I’ve previously been writing about how to drive traffic from social media and am excited about my new topic, WordPress. Throughout this WordPress series I will be exploring the best WordPress plugins to use as well as digging deeper into how to ensure your website is performing and is as effective as possible.
As more and more people are using their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to access the Internet, creating mobile friendly websites should be the focus of every website owner. In the UK alone, the number of people who are browsing the web from a mobile phone has more than doubled between 2010 to 2014 and grew from 24% to 58%. Not to mention that last year 76% of UK’s adults accessed the Internet from a mobile phone every day. And these numbers are only going to continue to rise exponentially.
An infographic by Kissmetrics revealed that most mobile Internet users “expect a web-browsing experience on their phone that’s comparable to what they get on their desktop or laptop.” That has lots of implications: loading time, layout and ease of use / navigation.
If you’re looking to increase your sales you need to ensure your website is optimised for mobile, especially as more and more people are using their smartphones to not just conduct research and read reviews, but to actually purchase products. If you don’t, you will simply send your visitors to your competitor’s website.
There is, of course, a lot more to just having a mobile-friendly website. The user experience is key – you need to protect your brand’s image by ensuring that they don’t have a bad or negative experience on your website via their mobile phone. Otherwise they may not visit your site again. The ultimate goal should be to give your user a great experience as well as drive conversions.
When designing your mobile website, here are some of the most important things to consider:
- Study your analytics thoroughly in order to find out what your visitors are most interested in. When you create a mobile website you might have to strip it down to the basics, so knowing what your audience is most interested in can be of real help.
- Think of the priorities of a mobile user when visiting your site, as they can be quite different from desktop users. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right first time: you should be prepared to experiment and make changes until your mobile version converts better.
- Make sure your loading time is kept to a minimum. Most people are prepared to wait a few seconds for a page to load , but remember that every second counts.
- It might be obvious, but you should make sure that whenever someone enters your websites’ URL in their smartphone browser they are automatically redirected to the mobile version.
- If you use pop ups or ads consider how it can affect the user experience. It can be frustrating not being able to press the x button due to spacing not being far enough apart or if the close (x) button is too small for fingers!
It’s also useful to see how many people are accessing your website via mobile devices. To do this, visit your Google Analytics page and click on the “Mobile” tab under “Audience”.
The overview section will give you your total numbers, including tablet, and if you go to the devices section you will be able to see exactly which websites were viewed by your readers and on which devices they accessed them from.
Google has created a very cool calculator so you can calculate how mobile drives your in-store sales. Aptly called “Full Value of Mobile” their handy calculator is well worth checking out. In addition, Google also provides some great tips (and common mistakes to avoid) in how to make your website work across mobile devices.
So why doesn’t everyone have a mobile-friendly website? (This doesn’t mean that you need to have two website versions, one for desktops and one for mobile), but it is very important to at least make sure your website is optimised for make sure your website is optimised for mobile and that it loads quickly. Although tablets and smartphones have pretty big screens now they are still significantly smaller than desktops so it’s crucial that mobile users can easily find their way around on their smaller screens. It’s not hard to do, and there are plenty of great tools that you can use to create the perfect mobile website.
Today, most WordPress themes are mobile-friendly as standard. However, if your current theme isn’t, below are some useful plugins that you can add to ensure your website becomes mobile responsive quickly and easily:
WPTap is a WordPress plugin that develops mobile themes and plugins that can convert your existing WordPress website into a mobile website easily. It’s very simple to use and has lots of useful features.
MobilePress is a plugin that will automatically generate a mobile version for WordPress website. It has a few custom themes to choose from as well as some other settings. It doesn’t allow for much in-depth customisations, but it’s still a very good tool.
Duda offers a more complete service for those who want to easily convert their WordPress website to a mobile site. It will retain the basic look of your desktop website and has automatic redirection for mobile visitors. It’s also SEO-friendly and there is no need for coding.
Responsive is a WordPress theme that automatically adapts your website for mobile devices, as opposed to creating a separate website version.
5. WP Touch Pro
WP Touch Pro has some beautiful themes to choose from to create a website with a responsive design that changes the layout depending on the device used to access the website.
Have you created a mobile version for your website? What tool or plugin did you use?