According to Statista, the worldwide mobile phone internet penetration is expected to reach 63.4 percent in 2019. So, considering this statistic, it’s quite evident that you can longer afford not to have a mobile version of your WordPress (WP) website. As you can already tell, not having one implies that you miss out on quite a significant volume of website traffic.
Also, it is essential to note that the Google search engine algorithm ranks mobile-optimized sites way higher when compared to websites that are not mobile-friendly. With that cleared out, one question remains; how can you make your WP website mobile-friendly? In this article, we walk you through different ways of making a functional mobile alternative of your internet space. Here are the 6 things we will cover.
- Run the Google mobile-friendly test
- Use mobile-optimized plugins
- Acquire a responsive WP theme
- Integrate Google AMP for WP
- Get a custom mobile application
- Optimize your images
Run the Google Mobile-Friendly Test
Taking Google’s mobile-friendly test tool is a sure way of understanding how excellent your website is on handheld devices. To get on with it, you have to input your internet page’s URL and click. You will know whether there’s something amiss with your site, and thus, take any necessary action. There is also a similar tool in the Google Search Console, referred to as Mobile Usability. You can find it right beneath Search Traffic. It helps you understand if your internet page’s attributes are very close to each other, if your typeface is legible, among other essential things.
That said, Google’s mobile-friendly test tool can also help understand if a theme you need to use is mobile-friendly. In 2019, virtually all themes available on the net have a demonstration site where you can view their functionality. To perform this, you have to take the URL of the demo website and paste it into Google’s tool to know if the search giant considers it friendly for handheld devices.
Use Mobile-Optimized Plugins
Plugins are excellent features for any WP site. They present an array of capabilities and features to make your internet pages run seamlessly. Nonetheless, if your plugins come with additions to the frontend, ascertain that they still function well. You do not want to find that widget or button you added recently is not working correctly on handheld devices.
So, make a point of researching any plugins you need to use and conducting tests ahead of adding them to your internet pages. Alternatively, you can just leverage plugins that are known to function on mobile sites such as the responsive menu, gravity forms, responsive sliders, among others.
Also, consider using top-tier plugins as most of them come already optimized for handheld devices.
Use a Responsive WP Theme
Selecting a responsive theme will go a long way in ensuring that your WP site is mobile-friendly. You can choose either a paid or free theme, as long as it has proven to be responsive. And as mentioned before, you can use the Google mobile-friendly test tool to gauge whether your themes are optimized for mobile.
Integrate Google AMP for WP
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a program by Google aimed at increasing the swiftness of mobile page load times faster. It achieves this by providing a minimalistic depiction of a web page. If, from time to time, you access Google’s mobile search, then you have already come across internet pages with the AMP designation. The top advantage of using Google AMP for WP is swift load-times and mobile-compatibility. Moreover, AMP is availed at no cost and quite straightforward to setup. Better yet, you can leverage the real AMP plugin to make your internet space mobile-friendly.
Get a Custom Mobile App
If you need to go beyond making your site mobile-friendly, you can take the action of turning your entire internet space into a mobile application. There are two types of applications you can turn your internet space into. These are:
- Progressive web application: A blend between a site with a responsive design and a native application. While it is still a website, by all means, it functions as an application.
- Native application: It is an application that is installed on the user’s phone.
Optimize Your Images
Pictures take up a significant amount of internet space data. As such, to make your WP website more mobile-friendly, it is essential to use your images well. You can start by getting a version 4.4 or up WP since these latest launches of the CMS leverage the srcset HTML attribute that sees them provide the smallest form of an image. Therefore, if your internet space is using a previous model, it is high time you upgraded.Another thing you can do is to optimize your images before posting them. You can use Photoshop to “save for web” to create the smallest version of a picture. Alternatively, you can use TinyPNG to make your pictures smaller. Last but not least, you can use suitable plugins to shrink your images before you upload them on your WP site.
To conclude, having a mobile-friendly website is essential in today’s age. Apart from helping you improve the experience of your visitors, adopting a mobile-friendly site ensures that you meet the requirements of search engines such as Google. And by meeting these specifications, your internet space is bound to rank highly, which is the ultimate goal of having it up in the first place. Above, we have given you some excellent strategies you can implement to get your site to be friendly for handheld devices. So, be sure to try them out. That said, do you have other ideas for creating a mobile-friendly website? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.