Learn How to Create a Mobile-Optimized WordPress Website
Failing to have a mobile-optimized WordPress site can alienate a large part of your audience. With these tips, making your site mobile-friendly will be easy.
Over 77% of Americans own a smartphone.
Given the mobile culture that we live in, this number is only likely to increase. Whether you operate an e-commerce, business, or personal website, it’s important to keep your mobile users in mind. Catering to a mobile audience can influence bounce rates and the amount of organic traffic you receive.
If you operate a WordPress website, you may be unsure about how to optimize your site for mobile access.
In this post, we’ll look closely at what you need to do to create a mobile-optimized WordPress website.
1. Ensure You Have a Fast-Loading Site
The loading speed of our website can directly impact your mobile users’ experience. The same goes for desktop users.
In general, if your site takes more than three seconds to load, it is likely to turn visitors away. In fact, slow-loading sites could be costing you nearly half of your organic traffic.
Mobile users who are trying to access your site on-the-go may even have less patience than desktop users. For this reason, a fast-loading site is the secret to a mobile-optimized experience.
If you’re looking for ways to make WordPress faster, try changing up the file size of the images you are uploading. Make sure images are also in the appropriate file type. JPEGs tend to load faster than GIFs or PNGs.
Chat with your web host to modify loading speeds. Sometimes upgrading to a new package or changing hosts can help address slow-loading sites.
Lastly, make sure that your site has responsive design. Many WordPress sites are automatically responsively designed. This means that your online content shifts to adapt to user screen size.
If you are unsure whether or not your WP site has a responsive design, consult a support forum or reach out to WP Gurus.
2. Use WordPress Plugins
WordPress is famous for its useful plugins, applications that can optimize your site delivery. Make sure you are using the right plugins to promote a mobile-optimized website.
One great plugin to have on hand is Imagify, which optimizes images prior to upload. With Imagify, you can rest assured that your images will load quickly.
WordPress’s JetPack has a Mobile Theme module that is free and ensures mobile optimization whenever a mobile user accesses your site. You may also want to invest in the WordPress Mobile Pack, a plugin package that integrates with Google AdSense and Analytics.
Other plugins to investigate include Obox Mobile and Any Mobile Theme Switcher.
Spend some time and clean up existing plugins, too. Updating or upgrading current plugins can aid in page loading time. Getting rid of unneeded plugins can do the same.
If you have a pop-up plugin that displays banners and other ads when desktop users visit, make sure it isn’t compromising your mobile users’ experience. It’s possible to disable pop-ups for mobile access, too.
3. Implement Proper SEO
A search engine optimized website is more likely to perform better for mobile audiences.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves optimizing online content for keywords your visitors are likely to type into Google. A well-optimized site can give you a higher Google ranking.
Higher rankings lead to higher digital visibility. This is essential for businesses that depend on online traffic, like e-commerce sites.
Effective SEO ensures that your site is visible to mobile users, particularly if you implement local SEO. It can also keep your content relevant to your mobile audience.
Check to see how your WordPress site is performing on smartphones by visiting Google Search Console. This nifty tool gives you an overview of what you can do to make your site more mobile-friendly.
Another WordPress plugin that’s a must-have for WP users is Yoast. This SEO plugin gives basic SEO tips and advice, letting you know where your optimization is slipping and where it needs boasting.
4. Consider an App
If you really wish to target your mobile users, consider turning your site into an app. Smartphone users are more likely to spend more time in apps than on websites.
The good news is that you don’t need to invest in totally separate software or abandon your WP site to create an app. In fact, WordPress’s own Mobile App plugin turns your website into a viable app.
Apps are useful because they enable visitors to access valuable content offline. You can also enable in-app messaging and notifications so that you can amp up customer interaction.
Many people are happy to settle with a responsively-designed website. However, responsive design doesn’t guarantee a mobile-optimized website.
Apps directly cater to mobile users with personalized, screen-adapted content. They can be a great complement to your current site.
5. Chat With Experts
The good news about creating any WordPress site is your ability to rely on the experts. WordPress itself has an extensive support network. Premium users also have access to dedicated support team members.
Chat with these WP experts for in-house advice about optimizing a WordPress site for mobile access. WP forums are also very helpful and are free to use.
It’s also possible to connect with third-party WordPress experts. We already mentioned WP Gurus, for example.
Lastly, don’t forget to spend some time looking at your site analytics, via JetPack or Google Analytics. Knowing how much mobile traffic you do have and how your changes are impacting visitors is key to further optimization.
Final Thoughts: Creating a Mobile-Optimized WordPress Site
A mobile-optimized site keeps its smartphone and tablet users in mind. As such, it can experience higher conversion rates and happier readability.
It’s possible to optimize any WordPress site for mobile access. Begin by ensuring that your site is loading at the fastest speed possible. Consult your web host or reduce file sizes to do this.
Consult experts or WP support forums for further advice. In the meantime, make sure you are using the right WP plugins to support mobile optimization. Don’t forget about responsive design and SEO, either.
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