Owning a WordPress website in the 21st century is not easy. Internet usage is not what it used to be ten years ago. Online world now revolves around mobile. The convenience that this device provides to do things on-the-go has made it so important in our lives. Most responsive web designs these days follow the ‘mobile first design’ method. Along with writing about new, interesting things, it’s also very critical to make your site responsive. So if you are a regular WordPress user who wants to make their account mobile-friendly, this article is for you.
Before jumping into plugins and frameworks let us first look at some basic hacks to make a page responsive.
- The simplest way is to pick a WordPress theme that’s responsive. There are a lot of themes on WordPress that are free and responsive.
- It’s also important to ensure that all the plugins that you add to the site are themselves responsive.
- Another alternative is to use page builders. Page builders let you disable or enable elements depending on the device that the visitor is using. Hence, making your WordPress site mobile-friendly.
- Refrain showing popups on the mobile version of the site. Popups violate Google’s mobile-friendly design standards. In addition to it, they have a negative impact on the site’s ranking in mobile search.
There are a huge number of plugins freely available that focus on making the target web-page responsive. Here are a few of the best ones among them.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
There’s no point in having a responsive page if it fails to load fast. AMP is a lightweight framework for WordPress that makes mobile pages load faster. AMP is an open-source library that helps you in create web pages that are smooth, and load almost instantaneously. What’s more, AMP is compatible across browsers and is supported by many different platforms. This is a great option for sites that have tons of content. AMP also helps in ranking your content better on search engines.
Touchy is a menu plugin for WordPress. You could call it a navigation solution for your WordPress page. It is a complete package of mobile menu and header. Touchy comes with lots of options for customization. It also provides a huge variety of icons, a menu bar with email and call buttons, search and widgets. Although it is primarily designed for mobile development, it’s usability can be extended for desktop browsers as well. With its super quick set up, page customization is now a cake walk. Touchy specializes in tailoring your existing desktop site into a site for the smaller screen. This helps you to customize the mobile site while retaining your old base design intact.
WPTouch is the ultimate solution to make your site mobile-friendly. This plugin comes to your rescue by adding simple, elegant themes for your mobile users. And it’s done without impacting your search engine ranking or forcing you to create a new URL. Running successfully for eight years, all themes that they provide are Google Mobile Test passed. This means, using WPTouch ensures that your website will be tagged as mobile-friendly. WPTouch is a free plugin but it’s pro-version comes with a price tag. That said, it is still a good investment for those wanting to expand their options.
A great user experience isn’t just about beautiful pages; easy navigation is also equally important. SuperFly is a plugin loved by many for creating a responsive menu for WordPress on desktop and mobile. It makes website navigation easy by removing unnecessary clicks. With loads of customization options and a styling menu, it’s a great find. SuperFly also gives you display control for different pages.
What if you love the way your current desktop theme’s and don’t want to change it? What if you could keep your desktop site as it is and use a different theme on the mobile version? Mobile Smart is a free plugin that helps you in doing just that. It lets you use a different WordPress theme depending on the visitor’s device.
How to test it?
Now that you have worked on your site into making it responsive, you can use Google’s tool to check how it fares. Go here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and just enter the URL of your site and run test. Google then analyses your page and gives you a result of how mobile-friendly your current page design is.