It’s crucial that your online business serves mobile devices. There are as many mobile devices as there are non-mobile devices, if not more. Plus, they are the best way to get in touch with potential customers since everyone relies on their cellphones. That is why your website needs to be ready for a mobile audience.
If you are creating a new website or you have a website that needs to be made mobile-friendly, there are several things you can do to make the process easier. Here is how to make a mobile-ready WordPress Website.
Embrace Responsive Design
Responsive design is the concept of taking a website and structuring it so that it changes to fit different screen sizes. Using responsive design principles, your website can work on the largest billboard or the smallest cell phone. The key to embracing responsive design is to make it an integral part of your website.
Responsive design works by finding the size of your browser screen just before the page loads. Your browser keeps this information stored so that it can self-manage pages better. Once the screen size is found, your website reacts to the size by adjusting segments of the page to better fit different size pages. On a cell phone, this would probably include aligning everything into one column and removing things that are not important. Menus often change shape too.
You can integrate responsive design into your website by choosing the right theme. Most WordPress themes that are made recently have responsive design elements worked into them. Otherwise, find a developer to fix your old theme if you don’t want to change it.
One of the biggest problems that people face when trying to make or access a mobile website is that many of the resources take up a lot of bandwidth and other resources to send. Mobile devices often have a limited amount of data to work with, so larger resources are a problem. You can find ways of optimizing many of your website’s resources.
Pictures are a notable problem since they can be very large files. However, you can optimize them for mobile use using plugins and free online platforms. Plugins like TinyPNG try to remove as much data from an image file as possible without affecting the quality of the picture. That way, each picture has a minimal footprint.
WordPress has a built-in feature that helps with this. When it detects that it is being used on a mobile device, it uses the smallest version of the picture available. So, if you are not sure about optimizing images, then have a small version of each picture on your website, as well.
This step may be a bit advanced for most people, but it is still worth looking at. If you have a lot of plugins and other added files to your website, consider finding ways of optimizing the code of your site. Many programs have a way of doing this internally and automatically. However, adding additional resources to your website can let files through without being optimized first. Check your files to make sure everything is as compressed and ready as possible. This should take fewer resources and perform faster on a mobile device.
If your website uses pop-ups, find a way to limit them on mobile devices. Pop-ups are difficult to handle on mobile devices and can drive away customers. That is because they have limited space, to begin with, and trying to navigate around pop-ups that take more space can be difficult. If your pop-up plugin has an “off” setting for mobile devices, make sure you use it.
Another thing that you should consider doing is refining the details of your website. Many people don’t realize that some choices for their desktop site just don’t work well on mobile sites. For example, the size and type of font matters. If you have extremely large fonts and headers, they won’t work well on a smaller screen. Look at ways of adjusting your fonts and other small details so that they can work anywhere.
If Not Responsive, Then Mobile
If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t incorporate a responsive design theme or retrofit your old theme, there is another option. There are plugins that can create mobile versions of your website for you. These options include Jetpack, one of the most well-known WordPress plugins available. It takes your website and converts it to a template that is mobile friendly.
Your website will work the same on larger devices. When a customer looks for your website on a mobile device, the mobile version of your website will be sent instead of the full desktop version. This works the same way that responsive design does, except the theme has prebuilt dimensions and only chooses between the one mobile option and the full desktop option.
Make Your Website Touchable
Mobile devices require touch controls for your website, so make sure that they function well. There are plugins that you can use to add special touch elements, but most websites already have usable touch features. Positioning makes a big difference in how these controls can be used. Make sure that they are spaced appropriately and are the right size for a mobile device.
Navigation menus are a prime example of this. On mobile devices, menus are often hidden behind the hamburger icon (the three horizontal bars stacked on each other). The options in the menu then become a larger list of buttons that you can use. Make sure that your theme treats them as buttons rather than just words on the page. This will make it easier to use in a mobile setting and won’t require additional changes to function on a desktop.
Making your website mobile-friendly can be quick and easy. In fact, many hosting platforms like Bluehost’s WordPress hosting options have a system to help you make your website mobile-friendly. Check with your hosting provider to see if there is an easy way to make your website work on any device already built-in.