If you’re a blogger already or even contemplating creating your own blog, don’t go any further until you’ve read this: your blog has to be optimized for mobile users. In today’s mobile-centric world, you’re never going to be able to build a successful blog without excellent mobile optimization.
In fact, basic optimization isn’t going to cut it anymore. Readers not only expect but demand flawless optimization, and not doing so is one of the biggest mistakes you can make with your blog. Back in 2015, Google even decided they were going to penalize websites that weren’t mobile friendly. In the spring of that year, new Google updates pushed sites downward in search engine results in they didn’t have mobile-friendly pages. That algorithm update has put mobile responsiveness even higher on the priority list for most bloggers.
Even if your content is amazing and your standard version of your blog is impeccably designed, you will never maximize your success if you don’t optimize your site.
Below is a guide to help you develop a blog that’s going to appeal to mobile readers and be flawlessly executed across devices.
Select the Right WordPress Theme
Whether you’re building a new blog from scratch, or you’re making updates to your existing blog, take the time to choose the right WordPress theme. It can be overwhelming enough to pick a theme for WordPress, and even more so when you’re putting so much focus on making sure it’s going to be optimized across devices, but if you do choose the right option, your site is ultimately going to be so much better.
When you’re choosing a WordPress theme, it needs to not only be responsive in general but think about how your readers are going to see your content. Who are your readers? Are they going to be using their mobile device to read large amounts of content, or is your blog more visually driven?
Another consideration is whether or not your theme is going to make your site slow. If you choose a theme that’s beautifully designed but makes your blog slow, it’s going to be a disaster, particularly for mobile users. It is even problematic regarding your SEO and rankings, as Google prefers to rank faster websites higher in the search results.
If you’re worried about the speed of your site, there are other things you can do in addition to choosing the right theme. Some of these include ensuring your blogging software is always updated with the latest version, using browser caching on your site, and eliminating any plugins you don’t need.
Test Your Theme
When you’re in the initial stages of learning how to create a new blog, you’ll quickly find that it’s important to test your theme before you make a final decision. While most designers are now creating themes that are, by default, responsive, this doesn’t necessarily mean they actually work well on mobile devices.
The width layouts of these so-called responsive themes can be problematic for mobile users, and the only way to see for sure whether or not a theme is going to work is to test it on your browser screen. You can resize it to see how it’s really going to translate for mobile.
Another great option is to use the Mobile-Friendly Test Page operated by Google, which lets you post the theme demo URL. You can then not only determine if the theme really is mobile friendly, but this handy tool will even point out changes you can make to perfect it.
Choose the Right Font Size and Images
You need to have a relatively large font size for the best readability on mobile devices. Some experts recommend at least a 14px font size, and the buttons should also be substantially sized. You want your readers to see your buttons and navigation cues, and also to be able to hit the right buttons quickly.
The more difficult it is for your audience to read or navigate your site on their mobile device, they more likely they are to get frustrated and leave it without ever coming back.
In addition to the size of your font and your buttons and navigation elements, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to only use high-resolution images. Most of the current iOS devices have screens that require high-res images, and if you don’t make sure to include these on your site, the pictures on your blog will look pixelated or blurry to the audience.
Don’t Restrict Your Audience
No matter how important it is in a general sense to have a mobile-optimized blog, at the same time you don’t want to force your audience to view only the mobile version when they’re using a tablet or smartphone.
Your audience will be most satisfied if they have the option to view your site in the way they prefer, so it’s always advisable to include the option to view the desktop version in the mobile version. Some people are simply going to prefer this option, and the more flexibility you can provide to your audience, the more favorably they’re likely to perceive your blog as being.
Always Keep Testing
As a final note about creating a blog that’s perfectly optimized for mobile, it’s an ongoing process. Sure, you’ll test your theme before installing it, but testing should continue on a regular basis if you want to give your audience the best possible experience on a continuous basis.
Along with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool, there are other testing tools that aren’t free but can’t be helpful to you. These tools let you know what your page looks like when it goes mobile, and can also help you understand why things aren’t working the way they should.
Ensuring that your blog is optimized for mobile users is absolutely necessary, and it’s not something you can do once and forget about for the rest of your career as a blogger. Instead, it’s something you always need to give attention to so you can make sure your mobile readers are going to become your loyal audience.