Did you know?
The number of smartphone users in Nigeria forecast to grow to more than 140 million by 2025.
And mobile shopping set to account for 75 percent of online shopping activities in Nigeria.
As such, designing a WordPress site for mobile users is increasingly important.
This article will explain how you can create an effective WordPress site that caters specifically to mobile users and ensure your business remains competitive.
Benefits of Mobile-Friendly Website Design
Why should you bother create a mobile version of your website?
a). Increased Mobile Traffic
As mentioned earlier, millions of Nigerians access the internet using t heir mobile phones.
Therefore, having a mobile-friendly website means that you will be able to tap into this massive market.
If you don’t believe this, look at your analytics data and see how much of your website traffic comes from mobile devices.
I bet over 50% of your website visits come from mobile phones.
b). Improved User Experience
A mobile-friendly website design ensures that users have a great experience while browsing your website.
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, users will struggle to navigate your website or even read the content.
A website designed for mobile devices looks great on any screen size and is easy to navigate.
c). Increased Conversion Rates
A mobile-friendly website design usually translates into increased conversion rates. The reason is simple – users are more likely to stay on your website and take the desired action if your website is optimized for mobile devices.
This could be anything from signing up for your newsletter to making a purchase.
d). Improved SEO
Search engine algorithms now prioritize mobile-friendly websites. Google also penalizes websites that are not optimized for mobile devices.
This means that if you want your website to rank high on the search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to make sure that it is optimized for mobile devices.
Steps to Design a WordPress Site for Mobile Users
With that in mind, let’s discuss making your blog mobile-friendly.
a. Choose a Mobile-Friendly Theme
There are thousands of free and paid themes for a WP blog!
So, when selecting a theme for a WordPress site, choose one that is mobile-friendly.
This means the theme will be optimized for all types of devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
A responsive theme will automatically adjust to fit any device’s screen size, ensuring visitors have an optimal viewing experience no matter what device they are using.
At the same time, many mobile-friendly themes come with features specifically designed for mobile users, such as clickable phone numbers or larger buttons to make navigation easier on touchscreen devices.
In addition to being “mobile-friendly”, it is also essential to select a theme that has been updated recently and offers support from the developer should any issues arise during setup or usage of the theme.
Themes not kept up-to-date may not include security patches and could leave your site vulnerable to malicious attacks or viruses.
With that in mind, here are a few examples of some of the best:
- Astra: Astra is a lightweight and customizable theme that is designed to be fast and responsive. It has a variety of pre-built website templates and is compatible with many popular page builders.
- Divi: Divi is a popular theme that comes with a visual page builder that allows you to design your website without any coding knowledge. It has a responsive design and is optimized for mobile devices.
- OceanWP: OceanWP is a multipurpose theme that is fast and SEO-friendly. It has a variety of demo sites to choose from and is compatible with many popular page builders.
- Hestia: Hestia is a modern theme that is perfect for businesses and startups. It is mobile-friendly and has a one-page design that makes it easy to navigate on a mobile device.
- GeneratePress: GeneratePress is a lightweight and customizable theme that is optimized for speed. It has a responsive design and is compatible with many popular page builders.
- Schema: Schema is a SEO-friendly and mobile-friendly theme that is perfect for bloggers and online publishers. It has a fast loading time and is easy to use.
Pick one and experiment how it looks on your site.
You can even install it on WordPress demo site before using it on your blog.
b. Make Sure Navigation Menus are Responsive
When designing a WordPress site for mobile users, make sure the navigation menus are responsive.
Navigation is everything!
It is what helps users find what they are looking for in your website.
Responsive navigation menus automatically resize and reorganize according to the device’s size.
This allows visitors to easily view and access menu items on any device without scrolling through unnecessary information.
One way to get a responsive nav is by using a plugins.
Here are some of them.
- Max Mega Menu: Max Mega Menu is a powerful plugin that allows you to create a responsive menu for your WordPress site. It has a drag-and-drop interface and supports dropdown menus, icons, and images.
- WP Responsive Menu: WP Responsive Menu is a simple and lightweight plugin that allows you to create a responsive menu for your site. It has a clean and customizable design, and you can choose from several animation effects.
- Responsive Menu: Responsive Menu is a free and easy-to-use plugin that allows you to create a mobile-friendly menu for your WordPress site. It supports dropdown menus, icons, and custom colors.
- UberMenu: UberMenu is a premium plugin that allows you to create a responsive and customizable menu for your WordPress site. It has a drag-and-drop interface and supports various content types, including images, videos, and maps.
- Hamburger Icon Menu: Hamburger Icon Menu is a free plugin that adds a mobile-friendly menu icon to your WordPress site. It is easy to set up and comes with several customization options.
These plugins detect when visitors view your site from a mobile device, then display the menu appropriately for easy viewing and use.
As mentioned earlier, some themes come with built-in responsiveness that ensures all navigation menus appear properly on any device.
c. Utilize Plugins to Improve Mobile Experience
Plugins are a great way to enhance the mobile experience for WordPress users.
They can be used to optimize sites for better performance, create an appealing design, and provide additional features such as contact forms or checkout capabilities.
For example, there are several plugins available which allow you to customize the look of your site on mobile devices.
This includes adjusting the font size and color scheme to ensure that it looks great on a small screen.
- WPtouch: WPtouch is a mobile plugin for WordPress that creates a fast and responsive mobile version of your website. It includes a variety of mobile-friendly themes and allows you to customize the look and feel of your mobile site. WPtouch also supports Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and integrates with popular caching plugins.
- Jetpack: Jetpack is a multipurpose plugin that includes various features to improve the mobile experience on your WordPress site. It includes a mobile theme optimized for speed and performance, as well as features like lazy loading images and video optimization. Jetpack also includes site statistics and security features to help protect your site.
- Smush: Smush is an image optimization plugin that helps to speed up your website, especially on mobile devices. It automatically compresses images on your site without losing quality, which can significantly reduce page load times. Smush can also optimize images in bulk and includes lazy loading features that improve the mobile user experience.
Plugins like Jetpack can help speed up loading times for mobile users by compressing images and code.
Finally, if you need additional functionalities such as contact forms or payment gateways, plugins are available that will easily integrate these features into your WordPress site.
d. Optimize Images and Videos for Mobile
When it comes to website optimization for mobile users, images and videos play an important role.
Images should be sized properly for the device that is being used.
For example, a full-sized image on a desktop may load slowly when viewed on a mobile device.
Therefore, it is important to resize your images so they can quickly load and display properly on any device.
Using file formats such as JPEG or PNG can help reduce the size of your image files without compromising quality too much.
Videos are also an effective way to engage with mobile users as well.
However, streaming video content over a slow connection can cause buffering issues, which may discourage people from engaging with the content.
It is recommended to use adaptive bitrate streaming which allows videos to automatically adjust their resolution based on the user’s network speed and device type in order to reduce these issues.
- WP YouTube Lyte: WP YouTube Lyte is a lightweight and simple plugin that allows you to embed YouTube videos on your site without affecting page load times. It optimizes videos for mobile devices by allowing them to play in the background and also includes lazy loading features to improve page speed.
- Lazy Load for Videos: Lazy Load for Videos is a free plugin that optimizes videos for mobile devices by loading them only when they are in view. It replaces the video player with a customizable thumbnail image that loads quickly, and allows users to click to play the video when they are ready. Lazy Load for Videos supports a variety of video platforms, including YouTube, Vimeo, and self-hosted videos.
- WP Video Lightbox: This premium plugin optimizes videos for mobile devices by allowing them to play in a responsive lightbox. It supports a variety of video platforms, including YouTube and Vimeo, and includes customizable themes and color schemes. WP Video Lightbox also includes lazy loading features to improve page speed.
e. Set Up a Mobile-Optimized Homepage
Creating a homepage that looks good and functions properly on any device ensures that all of your visitors have the best possible experience when they visit your site.
To set up a mobile-optimized homepage, start by selecting a responsive theme that adjusts your page’s layout to fit the screen size of any device.
Check the design elements of your page such as fonts and images to ensure they look great on all devices.
Finally, double check the page loading speed on each device by testing it with tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom Website Speed Test.
This will help you identify any potential issues with slow loading times so you can address them before launch.
f. Don’t use Flash
Flash is a technology that was once used on websites, but with the rise in mobile usage, it has become increasingly outdated.
Flash animations and videos require more processing power than HTML5, which makes them difficult to load on smartphones and tablets.
Not to forget, many mobile browsers don’t even support flash content.
As a result, any website using flash elements will be inaccessible to mobile users who are using those browsers.
Using HTML5 instead of flash is the best way to create an effective WordPress site for mobile users.
HTML5 offers improved performance when loading audio and video files compared to Flash and most modern browsers support its code.
This alternative also provides better compatibility with devices such as iPads, iPhones, Android phones or tablets – ensuring that all of your visitors have access to your website regardless of their device or browser type.
g. Avoid adding pop-ups on mobile devices
When it comes to designing a WordPress site for mobile users, one thing to be aware of is that pop-ups are not always the best choice.
Pop-ups can often be difficult to read or navigate on mobile devices and they may also make it difficult for users to access the rest of your website’s content.
At the same time, having too many pop-ups on a page can slow down page loading times and create an overall bad user experience.
Instead of pop-ups, consider implementing other forms of advertising such as banners or sliders which are more mobile friendly and will provide better results in terms of conversions.
In addition, avoid adding any content that relies heavily on plugins as this could cause compatibility issues with certain mobile devices.
h. Take the Mobile-friendly Test
In fact, it should be the first step when creating a WordPress website optimized for mobile users.
The test, which is offered by Google, evaluates a page’s compliance with mobile friendly design principles and provides valuable feedback on how to improve the page.
Upon completion of the test, users will receive a score out of 100 and be told if their page passes or fails Google’s criteria.
This gives webmasters an idea of what they can do to ensure their WordPress site looks great on any type of device.
In addition to providing helpful feedback, the Mobile-friendly Test allows webmasters to see how their pages appear on different devices.
This helps them ensure that all elements are properly sized and displayed correctly across multiple screens.
If a website element isn’t working as expected, it can easily be adjusted accordingly with just a few clicks of the mouse.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your WordPress site in Nigeria is responsive and user-friendly on mobile devices.
First, choose a responsive theme to establish the foundation of the design.
After that, use plugins to customize the site further to meet their client’s needs.
Finally, test the website thoroughly on various devices and browsers to make sure it looks great and functions properly across different platforms.
Responsive design is essential in today’s digital landscape because most users access websites from multiple devices throughout their day-to-day lives.
You can avoid losing potential customers who may abandon a website due to poor usability on their preferred device or browser.