Statistics shows that visits from mobile devices (both phones and tablets) are accountable for around 30 percent of total websites traffic. But you don’t have to trust my word, or even the statistics. Check the percentage of mobile visitors coming to YOUR site very easily – just log in your Google Analytics account and click on Audience – Mobile – Overview.
First Question – Is My Blog Already Mobile Friendly?
Obviously, the best way to test your site to see if it is mobile friendly or not would be to view and interact with it from a variety of devices – phones, tablets (with Android), iOS, Windows Mobile. But since this is easier said than done, we can use some web tools that simulate a mobile environment:
– ipadpeek.com – allows to see you exactly how your blog looks on an iPad or iPhone
– validator.w3.org/mobile – performs a series of tests to determine a blog’s level is mobile-friendliness and presents detailed results
– ready.mobi/launch.jsp?locale=en_EN – evaluates the mobile-readiness of your blog
Second Question – What are My Options to Support Mobile Visitors?
There are three main options to support mobile visitors, and I’ll give you a brief presentation of all of them.
1. Have a Separate Mobile Version of the Blog (usually something like m.yourblog.com)
That means effectively having two different websites – one for your web users and one for your mobile users. The visitor’s device is detected on connect and he is directed to either the web or the mobile version of the site.
– it is fast and easy to build and implement;- you can adjust the content to the specific needs of your mobile, respective web readers.
– every change you make to the blog must be done twice;
– not ideal in terms of SEO
– two versions of your site means that your popularity is split between them;
– there is quite a big difference between the users of a tablet and users of a smart phone, so a mobile version that looks good for a mobile phone user, may not look so good on a tablet.
2. Have a different (mobile-optimized) Theme
A mobile-optimized theme means that you have only one URL, but different versions of your blog are displayed to your visitors – your standard blog theme for web users and a much lighter theme (both in terms of graphics and complicated functionality) for mobile users. This can be achieved either by having two different themes selected by yourself, or by using a plugin that handles the mobile theme (the most popular one being WPtouch).
– it is usually very easy to implement;
– the blog is lightweight and fast for mobile visitors;
– you only have one URL, but it displays differently to each user.
– the mobile theme will probably look quite different compared with your normal theme, so you lose a bit of “branding”
3. Have a Responsive Design Theme
A responsive theme adjusts automatically to the size of users device by changing the layout; so you have only one URL, one theme, but depending on that device it is displayed on it is automatically laid out differently. This is our recommended option and most new themes from top suppliers are now responsive.
– you only have one URL, but it displays differently to each user;
– the images are also adjusted automatically so the page size is kept under control;
– your users can have a great viewing experience on any device, since the theme will adapt to that specific device;
– this is not only our recommended approach, but also Google’s recommend approach, which means it is also the best option in terms of search engine optimization.
– building a responsive design custom theme may be quite expansive and may take quite some time;
– since it displays the full content and navigation menu, it may feel somehow slow and sluggish for mobile users;
– there is not a huge selection of free, public themes with a responsive design (although if you don’t mind using a standard theme, there are quite a few good options out there).
If you can afford a good responsive theme then that’s the recommended way to go.
However, if you’re looking for a cheap (free), fast and easy to implement solution then a mobile-optimized theme implemented via a simple plugin may be the most viable option.
Anyway, whatever you do, just don’t ignore your mobile visitors; it’s very likely that 30% of your blog visits already come from mobile devices and this percentage is only going to grow in the future.