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Pressing for Responsiveness: Creating a Mobile-Friendly WordPress Site

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Are you reading this on a mobile phone or other device?

If you’re not, you’re actually in the minority. According to comScore, people spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones.

Let’s face it, the world is littered with smartphones.  Think of the last person you’ve seen with a flip phone or a paper scheduler.  You could probably count the amount of people with one hand.  If you run a website, you need to understand these stats and do what you can to make your website responsive on mobile devices. 

After all, according to SocPub, 57% of people say that they wouldn’t recommend a business with a badly-design mobile site, and in March of last year, 80% of the top Alexa websites were mobile adaptive.

The majority of people use the Internet on their phones, so it’s important to tailor the experience for these mobile users.  If your ads are blocking half of the article or the aspect ratio is out of whack, those mobile users are not going to have fun and not come to your website.  What must you be aware of when making a website, and how can you make sure it works on mobile?

The Theme of Your Website

WordPress gives you many options to customize your website, one of the most important being themes.

While there are many themes on WordPress, not all of them are mobile-friendly.  Because of this, you’ll need to make sure you pick a mobile WordPress theme that fits the criteria, or else you’ll need various plug-ins to make the website mobile-friendly.

Gesture-Friendly

One of the common features of a smartphone is the touchscreen.  Since most phones require touch gestures to be used properly, it is vital that your website allows compatibility with different gestures on a touchscreen.  There is no value in an unusable website. 

Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to make a website compatible with touchscreens.  All you need is the correct mobile WordPress theme or the right plugins.

Adjusting to Change

Your website must be able to adjust to changes of aspect ratio and screen size.  This tip may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many websites miss this quality enhancement.

If your website appears correctly on a PC but terribly on your phone, changes must be made.  This change can be as simple as changing the theme to readjusting the menus and how interaction with the website works.  Luckily, there are websites that allow you to test compatibility with multiple phones and tablets. 

Toolkits for Compatibility

While there are plenty of mobile-friendly themes, but you may not be using a stock theme.  You may have decided to create your own custom theme, so your website can have some original flair to it.  In cases like this, it’s important to test your website on multiple mobile devices, but you probably don’t own each type of phone.  Luckily, there are websites that test compatibility for you.

First off, we have Google’s own solution.  Known simply as the Mobile-Friendly Test, all you do is copy and paste your website URL into the site and it’ll automatically test the site.  If there is a problem, Google will let you know so you can fix it.  For developers, there is also an API version, so you can automatically test certain pages on the website.

You can also manually test it with any devices you have on hand.  This process is slower but convenient.

Lastly, there are emulators that emulate a site on certain devices, such as MobileTestMe.com or Responsinator.com, though the latter is usually used for Apple devices.

 

How have you tested the mobile-friendliness of your WordPress site? Comment below and share this article to help others ensure that their WordPress sites are perfectly mobile-responsive.

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