Just last year mobile internet usage finally surpassed that of desktop use. With more internet users relying on their phones for access to websites it is high time you considered how well your site fairs on the mobile optimization front. Think about it, your phone is everywhere you go, that’s why they call it a mobile, and with Wi-Fi being pretty much the standard everywhere, people are connecting on the go to share content, play games, and browse the web.
According to recent survey carried out by HotUKSavings, 80% of internet users utilise their Smartphone to browse the internet, thus it is very important for your website to be mobile optimised. There are plenty of sites that load and allow you to navigate to view everything, but that isn’t enough to keep mobile users attention. Your site needs to be designed for mobile use, easy to use, and quick. There is nothing worse than seeing a page load on your phone and realising it isn’t properly optimised. It’s just a waste of time.
Mobile App or Mobile Site?
People use the browser on their phone twice as often as they do apps. In fact, users are far more likely to engage with a mobile-optimised website than an app already have. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an app, but you’d be better off investing your time and effort into optimizing your website for mobile use. Unless, of course, you are developing games, or your brand is established. You can produce apps using WordPress (though, not for games).
Here is when you would be better off focusing on mobile-optimizing your website:
- SEO is king.
- Content sharing.
- Limited budget.
- You want users to receive the same experience and content, regardless of the device they use to access your website.
Don’t worry, WordPress is the ideal platform to help you optimise your site. It’s easy to operate and you can manage the site from your phone, too.
A Responsive Theme
First things first: your theme. This includes the layout, media queries, and choosing one that will adapt to any screen size. Whether you manage your site from your mobile or a laptop, have a mobile device handy as you do the work.
You want to make sure that the theme you really like works on any type of device. The quickest way to do so is by updating them and checking your device to be sure. This will save you from going through the full customisation only to go back to make necessary changes later. Consider how your colour scheme changes with a device screen, you want a stylish look, but it also need to be readable.
The Right Plugins
Once you have chosen your theme and customised it where possible you’ll need plugins that work well with others.
You’ll need a responsive plugin to convert the main navigation menu to one that’s easy to operate, as well as a form creator that can create forms that automatically resize based on the size of the browser screen.
Don’t forget plugins to facilitate social sharing! You want users to share your posts to their social media accounts so they have a wider reach. Just remember that these plugins don’t play nice on every screen, so test it out on your own mobile device before you settle for the right one.
Even if you optimise everything, a bad plugin can wreak havoc. If you feel your site moving slow, ensure all of your plugins and theme are updated. If you still have a problem you will need to review what plugins you are using. Every plugin comes with a rating, and the majority of them will indicate whether they work well with your chosen theme. Don’t ignore that advice, because it could be causing serious disruptions to your website.
You should know, there is a plugin for just about anything that you can think of, so take time to explore what is out there.
Responsive Images Are A Must
This is something developers have been looking at for a number of years. Every user knows the pain of a page loading slowly because of giant images. In fact, those slideshows may drive you up the wall, but that’s just the sites attempting to speed up your viewing process.
Rather than resizing images, it’s all about using an image that is sized appropriately for each device. Luckily, WordPress has a feature in place for this. When you upload a photo to WordPress it will save multiple versions of your image, in various sizes. There’s no need for a plugin either, it’s built in!
Managing Your WordPress Website
You can manage the site from whatever device you like.It will definitely make life easier if you do so from a mobile device as you can see it in real time how well it performs on mobile.
Don’t forget SEO, when it’s done well you’ll attract more visitors to your page and move up Google’s search rankings. That is what it’s all about, right?
The best advice we can offer is that you do the initial optimization from a laptop or desktop and follow along on a mobile device to keep yourself on the right track throughout.