Now that more and more people are depending on their smartphones and tablets for performing searches and using social media, there is a good chance that many of your blog readers are coming to your website via their mobile device. Fortunately, optimizing your blog for mobile devices isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Let’s look at how you can decide if you need a mobile optimized blog design and how to get one.
How to Determine if You Need a Mobile Optimized Blog
If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, it can tell you whether you need a mobile optimized blog design. Simply go to your website’s profile in Google Analytics and look under Audience > Mobile > Overview. This section will breakdown your desktop, mobile, and tablet visitors.
While it might be a small percentage compared to your overall traffic, you have to look under Audience > Mobile > Devices to see the actual growth in traffic from mobile devices. Chances are, the number of visits from mobile device users has been steadily increasing and will continue to increase. Thus, you will need a mobile optimized blog design. Here are two ways to get it.
Mobile Optimization through Responsive Themes
If possible, choose a theme for your blog that is labeled as responsive. Responsive themes will optimize your blog’s content based on each visitor’s screen size.
Before you choose a responsive design, be sure to test it on your own mobile devices, both smartphones and tablets. To do this, look at the theme’s demo on your mobile devices in addition to you looking at it on your desktop. See how your content will be arranged and make sure it is to your liking. Most responsive themes will simply move the sidebar below the content, followed by the footer. This will make the blog content full width on smaller screens.
Fortunately, no matter what blogging platform you use, there is a responsive theme for it. You can refer to these posts with collections of free and premium responsive themes for Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress. WordPress in particular has a lot more options, including premium themes from StudioPress, ElegantThemes, and Organic Themes.
Mobile Optimization through WordPress Plugins
Another way to create a mobile optimized blog design is through the use of WordPress plugins. WPtouch3 is a free plugin you can install on your blog that will create a mobile optimized design for any blog using any theme.
Additional Mobile Optimization Tips
In addition to your blog’s theme, you also need to keep some other things in mind when it comes to making your blog mobile friendly.
- Are you using a popup opt-in form or ad? If so, it could be difficult to navigate around and close. Test yours and see if you can disable it for mobile users.
- Are you using a slideshow in the middle of your post? Slideshows tend to force mobile users to refresh the page to forward the slide, meaning that they have to scroll back down to get to the new slide. This can be much more frustrating than scrolling through a list.
- Are you using video? Does your video player work on mobile devices, especially those that don’t allow Flash?
- Are you using infographics? Can mobile visitors still read the data?
- Are your opt-in forms in the sidebar of your blog still visible and easy to fill out? If not, you could miss out on some new subscribers and leads.
- Are any links from your blog to your main website leading to mobile friendly landing pages? If not, you could miss out on some sales.
- Are your social sharing buttons still working? Some social sharing tools do not translate well to mobile apps.
- Is your comment platform mobile friendly? Some comment platforms require log-ins and take a long time to load.
The keys to ensuring your blog’s mobile friendliness is testing, testing, and testing. If you only have an iPhone and you want to make sure your blog works well on Android, visit a local mobile device store and use their demos for a little extra testing!
What other considerations are there for mobile friendly blog design?