People who have just used WordPress might have questions about if WordPress is mobile friendly. Since Google has been pressing hard on websites to be more mobile friendly it’s made people nervous about what is considered mobile friendly.
Is WordPress mobile friendly? Yes, WordPress core is highly mobile friendly and all the most recent themes and plugins work for mobile. It’s important when understanding this that not all themes or plugins will be mobile friendly. You should check your plugins and themes to make sure you are in compliance with Google’s mobile standards.
If you are interested in learning what makes something mobile friendly, please read on. We will go into responsive themes, AMP, pop-ups and much more. We will even dive into Google search console and how to check your site for feedback.
Choosing a Responsive Theme
When someone is choosing a responsive theme, it’s important that they check the theme for every screen size. It’s not common anymore but a long time ago most themes were not responsive and instead did not meet the person’s screen size.
Now themes have gotten a lot better about being responsive which works on almost every screen size known to man. As the browser gets smaller, the website shrinks to the size of whatever the device is.
Responsive means that the website itself will shrink, columns will become one up instead of rows. Sometimes certain Elements will even disappear.
If you would like to test your page and see if it’s mobile friendly you can use Google Friendly test here https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
What is AMP
AMP is a project that was started for the purpose of making the web more friendly to mobile devices. Someone figured that the web needed help because mobile was taking longer to load and wasn‘t friendly. So they started Project AMP which can be found at this website: https://www.ampproject.org.
Here is some copy from their website about their mission statement and what they are trying to achieve with AMP:
AMP is an open-source library that provides a straightforward way to create web pages that are compelling, smooth, and load near instantaneously for users. AMP pages are just web pages that you can link to and are controlled by you.
If your site isn’t AMP friendly yet or you would like to add it to your site. Good news WordPress has tons of AMP Plugins that will help your website be as mobile friendly as it might be.
Avoiding Pop-ups, Videos and other non-friendly
What makes WordPress less mobile friendly is the way it’s designed. If you use tons of pop-ups and videos on your site, it’s going to make your site less ready for mobile.
Certain types of elements that do not work well on mobile are:
- Unplayable Content – make sure that any content sources you include play on both mobile and desktop.
- Small font sizes – Google recommends a minimum of 16px for mobile fonts.
- Touch elements that are too close – Fingers are fat! You need to give people enough space to touch the correct element.
- Incorrect viewport – make sure you mobile page sets the viewport properly.
It really makes sense when you think about it. Do you want to click something that is too small or read fonts that are tiny? No, probably not and that is what Google is trying to do.
Using Feedback from Google Search Console
If you connect your site with Google Search console, you find that Google will give you some ideas on what parts of your site are Google Friendly and which are not.
Once you log into Google Search Console you can go to the mobile usability tab and see what pages are giving you errors. The ones that are giving you errors should be fixed immediately to avoid causing problems.
WordPress Plugins To Consider
In order to fully understand making your website mobile friendly you have to consider your plugins. Do you use page builders?
Page builders are normally allowed you as a user to create your own pages through designed content. Page builders can have an effect because some page builders have a default set for media which is screen resolution. This media can sometimes be set too low or create crazy results when you look at it on a phone.
You should always check your site against something like above to determine if the site is friendly on all devices.
Another plugin problem you can run into is installing something like AMP but creating your own pages. While AMP will strip these pages of all unnecessary clutter, it can create a problem with your pages. Once again always doubt check your pages against something that allows you to view them on a mobile device.
Don’t forget Tablets
Tablets have their own screen sizes and queries. It’s important when you work on your site to not just test desktop and mobile. While these two will probably be the highest you also need to consider that the tablet market is huge.
When Amazon made tablets affordable, it pushed people towards owning one. Even now hospitals as well other professionals have switched to a tablet based environment.
So while you are designing your website include Tablets in that design otherwise you will create problems down the road.
Why do I need to be mobile friendly? Google has been making a huge push to give small amounts of position to websites that are mobile friendly. In layman’s terms this means if your website works well on mobile they are more likely to give you a higher ranking than a website that is not mobile friendly. This is important if you want to get traffic to a site.
What’s the easiest way to make an old website mobile friendly? Honest, there is no easy way. I would recommend recreating the website from scratching using a technology such as html and CSS to make sure it scales correctly to all devices. The easiest way would be to do this because it ensures that your website continues to work even without you having to recreate it.
I hope this article has helped you with understanding why you need to have a mobile friendly website. It’s important not only to Google but to everyone viewing the site you make your site as easy to navigate and use as possible. This often means you must eliminate things that do not provide value to the user on a different device then so be it. Normally you are making the experience better across the board.
Web designers will know tricks of how to hide certain elements but I would recommend that you consult with one before you decide to change things otherwise you may break more than you fix.