Back on February 26 Google announced that starting April 21 they will be expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. The change will effect mobile searches in all languages around the world and have a significant impact on their search results. Users of mobile devices, such as Androids, Tablets, iPhones, iPads, etc., will find it easier to receive relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their mobile devices.
How does that effect you? If you have a website or blog that is “not” mobile-friendly or what most people refer to as having a website that is responsive – then your website probably won’t be shown first when people search for keywords that could be found on your website.
One way to check to see if your site is mobile-friendly is to test a few page URLs using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Note: Read this before moving on to the test.
If your site is hosted on WordPress.com, WordPress is going to automatically present a mobile-friendly theme for your site depending on the theme you currently have installed and the mobile platform of the visitor. If you are already using a mobile-ready theme, that’s what visitors will see on their mobile devices. If you are using a non-mobile theme, the Standard WordPress.com mobile theme will be displayed on mobile devices. You can read more about Mobile Themes on WordPress.com here.
If your site or blog is hosted on Blogger, Blogger will default mobile users (excluding tablet users) to a mobile-friendly version of your blog. You can read more about how Blogger handles mobile users here.
If your site has been developed using another CMS or software, check to see if it’s listed here.
Now, if you are a self-hosted WordPress user, i.e., you have your own hosting account with WordPress installed – you may have to do a bit more work. Now is the time to run your current website URL through the Mobile-Friendly Tester.
If you pass, congratulations you are all set! If you failed, don’t worry – you have a few options to choose from.
- Do nothing… because all of this means nothing to you.. move on to #2.
- I love my website and don’t want to change it.
- I’ve been ready for a change for a long time so I’ll look for a mobile-friendly, responsive theme.
If you selected #2 – here are a few options for you:
- Install the Jetpack plugin – which will give you the mobile-friendly features that WordPress.com users receive, or
- Install the WPTouch plugin which will create a separate, mobile-friendly version of your site. Your desktop themes will remain the same. It offers you several mobile-friendly themes to choose from, or
- Install WP Mobile Detector which is similar to WPTouch and has several themes to choose from as well.
If you selected #3 and you are ready for a change – you can search for mobile-friendly, responsive themes in the WordPress Themes directory. If you are using the Genesis Framework, you have a lot of nice options available to you. Start with StudioPress. If you like feminine blog themes, I have a nice selection of popular feminine child themes right here. And you can also search for mobile-friendly themes using Google or your favorite search tool.
If you are ready to make that switch and need some assistance, let’s talk. I can help with theme selection, as well as installation.
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