Do you want to learn how to optimize your WordPress website for mobile use? Check out the following tips to help you get started.


First Things First

Before making any changes to your site, it is recommended that you make a backup so that you have a copy if restoration is necessary.


WordPress’s Mobile Friendly Feature

If you are one of the many people that host their sites on WordPress, there is good news for you. WordPress is now offering a feature that automatically creates a mobile-friendly theme for your site; this is dependent on your current installed theme and the mobile platform that your visitor is using.



How To Find Out Your WordPress Version

You can check your WordPress version using one of the following methods:

  • Check your Administration Panel- The latest WordPress installations will have a version number that appears near the top of the Dashboard. For the older versions, the version number will appear in the footer.
  • Go to the web site that has WordPress installed. Use your web browser’s view source function and search the page for the generator Meta tag.
  • The version number is also located in the file, /wp-includes/version.php, and can be viewed in a text editor. In addition, if the file is on a remote server, FTP programs may give you the ability to view it.

It is important to note that if you are feeling lost at this point; you may want to take a little break or ask an expert for help.


Updating Your Version and Theme

If you aren’t rocking the latest WordPress version, you must update your WordPress installation to the latest model by following the directions on the Updating WordPress page. An update to the latest version will not only provide you with needed security upgrades, but it will also make your site mobile-friendly.


Checking your URL

If you want to see if your website software version or theme is up to date, you can test your URL with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. If you get a mobile friendly score, your work is completed. However, if your score suggests that your site doesn’t have mobile-friendly capabilities, you may want to change the theme or customize the one that you already have.


How To Make Your WordPress Site Mobile-friendly

You can make your WordPress site mobile friendly by:

  1. Converting your entire site to a new mobile friendly theme- The biggest advantage to a theme that uses modern responsive design principles, is that your site will look good on both desktop and mobile browsers because of the ability to adapt to every type of browser it encounters using the same CSS, HTML, and JavaScript code.
  2. Check to see if the theme you are using has an available update- If the update has a mobile-friendly feature, then this is all that needs to be done. In addition, it is recommended that you update your site anyways because they provide essential security fixes.


Getting A Preview of Your Page

For a better idea of what your page will look like, many themes have a live demo page. In this way you can visit your page on both a desktop and mobile device to see if the new theme fit your needs.

The easiest way is to checkout your theme on demo page is with the use of a mobile device. However, if you don’t have a mobile device available there are alternatives:

  • The Chrome Developer Tool, for Google Chrome browsers, has a mobile device emulation feature
  • If your theme has a responsive design, you can test it by narrowing the desktop window to mobile device size.
  • The WordPress PageSpeed Insights tool will give you a high score if your theme is mobile friendly and a low score if it isn’t.


My Site Isn’t Mobile-friendly, Now What?

If your current theme isn’t mobile friendly you can update one in the WordPress themes directory. You can use this page to customize your theme search with their tag filter functionality. In addition, you can also browse the most popular WordPress theme downloads; many of them feature themes that have responsive design.


I Want To Keep My Desktop Version Intact But I Still Want A Mobile-Friendly Option

If you don’t want to change your theme, there are other options available for WordPress. For example, there are a number of third-party solutions that can help add mobile friendly functionality to site. Some options include:

  • Jetpack- Gives the site owners the mobile friendly features of an updated WordPress site
  • WPTouch- A plugin solution that allows you create a separate mobile friendly version of your site. This will keep your desktop theme the same but will display a different version for mobile users. There are several themes to choose from.
  • WP Mobile Detector– Works similarly to WPTouch.



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