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Desktop and laptop computers are falling out of favor with worldwide consumers. By 2025, almost 75% of internet users will use only their phones to access the internet. The world is going mobile, and your website should too if you want to be competitive.
The problem is you don’t know how to optimize a website for mobile. Mobile browsers require formatting that differs from traditional desktop sites. If you can’t make a responsive mobile version of your website, you’ll no doubt lose out on the majority of internet users: Those who use their smartphones.
Trying to prepare for the future with a mobile-friendly website? Here’s how to optimize a website for mobile in as little as one day.
1. Choose a Responsive Theme
WordPress mobile optimization makes it easy to curate your site for mobile users. The secret is to choose a responsive theme. A responsive WordPress theme is one that automatically accommodates different screen sizes, including those of mobile phones.
Tons of WordPress themes have responsive features, so there’s no shortage of designs to choose from. If you’re already attached to your current WordPress theme, that’s okay too. You can convert your current design into one that’s responsive for all users, though you’ll need the help of a web designer.
While you’re making changes with your themes, you may want to take advantage of WordPress redirects to ensure search engines know where your content is located.
2. Optimize Website Data
While smartphones are fast, they can’t hope to compete with the speed of a hardwired connection and more powerful components. If your website uses a responsive theme, it can still have serious slowdowns for mobile users. After all, they’re downloading the same amount of data on a weaker device.
That’s why it’s so important to optimize your website as much as possible. Website owners make many mistakes in this regard, but one of the most common is improper image formating. Whether your website uses many images or just a few, you should make an effort to reduce their file size as much as possible.
In turn, mobile users will have a faster time accessing your site. First, you’ll want to decide between the JPG and PNG file types. While PNGs are larger, they also offer better quality, especially if you’ll be compressing an image by a considerable margin.
Next, you’ll want to make sure the image is already set to the dimensions you’re looking for. If you’re placing a brand logo in the top corner of the website, it doesn’t need to be 2500 x 2500. Otherwise, WordPress will end up downsizing the image but retain most of the data.
Lastly, you can take advantage of black-and-white modes or reduce your PNG file to 8-bit color. Either option will dramatically reduce the image size and make it a quick load even on older phones. Try to make sure you don’t have more than 1MB on any individual webpage.
3. Use Mobile Plugins
While a responsive theme helps, it doesn’t guarantee an amazing mobile experience. In fact, visitors will still access your website as-is. There’s no mobile variant for their phones to use.
But a mobile plugin can change that. There are a variety of plugins available that create a mobile variant of your existing WordPress website. Using this, along with your responsive theme, will go a long way towards cultivating an excellent mobile experience for your guests.
A plugin known as WP Touch is the most popular, so that’s likely your best bet. Keep in mind that your mobile site will go down or experience issues when WordPress updates. That means your visitors will be without an optimized site until the WP Touch developers patch things up.
As the owner of a WordPress website, you no doubt make use of several plugins — or even hundreds. You should know that some of these plugins are not optimized for mobile. They can ruin the design, functionality, or load speed of your mobile site.
It’s best to manually check your mobile site and ensure everything is up to par. Otherwise, you’ll want to disable plugins one at a time until you can find and disable the culprit.
4. Remove Mobile Popups
Popups have become the new norm for businesses everywhere. Whether they’re asking you to buy a product or sign up for the newsletter, it’s hard to visit a website without having one jump out at you.
And on desktop, that’s okay. There’s plenty of space available. The same can’t be said for mobile users.
Large popups can make navigation difficult on mobile. Worse, it lowers your loading times and can even cause the Google algorithm to penalize your site for making the content difficult to access.
Do your mobile website a favor and disable them, or find some mobile plugins to make the popups less obnoxious.
5. AMP It Up
Google AMP, or Google Accelerated Mobile Pages, is one of the best plugins you could ask for. It takes your existing desktop website, simplifies the data, and presents it to mobile visitors. Basically, it does all the work for you.
Best of all, getting AMP on your site is simple. All you need is the AMP plugin.
If you’re not sold yet, consider this: Major websites such as Reddit, Wired, and the Washington Post switched to AMP. All of these websites saw a substantial increase in website traffic. Not bad for a plugin, right?
You Know How to Optimize a Website for Mobile…
…So what are you waiting for? For most websites, WordPress mobile optimization requires only a few hours of your time. Get started today and you’ll enjoy more mobile traffic and a higher ranking in the SERPs.
You know how to optimize a website for mobile, but there’s so much more to maintaining a website. Search our blog for more content just like this.