We had a great show today that was all about getting your website up and running, mobile ready. (you can listen here)
We wanted to answer the following questions.
- What is “Mobile Ready”?
- What needs to be Mobile Ready?
- Why should content be Mobile Ready?
- How do you know if you’re Mobile Ready?
- Does Google care about Mobile Ready?
- How do you get Mobile Ready?
I’m not quite sure we covered everything so I’ll answer those again here.
1. What is Mobile Ready?
I want to throw out a few terms here. Mobile Ready just means that your site is prepared for a visitor viewing your site on a mobile device. If viewers to your site have to pinch and zoom you are not Mobile Ready. As for the actual preparation, that happens in one of three ways: Mobile Responsive, Dynamic Serving, or Separate URLs.
Of the three, if your site is built on WordPress most quality WordPress themes these days are designed this way. Google says…
Serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users’ device (desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser), but can render the display differently (i.e., “respond”) based on the screen size. Responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern.
Every site I’ve built in the last few years has been Mobile Responsive. The other two ways are usually seen in larger websites where they have teams of programmers working night and day – we don’t have that luxury so we’ll stick to Mobile Responsive. 🙂
2. What needs to be Mobile Ready?
Start with a theme that is built in both html5 and is Mobile Responsive. That’s the short answer but it’s not the complete answer. There’s a 100 ways to break a Mobile Responsive Theme but that’s fodder for another post. 😉
Next, think about your content, specifically the images. Images within posts, images that are in pages or on the sidebar. If you have a logo, chances are that’s an image that needs to be looked at.
Text will usually play nice so we don’t worry too much about that.
It’s also iframes that play bad guys when it comes to breaking a themes Mobile Responsiveness. Items like Google Maps, Videos, and I’ve even seen IDX Solutions that happen via iframes breaking a perfectly good mobile ready website. Let me be clear here. The site will still work, it’s when it comes to adapting to a small screen that the iframe sometimes will screw it all up.
3. Why should content be Mobile Ready?
Very simply, picture the screen that you are viewing the site on as a canvas. If the site is Mobile Responsive then everything should be properly displayed on that canvas. On a desktop that canvas size might be 1200 px wide while a small smartphone might go down to 240px wide. Images that are too wide for that 240 px canvas are going to expand beyond the screen. The same goes for iframes. That makes sense, right?
Want to know why being mobile ready is even more important than just making it easier for your readers? Back in mid 2015 the number of searches that happened on a mobile device outnumbered the number of searches on desktops for the first time. Really!
How do you know if you’re Mobile Ready?
Once only for webmasters, Google created a tool that anyone can use. Enter a URL at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and Google will analyze the PAGE and let you know.
Did you notice how both I and Google said PAGE? Just because the URL that you tested came out clean it doesn’t mean the whole site is. Like mentioned above, something could break your Mobile Responsiveness. That means you shouldn’t just test your home page, you should test a number of pages deeper into your website.
Does Google care about Mobile Ready?
Google cares a lot! I’ve written about it before. For users on mobile, Google will actually remove you from their search engine results if your site isn’t mobile ready. That’s huge! Being dropped by Google is HUUUUUUUUUUGE! (sorry for the topical reference)
How do you get Mobile Ready?
For the DYI Types: Start with WordPress and quality hosting. Next use a quality theme (ask me what constitutes quality). Then add your content making sure you do so properly.
For the Not So DYI Types: Pick up the phone and call me, or head on over to my Custom WordPress Website tab.
He's an avid hockey fan, rides a mountain bike, sometimes rides a road bike, has a few motorcycles (he had a really fast one, bought a cool orange one, rode a really slow one, and wants a really small one). If that isn't enough, he makes cheese and sourdough bread, loves strong beer and good red wine, and poorly plays the Mandolin.