In this day and age, web content must be mobile friendly. In America alone, almost 2/3 of people own a smartphone. Some people even rely exclusively on a smartphone for internet access.
For WordPress users, this means it is imperative that you select a WordPress theme which is mobile friendly. Otherwise, you risk not having an impact on users who are visiting your WordPress site on a mobile device.
How can I be Sure that my WordPress Theme is Mobile Friendly?
Test your Theme using Google
Before we get into what makes a theme mobile friendly, let’s explore how to test if a theme is mobile friendly (in case you already have some themes you like using). One of the easiest and most effective ways to test the mobile friendliness of your WordPress theme is to use Google’s mobile-friendly test. All you have to do is input your URL into the box and Google will tell you if your WordPress site is mobile friendly or not.
Not only is the Google test easy to use, but it is very effective. This is because Google ranks the mobile friendliness of websites when someone on a mobile device does a Google search. Since most internet users use Google, it would be wise to check with the Google tool to see how mobile friendly your WordPress site is. And remember, when given a WordPress site, the Google tool will examine multiple theme elements. This means it is important to make well-informed decisions when customizing your theme. Having a professional look is a good place to start, but we will explore some specific ways you can make your theme mobile friendly later in this article.
Test your Theme on real People
The Google tool is great if you are concerned about ranking; however, you may also be curious about what real people think about your website. Don’t shy away from testing your WordPress theme on friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers.
When you test your WordPress theme on real people, you get to actually see how people react to the mobile friendliness of your WordPress site. Don’t just listen to what people say. You will want to watch their facial expressions, their hand movements, etc. This information, combined with what they tell you, will give you a holistic picture of how mobile friendly (or unfriendly) your WordPress theme is.
Test your Theme on Multiple Devices
This is something you can do by yourself if you own a lot of mobile devices. If not, ask to borrow friends’ mobile devices. It is important to test your WordPress theme on multiple devices because your theme may perform well on some devices and not so well on other devices.
For example, a WordPress theme may do better on a tablet than a smartphone (or vice-versa). Never make assumptions just because your WordPress theme looks good on one type of mobile device. Also remember that you can always modify your WordPress theme in order to make it more mobile friendly, so don’t be discouraged if your site doesn’t perform well on mobile devices.
What Makes a WordPress Theme Mobile Friendly?
Amount of Text in the Theme
Mobile users are on the go; thus, they have even less time to look at your content than regular web users on a computer. It is vital that you reduce the amount of text where possible. Have you noticed how some websites only show an image and the first few sentences of text for each article? This is an effective way to show mobile readers what an article is about without providing an excessive amount of information. Other websites, however, show readers an excessive amount of textual material. This material, while it may be informative, is too much to go through on a mobile device.
While reducing text is important, you must keep in mind that you have both computer and mobile users to take into account. Thus, you would not want to reduce the amount of text in your WordPress theme so much that the theme loses its informative nature. In short, summarize where possible and include links to longer material that users can favorite/ save and return to when they are on a computer.
Simplicity Makes a WordPress Theme more Mobile Friendly
Simple really is better when it comes to WordPress themes on mobile devices. When you choose your WordPress theme, you should pick one that is attractive but not overly complex. Gambit Magazine has a lot of information. That’s great in terms of how informative it is; however, there are too many elements for it to be mobile friendly. If it was condensed into a mobile environment, a substantial amount of information would become difficult to find. It is important to have continuity between what you are showing computer users and what you are showing mobile users.
Setmore SpaSalon Theme, on the other hand, focuses on showing key information instead of showing a very large amount of information. It would be more ideal for mobile users. You can easily imagine how this theme would be transformed into a mobile version. The tabs at the top would fit in the menu (referred to as the hamburger in the mobile environment), the large image would be front and center, and the user could scroll down to see the information shown at the bottom. Basically, there is not an excessive amount of information present and the information that is present in this WordPress theme would easily be converted into mobile content.
What else can I do to make my WordPress Theme Mobile Friendly?
There are a few other things that make a WordPress theme mobile friendly. For one, you’ll want to make sure that your advertisements are appropriate for a mobile environment. Some advertisements may look fine on computers, but on a mobile device they can take up too much screen space. If you are curious about the specifics of advertising as it relates to your WordPress theme, we recommend to read more about how Monetizing a WordPress Blog works.
Finally, consider your audience. Perhaps your site visitors almost always visit your WordPress site from a computer. On the other hand, maybe they almost always use mobile devices to access your site. Choose and design your WordPress theme appropriately.