
  • Fast plugin support
  • Site statistics and analytics to keep track

2: WPtouch

This plugin enables users to modify the mobile optimized theme according to preference. It makes adding logos, fonts, and social media sharing buttons easy and achievable within a matter of minutes. Combined with its mobile responsive capabilities, elegant and simplistic touch, this plugin offers one of the most customizable options.

WPtouch has been downloaded over 6.5 million times, they are doing a lot of things right. The free version will make your site responsive and comes with a non-exhaustive list of optional themes and features. However, the premium version offers extra features such as visual effects, retina interface, 5x speed boost, and touch enhancements. WPtouch key features include:

  • WordPress Customizer
  • Enhanced mobile-friendly interface
  • Fast customer support
  • User-friendly interface
  • Recommended by Google Mobile test

3: WP Smush

This plugin connects your website to Yahoo’s Smush.it image reduction service. This reduces the size of your images by stripping away unnecessary information. As with desktop sites, the speed of your site can determine the number of time visitors stay on your page. Large images that take too long to load may deter users from sticking around. This is just one of a large number of image optimizing plugins for your WordPress site.

Images often contain a lot of additional data that contributes to their size and are of no importance to your site’s users. WP Smush runs quietly in the background to optimize images as they’re uploaded.

Images will retain the same look and quality and the plugin warrants zero losses. For your older images, simply use this tool to bulk smush up to 50 images at a time.

4: AppPresser

This easy to use plugin helps to convert any WordPress website into a mobile app. This is an important feature given the fact that 80% of content is consumed via mobile phones today. It allows for enhanced user experience and can help to promote blogs and online stores.

AppPresser has a dedicated WordPress mobile theme that can be incorporated into your blog, WooCommerce store, or WordPress website. Its visual app customizer allows you to easily modify the appearance of your app, from colors, custom pages, and content. It also offers integrated push notifications that are easy to set up and manage.

Take the Mobile-Friendly Test

Once you have created a mobile responsive website, that takes full advantage of the many enhancing plugins available to you, the last thing to do is take the mobile-friendly test. Simply enter your website page URL into Google’s mobile-friendly test page to see how your page scores up.

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