Now that Google’s Mobile Friendly Deadline has past I thought I’d write a little about what they are looking for. The big news you might see today is that this update could effect over 40% of the top Fortune 500 websites. You and I are not in with that crowd but the same rules apply to us little guys.
If you head over to the tool that Google supplied you can check your own site and see if it passes their mustard.
If you get a green bar, you are good to go.
If you get a red bar, obviously you need to do something about it. They’ll even tell you what they see wrong.
Your next move is to fix those items. (don’t worry about this one – we’ve already started the redesign process!)
Generally speaking a responsive design (mobile friendly) will rearrange things to better fit the viewers screen. That’s why on my home page I point both to the right and below. Depending on the viewer, the links I’m referring to might be in different places.
Conversely, a non mobile site will require the viewer to pinch and zoom. That means on the initial load,
- The text will be too small because the site will attempt to load full width inside your little screen.
- The mobile viewport is part of the website that looks for what size screen you are using. If it’s small (mobile or tablet) it directs the browser to configure your site differently than it might if it was being viewed on a desktop. Media Queries also help determine how to display your site.
- Have a menu bar? I have big thumbs. If your site isn’t mobile friendly I have a dickens of a time trying to push the right link. Google knows that which is why they look for this. A mobile responsive site could show the menu bar in larger links OR create a ‘hamburger’ menu that opens up in a drop down. Either way, Google requires that now.
So now that you know what they are looking for – you have 3 options.
Option #1: Hire someone to redesign your site. (hint… this is what I do)
Option #2: Do it yourself. I recommend doing it on WordPress and using a mobile responsive theme as a start. That doesn’t fix everything but it will get you started in the right direction. Chances are you’ll have some CSS issues from the old site that’ll break the responsiveness of the new theme. If you are going to do this, make sure you know what you are doing.
Option #3: Apply a band aid. I mentioned this in the last post. There are plugins out there for WordPress that will allow your site to pass the Google Test. They are not perfect and generally give your mobile viewers a stripped down version of your website, but hey at least you’ll still be listed in Google. If you are going the band aid route know it’s not as simple as uploading a plugin and being done with it. Matter of fact if you don’t setup the plugin correctly you will still not be mobile friendly. Do it yourself or hire me to do it right, either way – remember it’s just a band aid.
Does that help demystify this whole “Mobile Friendly” thing? If it doesn’t – give me a call!
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.