Will Google's mobile results changes on 21 April affect your website?

On 21 April Google will make changes to its mobile search results where the mobile friendliness of websites will be taken into account. These changes will have a “significant impact” on search results on mobile, but searches on tablets and traditional desktop computers are unaffected.

How can I check if my website is mobile friendly?

To find out if Google considers your site to be mobile friendly, you can use their online checker tool. Note that mobile friendliness is determined on a page by page basis. So be sure to check all the major pages of your site.

My Wordpress site is not mobile friendly. How do I fix this?

If you are a website owner & someone else made your website, contact them for advice.

For WordPress CMS websites there are a few options:

1) If the site uses a readymade theme, first check if there is an updated version which is either mobile friendly or responsive.

2) If not, consider taking the opportunity to give the site a fresh look and switch to a different theme which is responsive, meaning that its layout will automatically adapt to the device it is viewed on.

3) There are plugins available, e.g. WPTouch, which should automatically make the website mobile friendly, but the downside is that they will give it a completely different, generic look on mobile.

4) If you use a custom theme, and don’t want to use an automated plugin, you can either retrofit or redesign - see below.

We are a design studio & don’t use WordPress. How can we make existing websites mobile friendly for clients?

The easiest approach is to retrofit mobile friendly styling. Pick a width e.g. 767px (the portrait width of a standard tablet), which will act as a breakpoint. All devices up to that width will see the mobile friendly version. Time involved depends on site complexity, number of layout variations and how easily the existing design lends itself to mobile. For straightforward sites this can be a good solution which won’t break the bank.

If a site is quite old or complex, retrofitting may not make sense. A complete responsive redesign is the best option here. That will take time and money, and shouldn’t be rushed.

There’s not enough time to fix everything by 21 April!

While Google’s April deadline looms large, remember that even if your non mobile friendly website ranked well up to this on mobile, people clicking through on their phone won’t have had a good user experience.

If you use Google analytics, your website stats will reveal what proportion of visitors are on mobile, and how long they stayed.

If budgets are tight, use this as a yardstick of how quick and radical your action needs to be. But with mobile web usage ever growing, the longer you wait, the more you’ll lose out.

Need help? Talk to Tidy

We are experienced in both building responsive websites & retrofitting mobile friendly styling to existing sites. Get a quote »