Making your blog mobile-friendly is no more optional. It has become a must requirement for your blog. Google has already launched the mobile-friendly label in the mobile search results. It has also announced that mobile-friendliness will be a ranking signal from April 21, 2015.
If you blog is not mobile-friendly, it’s the time to make it mobile-friendly. You have to make sure that your blog passes Google mobile-friendly test to avoid penalty.
At first, go to this link and check whether your blog is mobile-friendly or not. If it’s OK, you need to check one more thing to make sure every page of your blog is mobile-friendly. Just head over this link and select your site to see mobile usability issues. When I checked my blog, I found that there were 43 pages with errors.
My blog passed the first test, but it had some issues on the second test. I am using a StudioPress theme which is mobile responsive. But it still has some mobile usability issues. So what I found that responsive design is not enough to make your blog mobile-friendly.
So I decided to use a WordPress plugin named “Jetpack” to make my blog mobile-friendly. Jetpack is a powerful WordPress plugin that can give you a lot more than a mobile theme. It brings many features of WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress blog. However in this post I will show you how to use Jetpack Mobile theme feature.
How to Enable Jetpack Mobile Theme Feature
If you have Jetpack plugin installed, make sure you have the latest version of it. If you haven’t installed Jetpack plugin yet, install it right away from here.
Once you’ve activated Jetpack plugin, click on ‘Jetpack’ under dashboard and look for ‘Mobile Theme‘ feature. Then click on ‘Activate’ to enable mobile theme module.
After activating Mobile Theme, click on ‘Configure’ to change few setting. Currently, there are only three things to configure. But I hope Automattic team will extend it soon.
The First option is to enable excerpts or show full posts on front page and on archive pages. I’d recommend you Enable excerpts on front page and on archive pages. It will help your visitors to browse more posts easily.
The second option is ‘Featured Images’. You can hide or display featured images on mobile version of your blog.
You can also show a promo of the apps in the footer.
Click on ‘Save configuration’. If you are using cache plugin or CDN, delete all your cache to see the change immediately. That’s it. Here’s how RoadToBlogging.Com looks on mobile.
If you want to customize your mobile theme, read this: Customize the Jetpack Mobile Theme.
Jetpack will improve your blog readability for mobile users and it supports all mobile operating system, but it has some limitations like not having any logo option, custom menu option, sidebar option etc. You can’t even monetize your mobile theme properly.
However, if a large number of people access your site via mobile browser, I’d suggest you to go with WPtouch Mobile Plugin. It offers better customization and monetization options.
Once you made the changes, now it’s time to tell Google that you’ve made your blog mobile-friendly. Just login to your Google Webmaster Tools and select your website. Then click on ‘Crawl’ > ‘Fetch as Google’.
Your URL will be there. Select ‘Mobile:Smartphone’ from drop down menu and click on ‘FETCH AND RENDER’. You can also enter URLs that had issues in Mobile Usability.
Then click on ‘Submit to Index’ button to make sure your URL gets crawled.
Hope this post helped you to make your WordPress blog mobile friendly. If you haven’t made your blog mobile-friendly yet, do this immediately and avoid penalty. Do let us know if you are using any other plugins or third party services.