More and more readers are finding their news on their mobile devices rather than by PC or Laptop, so it is vital that your clients have their content ready for mobile readers. There are plugins available through word press to make this transition easy, and several ideas to make your site as user-friendly as possible for the mobile user.
Getting your site ready for the transition to mobile
In this post we will take a look at how to set up the free WordPress Plug-in called Duda Mobile Website Builder. There are a couple of similar plugin options on the market, but Duda Mobile was well reviewed by the WordPress community, so we will use this as our example to get you started. This plug-in will render your WordPress site for viewing on a mobile device, and will automatically determine what sort of device is viewing your page so that the proper version is prepared for whatever device people are using to visit your site. This plugin can provide free mobile site analytics, and it can also sync to your Google Analytics so you can keep track of statistics and traffic from mobile devices. It’s mobile SEO friendly, and you won’t have to figure out any code to make the transition. It is designed and tested to work on all major brands of smart phones.
Installing and setting up the plug-in
Visit WordPress’ plugin directory to download the most recent version of Duda Mobile. Setting up Duda Mobile is easy, and though you can tweak the mobile version of your site if you want, it does a great job of automatically converting your WordPress to a mobile-friendly version. Particularly for blogs, and other content-driven sites, you will probably be able to get away with very little tweaking and editing, but for online stores and other media-heavy sites, it can be a good idea to make some adjustments, especially with your landing page, so that your site is easy to navigate on the smaller screens of a mobile device.
Once you have downloaded and installed the most recent version of Duda Mobile, visit your WordPress control panel and click on the ‘Plugins’ tab. Select Duda Mobile and click on the ‘Activate Plugin’ link. With the plug-in activated, you can get to work on your mobile site. The ‘Create your mobile site now’ link takes you to the Duda Mobile site builder, where you can build from scratch or use templates.
Optimizing the look of your site for Mobile
Make sure to preview how your site will appear on a mobile device as you work. You want people to easily be able to navigate the site. You might need to adjust sizes of tables, menus, images, and media. For a content heavy site, you want to make sure that articles and posts are clearly legible, and that users will be able to comment and contribute easily through their mobile device.
For a more visual site, you might want to simplify navigation and put more emphasis on the media your site is sharing. I would recommend using navigation arrows over scrolling through media. It might be a good idea to design buttons for your important links, as they will be easier to read and press on a mobile device. Take a look at this example of Redwood General Tire site before and after a mobile overhaul. They have streamlined the most important elements of their site on their landing page so that mobile users can easily get quotes, set appointments, and find their location or other useful information about the establishment. This is much easier for the viewer than it would be to navigate the original website on a mobile screen.
Helpful ideas for your mobile site content
Here are some important elements and ideas to consider incorporating into your mobile site to make it easier to use on a mobile device. Think about what is most important for you or your client:
- Location and directions (For a physical establishment, mobile users might pull up the site hoping to find how to get there, so this info should be easily accessible.)
- Contact info/click to call options
- Options to shop, buy, or request services directly from the site (For an online merchant, you want to make shopping as easy to navigate, and as easy to buy, as possible. Purchases from a mobile device are likely to be on impulse, so simplify the process for the customer as much as possible!)
- The ability to connect with social media sites connected to your business (Make it easier for people to share the word about you online.)
- Options to contact or contribute to your community directly through a mobile device (For blogs, forums, or user-driven content.)
- The ability to search or navigate to the content the viewer is seeking easily (for media heavy sites, make sure that that your viewing platform can run well on mobile and is easy to get around!)
Premium plans with Duda Mobile
While you can use Duda Mobile to set up as many as 10 mobile sites for free, this basic plan will include advertisements and the Duda Mobile footer at the bottom of your page. There are two other premium plans that will do away with these ads and provide more options for your mobile site. The premium plan, for $9.90 per month, gives you unlimited pages, phone and email support, as well as the options to integrate click-to-call and maps and navigation features onto your site. The third and most expensive option gives you all these features, and Duda Mobile professionals will actually design the mobile version of your site for you. This will run $499 for the first year, but just $86.40 per year after that.
Don’t miss the mobile market with an outdated site!
The mobile market is massively huge and continues to grow. To capitalize on this it is critical to have a mobile version of your site that is easy for the viewer to use. Traditional websites that are optimized for PC can be a pain to navigate on a mobile device and likely won’t score many extended visits to the site. The Duda Mobile Website Builder makes it easy to set up your mobile site and you can use many of its features for free. It will automatically convert your website to a mobile version, but I would recommend tweaking this version and optimizing it for the mobile audience. When you have a mobile-ready version of your site you can open it up to much greater traffic and a much improved user experience.