Most WordPress webmasters have optimized their site for mobile in one way or another ways. But have you ever done anything specifically for your mobile visitors? You can speed up your site easily. By reading this article you can answer the question: How to optimize WordPress for mobile.
In 2017, more traffic came from mobile than desktop, and that number is only going to grow. People are using their devices more and more, and they demand that you make it easy for them to access your site.
Many sites are not optimized for mobile beyond a simple responsive theme. Moving your site layout around for small screens is not enough to engage and convert your mobile visitors. You have to make sure your mobile site is fast, easy to use, and designed specifically for small screens for using visitors.
With the age of technology and advancement taking over the population all over the world, everything is now only a few clicks away. In addition to this, mobile phone users have also remarkably increased over the years. And with the surveys done over the topic over and again, we have come to the conclusion that with advancements comes the option of accessibility. In fact, the mobile device has already surpassed the average desktop users on a daily basis. The Huffington Post, for example, has reported a 37 percent rise in mobile device users on their daily visitors.
This sure has raised the bars for everything and now mobile optimization is one of the main factors affecting the traffic of a website.it has been reported that mobile traffic now accounts for 16 percent traffic. But unfortunately, there are also surveys that prove that 66 percent of the overall mobile users find difficulty with the lack of responsive designs with the websites. What’s even more frustrating is that these websites also load extremely slow which affects the engagement as well as conversion rate.
Why are mobile-friendly sites important?
In 2016, 52.7 percent of internet users accessed it via mobile devices. That means that over half the population is turning to phones and tablets over traditional desktop devices, so in order to keep up with them, your website needs to be ready to display on any screen size. A mobile-friendly design makes for a positive user experience and will help your users find what they’re looking for while on the go.
There’s another important reason your site should be mobile-friendly: Google. Starting in 2015 Google implemented a major overhaul of its search algorithm to reward sites that are deemed “mobile-friendly” The change came down to one crucial data point: whether or not your website is responsive.
This means that if your site reads well on mobile devices, it’s going to perform better in search results than sites that don’t. That’s a pretty sweet perk if you’ve done the work to create a mobile-friendly site! But it can also hurt your site’s traffic if it’s not quite up to the task of displaying on smaller devices.
How to optimize WordPress for mobile?
Luckily, if your WordPress site isn’t mobile-friendly yet, there are plenty of tools to help you get up to speed and build a fully-functioning, responsive site. The first step? Benchmark your current design.
Why should you care about mobile? According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile WordPress site they had trouble with, and 40% would go to a competitors site. Even if people aren’t buying your product or service on mobile, you bet they are doing competitive research. If you miss the opportunity to engage with them on their device, you might lose them forever.
Here are the must-do tips to optimize WordPress website for mobile:
- Speed up your mobile site!
- Consider a mobile app
- Responsive themes
- Avoid adding pop-ups
The most important thing you can do is speed up your site, so start there.
People expect sites to load quickly on mobile, especially when they are on the go. Faster load times can increase conversions and decrease bounce rates, while slow load times will send them to your competitors.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to speed up your site for mobile:
- Reduce images
- Optimize plugins and themes
- Use a great web host
a- Reduce images
Large images can slow down your page load times tremendously. The good thing is that it’s a pretty easy fix.
The first thing to do is look over your site pages, and get rid of any images that are not absolutely necessary. If your images are just to make your site look pretty, they probably aren’t converting your visitors.
If the images have to stay, make sure to optimize any large images on your main landing pages. You can use a tool like Imagify, which also has a WordPress plugin. This tool will compress your images without losing quality, so your pages load faster but still look great.
Responsive images also help with load times, and lucky for you they are already in WordPress core since version 4.4. You don’t have to do anything to use those if you are up to date.
b- Optimize plugins and themes
Bad plugin and theme code can sometimes cause a bottleneck for your site speed, even if you optimize everything else but it can be harmful.
If you are seeing a major slowdown, try to update all themes, plugins, and WordPress core. If that doesn’t fix the issue, deactivate plugins on a staging site until you find the culprit. You may also need to switch themes to one of the default WordPress themes, such as TwentySeventeen. Once you’ve found the problem, you can either leave it inactive, or attempt to diagnose the issue you should speed up WordPress for mobile.
This can get fairly complex, but a great place to start is with HTTP requests.
Another way you can do is minify and concatenate plugin CSS and JS files. A plugin like WP Rocket can help with that; just make sure you contact your web host if you use a caching plugin. Some caching may be redundant in a hosting environment that is already heavily optimized.
c- Use a great web host
Don’t use cheap servers. why? Because usually they use cheap shared hosting servers which definitely makes your site slow! Managed WordPress hosts have server infrastructure and caching in place that will speed up your site tremendously. They also allow for modern technologies like PHP 7, which is so faster than PHP 5.4. Pagely also includes a CDN which can speed up your site images and other assets, and it’s very easy to use.
For more speed optimization tips, including a free PDF guide, check out this Speeding Up optimize WordPress for mobile
2- Consider a mobile app
At the beginning of the article, I mentioned that mobile internet usage has surpassed the desktop. The thing I didn’t mention is that most of the internet time on a device is spent in apps.
Apps account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on websites.
Part of mobile optimization is designing a holistic mobile experience for your audience, and for many businesses that includes a native mobile app. Apps allow for a faster, more focused experience, as well as features that are not available on the web. For example, offline access and push notifications.
You can also distribute through the iOS and Android app stores, which gives you another point of contact to contact with your customers.
Many businesses can benefit from a mobile app to complement their website. There are lots of ways to create an app, including custom development or an app builder. Custom app development is a great way to get an app built if you have the budget for it. App builders are a dime a dozen, but they don’t all integrate with WordPress on the same level. A tool like Joapp focuses specifically on WordPress based websites, and can help you create an app affordably.
3- Use (or create) a responsive WordPress theme
If you’ve recently installed a new WordPress theme, there’s a decent chance you’re okay in this department. If your theme has been around for awhile though, it might be time for a little update.
First things first: Double-check your WordPress version and current theme version. If there are pending updates, start with those. I can’t speak for every theme out there, but some updates will contain mobile-friendly elements and may be enough to fix your problems. WordPress 4.4, for example, added some really neat functionality for responsive images.optimize WordPress for mobile fast.
If updates don’t do the trick, it’s probably time to look for a new theme or consider creating your own. Let’s explore both options.
4- Avoid adding pop-ups on mobile devices
If you’re trying to build an email list with your WordPress site, I’m guessing you have a variety of opt-ins on your site. Most email opt-in forms work just fine on mobile devices (assuming they scale and are easy to use).
Pop-ups, however, are a different beast. Google has started penalizing sites with content of a site. This includes pop-ups (whether they display immediately or after a user has been on the site for some time) and any other type of opt-in that a user must dismiss before accessing the content on the page. You can read all about Google’s stance on the matter here.speed up WordPress for mobile
To keep your WordPress site mobile friendly and following best practices, avoid pop-ups on your mobile design. How you go about that will depend on the service powering your opt-ins, but most providers should have an option to disable intrusive pop-ups on mobile devices.optimize WordPress for mobile easily.
Chances are the current trend of mobile website browsing isn’t going to slow down, as better and cheaper devices continue to become available. That means the ball’s in your court, and you have to do everything possible to make sure your website is ready to handle mobile users (and cater to their needs).
It would take a book to discuss all the ways you can go about making sure your WordPress website is mobile-friendly, but we suggest you start with these four key tips:
- Create a responsive menu.
- Use a mobile-friendly WordPress theme.
- Keep touch devices in mind.