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Making Your WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly

Making your WordPress site mobile-friendly is an absolute must. In October 2016, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic. In the past three years, mobile traffic to websites has only continued to rise. Users that struggle to access a site on their smartphone or their tablet are unlikely to return to that site and will instead opt to use a mobile-friendly site.

If you’re using WordPress as your CMS and haven’t yet optimised your site for mobile users, you’re practically handing your customers over to a competitor.

Follow the tips below to improve your site. If you find that you’re missing some of the components below or are struggling to know where to start, reach out to a web specialist such as Novage Communications to get professional guidance.

Use a responsive WordPress theme

A responsive website will render perfectly on any size screen. A responsive WordPress theme eliminates the need to create a mobile version and a desktop version of your site -- your website will automatically adjust depending on the platform. There are so many outstanding WordPress themes to choose from, but it’s always a good idea to look at several different options to find the one that best meets your needs. Most modern WordPress themes are already responsive, but it is a good practice to test the theme on multiple browsers and multiple devices before committing to a theme.

Stop using Flash

Flash uses an outdated codebase that has led to security and privacy breaches. Plus, iOS and Android devices do not support Flash-based content. If you’re using Flash anywhere on your WordPress, you’re cutting yourself off from a large percentage of mobile users. It’s time to switch to more modern technology!

Optimize images and videos

Images that haven’t been compressed can result in slow loading speeds. While WordPress automatically creates several sizes of your image when you upload it, it is still a good practice to optimize your images by compressing them in Photoshop or using a PNG file format.

Auto-loading content, such as a video or animation, can also result in slow loading speeds and can drain a user’s data. If you’re using a video on your site, make sure that users have to click on the video to make it play. This will make a more enjoyable browsing experience.

Use plugins that add functionality

WordPress plugins can help optimize your site if used correctly. They don’t always have to add a physical element. For example, EWWW Image Optimizer reduces image file sizes. If you do choose to add a physical element, such as a sidebar widget, make sure that it doesn’t take away from the mobile experience. For example, some sidebar widgets do not scale down on smaller screens. Any physical elements your plugins add should either scale down or be disabled for mobile users.

Get rid of pop-ups

If you have pop-ups that appear when someone clicks onto your site (or even after they’ve been browsing for a while) or some other type of content that users must click out of before they can view your page, get rid of it. Pop-ups completely cover up your content for mobile users and can make for an annoying viewer experience. If you want to keep them on your site, don’t block their view with a pop-up.

Organize your links

Spacing out your links and other interactive elements helps make navigation easier. Desktop users might not struggle with a maze of links because they have precise control with a mouse. Mobile users, however, will not be able to interact with links that are too close together unless they pinch and zoom around your website (which most users won’t want to do).

Use Google to check your performance

Google has two different tests that you can use to see if your site is mobile-friendly. Pagespeed Insights analyzes the content of your site and then makes suggestions on how to make your page faster. Mobile-Friendly Test will tell you if your site is optimized for mobile users and will alert you to any issues. Combined, these tests can help make your WordPress site as mobile-friendly and fast as possible.

In Conclusion

These days, it is the expectation that your site is mobile-friendly, not a preference. Optimizing your site make take time and money, but it will greatly improve your business. Users prefer responsive websites and if your site is too slow or too hard to navigate, they’re going to click away from your site. Don’t wait any longer to optimize your WordPress!

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