Optimising Your WordPress Site for Mobile Devices

by ThemeAlert
13 September 2014

Recent studies have shown that 30% of all page views are now via a smartphone or tablet, so it’s more crucial than ever that your WordPress site is optimised for mobile devices. However, it's not as simple as merely installing a mobile-friendly theme and leaving it there, there are many other things you can do to make your website as user-friendly as possible.

A few immediate things to consider:

  • Mobile theme switchers: So if you choose a mobile theme over your current one, you can look into a theme switcher that will ensure your visitor views the correct theme
  • Mobile-optimised images: So your visitors can view resized images that are perfect for their smaller screens
  • Responsive design frameworks: Many site owners will opt to use duplicate content and operate both a desktop and mobile site, but to save yourself the hassle of editing two sites at once, it’s worth looking into Bootstrap or Foundation so you only need to worry about one codebase
  • Test…and then test some more: Set up a testing environment and make sure you test your mobile site on numerous different devices to ensure it works across the spectrum on all tablets and smartphones

As always, there are numerous plugins that can help deliver the best user experience on mobile devices. Here are a few top picks:

  • WP Mobile Edition: Compatible with iPhone, Windows Phone, Android and Blackberry, this plugin covers all bases. It’s easy to use and contains a mobile switcher, mobile XML site map generator and option to use a subdomain
  • MobilePress: Extremely popular, this plugin creates a mobile-friendly version of your existing WordPress site and allows for custom themes
  • WPtouch: This plugin contains a great admin panel that helps you easily create a mobile version of your site, while keeping your existing desktop theme intact
  • WordPress Mobile Pack: Comes with a mobile switcher that helps you select themes based on your site’s visitors, as well as additional widgets, a choice of mobile themes and an admin panel that lets contributors write posts on the go

Themes

There are so many choices out there when it comes to WordPress themes that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and indecisive. When choosing a theme for your mobile-friendly site here are a few pointers that should make that decision a lot easier:

  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Is the menu visible?
  • Is the text sized correctly?
  • Do the images fit nicely within the screen resolution?
  • Is minimal scrolling required?
  • Is it easy to find important content?

Search for a theme that answers positively to all of the above and you’re on your way to a nice looking mobile site.

One last thing…

Before your site is fully mobile friendly there’s one last thing to bear in mind – how quickly does your site load? Mobile users are often browsing on the go and don’t have the patience to wait for a site that takes considerable time to load. We’ve already written a guide on how to increase your load speeds, so hop back a few posts and take a look at our tips.