WordPress and Mobility: Things Don’t Always Work Well


Have you ever noticed how aggressively website developers and SEO experts push mobility? They do so with good reason. The latest estimates put the number of mobile devices currently active across the globe at somewhere around 8 billion. That number is expected to grow to more than 11 billion by the end of the decade. Furthermore, a 2012 study by Google found that some 74% of web users are more likely to return to sites that are mobile friendly while 61% were likely to leave a website that isn’t mobile-friendly.

This explains why WordPress template creators put so much effort into creating mobile WordPress site. Yet despite their best efforts, there is no guarantee that a site designed with mobility in mind will always work perfectly on every mobile device. That’s not the fault of developers; it is the result of mobile device manufacturers doing things in so many different ways.

Responsiveness Doesn’t Always Help

There are three significant hurdles that WordPress developers have to overcome in order to create a mobile-friendly website. The first is a lack of responsiveness. A responsive website is one that easily adapts its presentation to work on any mobile device regardless of browser and screen size. Responsiveness is possible in theory, but not always achievable in a practical sense.

Let’s say a WordPress developer creates a responsive site using the current standards of HTML 5 or XML or uses a responsive WordPress theme. Every mobile device with a browser capable of meeting those standards should be fine. But if a user decides to use a non-compliant browser, responsiveness could be an issue.

Images Can Be Fussy

The second hurdle is one of displaying images. No matter how responsive a mobile website is, images have a reputation for being a bit fussy. They can display differently across mobile platforms despite the best efforts of developers. In some cases, complex graphics require WordPress developers to create two versions of a site, with the mobile site leaving out the troublesome images.

Mobile Menus Can Be Frustrating

The third hurdle faced by WordPress developers are those pesky menus. As a platform designed for blogging, the menu system within WordPress was not originally created with mobility in mind. You can display a WordPress site on a smartphone oriented horizontally, and all the menus would work just fine. But rotate it vertically, and some may not be able to navigate menus.

Fortunately, a good WordPress developer knows how to get around this. For website owners to manage their own sites, there are a number of mobile menu plugins capable of sorting things out.

The vast majority of websites built with WordPress run fine on the most-used mobile devices. But that’s never guaranteed. As a site owner, you might want to check your own website to make sure it is mobile friendly. You may have to come up with a different template or redesign your site if it’s not. Believe us when we say that doing so is well worth it.

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