How to Make your WordPress Site Mobile Responsive

Block 2 is WordPress itselfAs a website owner, you can’t ignore this segment of potential site visitors.

I’m talking mobile.

More than 30% of web views happen on phones or tablets instead of traditional computers, and that number is growing.

On one of my websites, nearly 20% of visitors view the site on a phone, and another 14% on a tablet. It’s a little less on this site.

So if you don’t want to shut out 30% or more of your potential audience, you need to make your site mobile responsive.

One reader recently asked:

“Hey! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thank you!”

There are three ways to make this happen:

  1. Create an entirely different version of your site for mobile users (Difficulty level: Hard)
  2. Use a plugin that shows a mobile responsive version of your site to smart phone and tablet users (Difficulty level: Moderate)
  3. Use a mobile responsive theme (Difficulty level: Easy)

Create a Separate Mobile Version of your Site

You can do this, but honestly, why would you want to? If you go this route you’re forcing yourself to maintain and update two separate sites. Big companies that employ dozens of programmers can afford to do this. As a small company owner or solopreneur, your time is better spent on other things.

Mobile Responsive Plugins

WPTouch is a free plugin, available from the WordPress respository. You can download it directly from your Add Plugins page. With lots of options, it will give you a functional, mobile responsive site that looks good.

Jetpack, which comes pre-installed with WordPress, has a mobile responsive feature. I usually uninstall Jetpack because I’d rather use individual plugins for the specific functions I want, but if you’re using it you can also use its ability to make your site mobile responsive.

WP Mobile Edition serves up a mobile version of your site. It also allows visitors to switch to the regular desktop version. This is a feature I appreciate as a user, because there are times when I get frustrated with mobile-only sites and want to see the full version that I’m used to. It’s also available from the WordPress repository.

Use a Mobile Responsive Theme

For most of us, this is the best option. You create a single site, and the theme itself takes care of the mobile part. You don’t have to do anything to make your site mobile responsive, so you can focus on your content and your business.

Both StudioPress and Elegant Themes (my two go-to theme designers) no longer release any themes that are not mobile responsive. Some of their older themes are not, however.

How do you know which themes are mobile responsive?

StudioPress makes it very easy

image of StudioPress Themes page

If the theme name includes “Pro” at the end, it’s mobile responsive.

To find the older themes that are mobile responsive, hover over the All Features filter and select Mobile Responsive.

image of mobile responsive filter

The page will then display all of the mobile responsive themes, including Education (reviewed here).

image of mobile responsive themes page

Search for Responsive themes from Elegant Themes

Go to the Themes Gallery

image of Elegant Themes theme gallery

Click the Responsive link

image of Elegant Themes Filter

You’ll see two pages of mobile responsive themes, starting with the newest (and very impressive!) Divi.

image of Elegant Themes responsive themes page

After you make your WordPress site mobile responsive, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the increased levels and engagement and conversion!

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