Practical Ecommerce

Make Your Website Mobile-friendly Now; 3 Ways

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.

Having a mobile-friendly website isn’t just good practice — it’s a prerequisite. For the first time in history, mobile has exceeded desktop Internet usage, according to comScore.

Mobile now exceeds desktop Internet usage.

Mobile now exceeds desktop Internet usage according to comScore.

Mobile users now expect an experience optimized for their device. Nearly half of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load properly on their mobile devices.

On April 21, 2015, Google announced that it would begin using mobile-friendly sites as a ranking signal. That means that if a website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will soon see a decrease in search engine rankings.

If you are unsure whether or not your site is mobile-friendly, the article “SEO: Mobile-friendly Websites No Longer Optional” shows you how to check it against Google’s new criteria.

If you test your site and it fails, here are two ways you can optimize your site for mobile quickly, along with a way you can build a mobile-friendly site from the ground up.

1. Create a Mobile Version of Your Current Site

The quickest way to make your site mobile-friendly is to create a mobile version of your desktop site using a conversion platform like bMobilized or Duda Mobile.

Create a mobile version of the site using platforms like Duda Mobile.

Create a mobile version of the site using platforms like Duda Mobile.

While this is a simple way to bring your site into compliance, it requires you to have two separate websites. It can be difficult to update two sites, and users may get frustrated if they find less content or information available on the mobile version versus the desktop.

2. Use Mobile Plugins on Popular CMS Platforms

The most popular website content management systems — Wordpress, Joomla, or Drupal — all have bolt-on solutions to make your site mobile-friendly without needing two separate versions. Some include additional ways to customize the mobile experience to not only provide the content, but incorporate other features best used on mobile devices.

WordPress Mobile Plugins. WPtouch is one of the best plugins for WordPress sites looking to add a custom mobile experience. It provides a paid version that contains additional features for ecommerce sites. JetPack is’s solution for implementing a simple mobile theme to ensure mobile access to its websites.

WP Touch is one of the best plugins for WordPress sites looking to add a custom mobile experience.

WPtouch is a plugin for WordPress sites looking to add a custom mobile experience.

Joomla Mobile Plugins. Responsivizer and JoomlaShine both contain simple ways to bring mobile functionality to your site. These may only be necessary if you are using an older version of Joomla, such as 2.5 or lower. Joomla 3.x comes with support for mobile websites.

Drupal Mobile Plugins. Drupal offers two modules — ThemeKey and MobileTheme — that detect whether a user is on a mobile device and automatically switches the site’s theme to a more friendly mobile appearance. Both provide easy-to-use interfaces once you get them installed.

Google has put together a helpful guide to getting your site mobile-friendly, as well as a list of guides for other content management systems.

3. Use a Mobile-first Responsive Design

The solutions above are just stopgaps until you can redesign your site by deploying a mobile-first strategy using responsive web design practices.

Designing the site with a mobile-first approach requires planning about how it will be used on mobile devices — an exercise that helps prioritize what content goes on the site. It also begs the question that, if it isn’t needed on mobile, then should it be on the desktop version?

Responsive design furnishes the best possible experience at the mobile level but allows for enhancements to the site’s design and functionality as it increases in screen size.

The plugin approach to mobile-friendly website design, mentioned previously, does not take into account the fact that you may present an inconsistent experience for users on other devices, something you can avoid using responsive design.

Example of website using responsive design.

An example of a website using responsive design.

Responsive design ensures your site conforms to any screen size or device. No matter the size of the device used — smartphone or tablet — you have a website that is similar to and consistent with the desktop version.

Whatever You Do, Do it Now

Each option has pros and cons, but in my opinion it is best to get your site mobile-optimized before planning an update. In reality, it can’t hurt to reevaluate your current site and spruce things up.

If you need help planning your content during the redesign, read the article “9 Steps to Planning Website Content.” If your site wasn’t mobile-friendly before, most likely it needs updating on the content and design side as well.

Daniel Kedinger

Daniel Kedinger

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  1. Hemang Rindani November 9, 2015 Reply

    Nice Article Daniel. CMSes are a great platform that can manage any complex business situations. It provides support for creating a mobile friendly websites and even help CMS developers to manage the website through mobile device. Use the CMS that helps fulfills the business requirements. Search and include plugins to that helps to build a responsive mobile website.

  2. Peter May 27, 2016 Reply

    Hi guys, i really liked you web site and i see that it’s very stable.. Can you please tell who is your hosting provider? I’ve heard about that they are good, can you tell me yours or suggest anyone for that matter? Thank you

  3. George February 5, 2017 Reply

    I have several informational sites and a few for my business. Some are one page and some more than one but all are simple sites. I have my sister make a template and I fill in the content. No heavy lifting here.

    So I want to now make a site for some of these. They do not pass the Google site test and are hard to read on a phone. My question is this. If I have two more or less similar sites, content-wise, sitting on the web, how will this affect my Google ranking. Will Google pull them both or just display one on top of the other or what is likely to happen?

    Second thought, is there some code I should add to block the robot from crawling the m-site so it does not even list it?

    Please advise and thanks.

  4. Vadym V July 27, 2017 Reply

    I agree with your opinion about optimising any website to a mobile version. It’s not a secret that the number of mobile device users is growing every year. So each company, whether a large brand or a small firm, understands that one site in the network is not enough for a complete and comprehensive implementation to Web World. Creating a mobile version of the site is one of the main tasks of each company today.
    And today it’s easier to do. A lot of successful websites are built using free web design tools with intuitive interfaces and functionality that anyone can implement. You can read more about such services here:

  5. Gabriel September 28, 2017 Reply

    i want to stop zoom in and zoom out for my website for mobile devices