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Is Your WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly?

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Mobile optimization is essential for any WordPress site. We discuss why you need WordPress mobile optimization and how to optimize a WordPress site for mobile.

As of June 2013, there were 2.1 billion mobile broadband subscribers. Just less than half of those subscribers were in developed nations. In developing nations, mobile Internet subscriptions already outstrip those in developing nations and are growing quickly, particularly in nations where mobile broadband is a more economical substitute to creating a wired infrastructure.

There’s no doubt that the mobile Internet is going to dominate in the future, as smartphones and tablets edge out laptops and desktops as people’s go to browsing device. In fact, for any savvy follower of tech trends, this is old news. But, many WordPress sites are lagging behind when it comes to providing an adequate experience for their mobile users.

To a degree, that’s understandable. Not everyone using WordPress is a technical expert or a web design guru. Most WordPress sites are blogs and personal or small business sites. However, those sites have to compete in an online ecosystem that is increasingly dominated by mobile users. If they don’t make efforts to provide a good experience for mobile users, their audiences will dwindle. It’s especially important that company sites are upgraded for mobile, because potential leads are increasingly using their phones and tablets to find companies.

There’s really no excuse not to provide mobile-friendly features on a WordPress site. It takes some effort to get the best results, but in most cases an adequate mobile experience can be created very quickly and inexpensively. We’re going to look at three ways that you can turn your WordPress site into a mobile marvel.

Responsive Themes

Responsive web design uses proportional design and CSS magic so that a site can automatically change its layout to suit the screen size of a device. If you are in a position where you can change your site’s theme or are building a new site, responsive themes are the best option. They allow sites to retain their branding across device sizes and impose the lowest management burden — there’s no need for a separate mobile site. You can find responsive themes on all the major theme marketplaces.

Jetpack Mobile Theme

If you can’t change your theme, the quickest way to implement a mobile friendly site is to use the Mobile theme module that comes with the Jetpack plugin. It’s not the prettiest theme, and it will anonymity your site’s appearance, but it’s better than having no mobile provision at all.

If you don’t like the Jetpack theme, the WPtouch plugin is a great alternative.

Mobify

Mobify is a very popular service that makes it easy to create a customized mobile design with minimal hassle. It’s free for personal sites and relatively inexpensive for small businesses. Mobify used to provide a WordPress plugin, but now the service uses a universal JavaScript snippet in combination with a cloud service. The results that Mobify offers are superior to just using the Jetpack mobile theme, although there is a bit more effort involved.

Without mobile optimization your WordPress site could slowly slip into obscurity as its audience moves to sites that work better on their chosen device, so if you haven’t already, 2014 is the year to go mobile.

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Arslan Rashid

Arslan is an Electrical Engineering student who has a keen interest in the WordPress developments and upcoming technologies. He likes to share interesting knowledge with the readers.

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