3 Ways To Make Your WordPress Website Mobile-Friendly

You know your WordPress website needs to be mobile-friendly. What if yours isn't? Let's look at 3 ways to make your existing WordPress website mobile-friendly:

  1. Use a plugin to create a mobile theme
  2. Modify your current theme
  3. Get a new theme

Note: If you're not convinced that your site needs to be mobile-friendly, consider that Americans spend more time on mobile devices than desktops, and more Google searches happen on mobile than desktop (which is why Google wants your website to be mobile-friendly).

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Use A Plugin To Create A Mobile Theme

You can use a plugin that will create a mobile theme for your site. This theme is separate from your current theme, and shows only on mobile devices. One option is WPtouch (or WPtouch Pro).

Pros

  • simple
  • free or inexpensive

Cons

  • very basic
  • limited customizability
  • mobile site probably won't match site's brand identity (logo, color scheme, typography, etc.)

Modify Your Current WordPress Theme

If you really love your WordPress theme, or you spent a lot to get it, you can modify it to be as responsive (mobile-friendly) as possible. Depending on your theme, this may involve more or less effort than getting a new theme. You should have a developer review the theme to determine that.

Also, consider that even if you make it mobile-friendly, your theme may have other shortcomings, such as poor code quality or lack of support. Going this route may be "putting lipstick on a pig."

Pros

  • keep your current theme
  • may be less expensive than getting a new theme

Cons

  • theme may have still other shortcomings
  • may be more expensive than getting a new theme

Get A New WordPress Theme

Because web tech changes so quickly, it's often best to start fresh with a theme that meets the latest standards. There's a range of customization that's possible with WordPress themes. You could

  1. find a theme you like and use it as-is, or
  2. you could modify it somewhat to match your brand identity, or
  3. you could have a completely custom theme developed.

If you're looking for themes, we're big fans of StudioPress themes based on Genesis.

Pros

  • responsive design will usually work better than that of a modified/retrofitted theme
  • meet the latest web standards
  • opportunity to make other improvements to theme (beyond making it mobile-friendly)
  • may be less expensive than modifying an existing theme

Cons

  • may be more expensive than getting a new theme
  • may take more time than modifying an existing theme, depending on customization

How To Decide

Which option is right for you? These questions can help you narrow your choices:

  1. What's your budget? How much can you spend on this?
  2. How soon do you need this finished?
  3. Other than its not being mobile-friendly, what other problems does your theme have?
  4. How important is it that your mobile site match your brand identity?
  5. Have you invested heavily in your current theme?
  6. How easily could your current theme be made mobile-friendly?

In general, we recommend getting a new WordPress theme if it fits your budget. There are many benefits to starting fresh. However, if your budget doesn't allow for it, consider the other options. In any case, do something to make your site mobile-friendly!

If you'd like professional help deciding how to make your WordPress site mobile-friendly, please contact us.

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