There has been a lot of buzz about Google mobile update, which should be implemented into their algorithm around April 21st, 2015. Many bloggers and ecommerce website owners are scrambling to make changes to their theme so that it meets the requirements. Before continuing, it’s important to check if you meet the current demands of the mobile update by simply heading to this website: Google Mobile Testing Tool.
In the next coming weeks, you’re going to hear a lot about mobile friendliness and what factors matter when tweaking your website. For example, when I did research, I saw people discussing load speed, navigational bar, clutter, call-to-action, and colors. However, I’ve also learned that one factor cannot outweigh another so make sure you focus on all of them. If I was going to ask you, “What is the MOST important factor?” I’d like to know what people would say. Over the years, I’ve been doing a lot of research, trying to tweak different types of websites for mobile platforms. You have to admit mobile friendly design is NOT something new and has been around for years. It’s just recently that Google finally finished updating their search algorithm to give mobile friendly websites the respect they deserve.
If you haven’t started to tweak your website, it’s important to make changes right away. Start with the most important factor, which personally I believe is: The Theme
I know many of you think I’m crazy for saying “Theme”, but you have to understand a very important thing. There’s an easy way to make your website mobile friendly and a difficult way. If you’re using WordPress, then you can install a theme that comes fully operational out of the box. They have widgets in the right place, sidebars, navigational bars, and some are even drag & drop. These types of themes cut your work in half and are awesome when viewed from a mobile phone. Here’s the problem I see many people making and I use to do the same. When searching for mobile theme, they find one that says “responsive” and think this will get the job done. However, you have to keep in mind that this only means its mobile friendly, but hasn’t been tweaked to perfection. You’ll still have to put effort into color, widgets, sliders, images, and optimization. However, you have another option and that’s to choose one or purchase an all-in-one solution with a plug ‘n’ play interface.
If you head over to themeforest.net and start skimming through the WordPress category, you’ll find a handful of themes that are perfect for mobile phones. You’ll get a better idea of the different ones and will begin to notice a difference. Some themes require more work than others and don’t come equipped with sliders, widgets, easy CSS, etc. This means, once installed, you’ll have more work to do when designing, delaying your launch and mobile friendly website. At this point, you would have been better off purchasing a theme for some extra money and cut your entire work in half. Here’s my advice…
The most important factor when going mobile friendly is the initial theme you choose to get started with. This will determine what kind of work you have cut out for you going forward. It’s the difference between having a site done within hours or days. Look for the following when choosing your mobile friendly theme:
The Price – In this case, if there is a fee for the theme, it’s usually the higher, the better. I’ve noticed when the theme price is high, this normally means the theme has great options.
Drag ‘n’ Drop – These themes are easy to customize and you don’t have to go in changing code around. These themes are very easy to install and configure the way you want.
Responsive – This is obviously the MOST important because it’s mobile and tablet ready.
Interface – Once you install the theme, you want to ensure things are easy to locate. You don’t want to go looking for things, especially during the initial setup.