Taxes are due April 15, and the Google Mobile-Friendly deadline is April 21, 2015! That seems like too much for small business owners to handle in a month! But, I have an easy solution for people with WordPress sites!
As of April 21, 2015 Google will reward websites that are mobile friendly with higher rankings when people search on mobile devices. Since more and more consumers use mobile devices for search, this is a very important change that could result in reduced traffic and less revenue for companies/websites that don’t comply.
Like many of you, I am busy running my own small business. Even though I am a “Marketing Consultant”, I don’t get paid to handle my own website issues. So, we are in the “same boat” in trying to get our websites updated as efficiently as possible.
I knew I had to find a quick and easy solution, and I wanted to share my findings to help others. So, if you have a WordPress site and need to update it to a mobile version, the plugin called WPtouch Mobile Plugin may be a good option for you.
To find a solution, I simply logged on to my WordPress site. Next, I went to my Plugins (left column) and selected “add new”.
I typed “mobile” into the search bar, and a zillion (not really a zillion, but too many options for me to evaluate) appeared. After looking for a bit, I selected WPtouch Mobile Plugin because it had a good user rating (4 stars) and over 7 MILLION downloads. (No other Plugin was even close!)
Next, I installed it. Then, I activated it. And, for about 30 seconds, I imagined I was a genius in solving this problem…
When I went to my phone to check the results, I was NOT pleased. I had a friend check it on his phone, and he reported the same BAD results. My blog showed up first, not my home page. The colors were off. It did NOT look good. (However, this is where I beg you to stay with me and not abandon hope! It does get better!)
So, I tried adding a different Plugin, but the results were even more frustrating. ARGH! So I looked some more, and could not find another Plugin that looked very appealing.
7 MILLION downloads and a 4 star rating…how could that many people be wrong? Obviously I missed something? So, I went back to my dashboard, and I activated WPtouch again.
Then, I scrolled down the left bar and saw an ICON for the plugin! (I think I heard of chorus of angels sing, but it may have just been my weary imagination.) The options are: What’s New, Core Settings, Themes & Extensions, Theme Settings, Menus and Upgrade to Pro.
I played around with the Core Settings and set the Landing Page to redirect to my Welcome Page. Under Themes & Extensions, I used the Bauhaus theme (because it was the only free option). Under General Branding, I altered the theme colors from a light green bar under my header to a blue that is closer to my logo color. I added a logo, but deleted it because it just didn’t look good in the format. Under the Footer section, I added links to my LinkedIn, facebook and Twitter accounts (all free). (There were also additional options I did not use at all: Links for Bookmark Icons, Webb-App Mode and Advertising.)
To customize the pages that appeared on the mobile site, I went to the Menus section and selected the Menu Icons option. Then, I “unchecked” pages of the site I did not want to appear in the mobile version because they were coming in out of order or not rendering properly.
In my case, it wasn’t perfect, but all things considered, it is a mighty fine solution until I want to spend more time and money perfecting it. The company does offer a Pro solution with lots of features staring at only $59 for a single site.
For someone with a little more time and energy, the Pro option could be an ideal solution. However, with a little tweaking (and compromise), the free version is a good band aid solution for me and may be a decent option for many other small business owners with WordPress sites.
If you found this article helpful, please share it via social media. Please also check my blog history for other helpful tips, many FREE, for small business owners.