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Why your website should be mobile friendly and how to make it so!

According to Statisa mobile traffic to websites globally has increased from 31% in Q1 2015 to 51% in Q2 2018. This 20% increase shows the clear need for your website to be mobile friendly, when your visitors open your website on their phone or tablet they want to be able to browse your product and services the same way they would on their desktop or laptop. If they try to navigate around your site on their mobile device, only to find images don’t render correctly or text is too small to read they will likely abandon their visit and look elsewhere.

 

So, what are the main problems if my website isn’t mobile friendly?

First off zooming in and out on sections on your website isn’t something visitors will be willing to do anymore, they expect a clean & easy to use version of your website that compliments their experience when visiting you on their laptop.

Then what happens when a customer wants to call you? Are the phone numbers on your site click-to-dial compatible? If they’re not, then the chances of your visitor manually changing between their mobiles web browser and phone keypad to manually enter the number are slim. Instead, they should be able to click any phone number on your website to commence dialing.

Google also favor mobile responsive web designs, in late Spring 2015 Google altered their algorithms, commonly known within the industry as “Mobilegeddon”, they pushed websites with unresponsive (non-mobile friendly) designs down in results made on mobile devices.

Forbes identified that a whopping 31% of all referral traffic to websites comes from social media, couple that statistic with the fact that over 80% of all social media engagement originates from mobile devices and the need for your website to behave perfectly on mobiles and tablets becomes crystal clear.

 

Okay, how do I make my website mobile friendly?

Making your current website mobile friendly (responsive) may not be as difficult as you are thinking. The best place to start analyzing how complex it may be is by checking how old your website is and what technology/software it runs on. If your site is less than 2 years old and runs on WordPress you have a good chance of making it mobile responsive easily. If your site is more than 2 years old and was written with HTML or PHP code as a bespoke project, then mobile optimization may need professional input, don’t forget you can contact Hugoton Hosting to discuss such a project.

Let’s imagine your site is less than two years old and runs on WordPress; you have three main options available to you …

 

Use a plugin to generate a mobile theme

Using a plugin will create a separate mobile theme, shown only to visitors on mobile devices. The two options we recommend are the Mobile Theme module in Jetpack and WPtouch (or WPtouch Pro).

The benefits of this method are simplicity and cost. The downside, however, is that the mobile site/theme created will be basic in nature and will likely not match the look & feel of your desktop website, so while this method is good as an entry point to pleasing your mobile visitors, you will likely need to have a more ‘natural’ mobile experience developed

 

Modify your current WordPress theme

Your WordPress theme is likely something you’ve grown to love over time, and probably something in which you’ve invested both time and money into. You can look to modify your existing template to become mobile friendly, we recommend you contact a web design company to analyze the work needed to do this. Hugoton Hosting have converted numerous websites to be responsive, typically using BootStrap to make sure mobile visitors browse your site with ease.

Of course, depending on the theme you’re using, mobile optimization may not be perfect and could be seen as “putting lipstick on a pig”, this is why we strongly recommend contacting a Web Designer so you can be sure of the results of mobile optimization before investing in such.

 

Use a new WordPress theme

The vast majority of WordPress themes created in the last 0-12 months come with mobile optimization as standard, be sure of course to check the description and try the demo on your mobile to be 100% sure.

While this option may seem like the most expensive and time-consuming, it is also the one which will deliver the most joined-up experience for your visitors whether they visit your website on the mobile, tablet, desktop or laptop. There is also the opportunity with this option to add more functionality to your site and fix those ‘little things’ that have always bugged you on your current website.

Similar to option 2, we recommend you engage with a Web Designer to assess precisely what themes would work best for your site and to check-in plugin compatibility with your new theme choice.

 

Conclusion

Hopefully you now agree that your website should be mobile friendly, exactly how you ensure this is up to you, but one thing is for sure – your brand is paramount to your business and the look & feel of your website should be as identical as possible for your visitors irrespective of the device they use to visit your website. Cost, time, complexity and compatibility will all be factors in your decision on how to proceed, if you want to talk it through with an expert you can schedule a completely free consultation session with Hugoton Hosting today!