Mobile WordPress Development often gets the short end of the analytics stick. Fortunately, Hootsuite publishes annual reports on the state of the Web World which clearly shows the pivotal role mobile devices play on the Web. Mobile in their many forms play everywhere in contemporary computing. For the past 5 years these reports have marked two inexorable trends – 1)mobile devices have replaced desktop PCs as the primary Web connection [55% to 45%] and 2)more online purchases are done using mobile devices. Here is the Worldwide big picture:
The surprise is the continuing 4% growth in the use of the Internet and the pivotal role of mobile devices, a stunning 92% usage rate on the Web.
Here the diverse types of mobile devices in use catches the eye but also presents the problem of fitting display pages to markedly different screen spaces.
Finally the time spent on mobile devices is sustantial but also varies widely with the applicationused. Clearly games, social media and messaging in in its many form currently dominate the mobile scene on the Web.. This presents the second challenge for websites seeking to attract either viewers or customers or both – how do you attract such an audience.
Summary of Mobile Usage
Here are recent trends that readers need to be aware of:
Mobile phones are “sales conversion devices”
1 – 19% of al US retail sales in 2019 were online; 22% will be done online in 2023 – OuterBox
2 – But Amazon in 2019 had 52% of US online sales $280B of which $49B by 3rd Parties – FinOnline
3 – Walmart confirms that 70% of website traffic is mobile and 50% become sales
4 – 80% of shoppers use a mobile phone in a physical store – and 10% then buy online.
5 – 85% of travellers use mobile devices to book travel activities – GrandView
6 – More than half of searches related to auto parts, services, and maintenance come from mobile – Google
However, there are recurring problems with getting mobile pitches to wok. Here are the killer flaws according to Google. 53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. But the average mobile webpage still takes 15.3 seconds to load. And then after the slow load many mobile pages appear as a desktop misfit – hard to read or follow. This leads to the crux of our Meetup discussions:
5 methods to make your WordPress Mobile Pages Effective
First task, speed up your website. If you have more than 30,000 visits/day and are averaging 3 seconds or more response consider using Cloud hosting or dedicated VPS-Virtual Private Server. Cloud Hosting usually delivers sub 2 second response time plus extras such as auto-backups, SSL, better security, and CDN caching for $300-600 per year. These days Managed or Shared Hosting cannot deliver thse performance levels.
Second task, use a PageBuilder/ThemeBuilder that can deliver 2nd order responsive page designs. First order responsive design delivers pages that automatically adapt to the display screen space. Usually downscaling images and objects for tablets and resized windows. For mobile display windows. sections/rows and columns are autostacked to fit the mobile landscape or portrait display. Meanwhile, menus are converted into hamburger trigger vertical pulldowns. All of this is done automatically by the PageBuilder/ThemeBuilder.
Second order responsive design allows developers/designers to customize the look and feel of each page for its Desskyop, Tablet and mobile look. Special device codes are linked to styling options for such thing as typography boarder, margin, padding and 12 other style settings in the case of Elementor. This means as required every page can have a custom look for its desktop, tablet and mobile dispay. For the more advanced PageBuilder, designers can customize the display breakpoints for special IOT-Internet of Things display screens.
The third task is to determine how to best speedup mobile page speed. The reason that this is crucial is because Google is now ranking websites primarily on their mobile page speed not the old desktop page speed method. But their are two different method, both pioneered by Google, to speed up your mobile page operations. Come to the Toronto WordPress Solutions Zoom Meetup April 20th at 6PM EST to see all the details.
Google PageSpeed Insights provides free and comprehensive website performance tuning data and starts with mobile results first. This is important because a website’s mobile response time consistently lags behind the desktop page speed. Why this is so is partly explained in the comprehensive advisories provided by PageSpeed Insights. But the disparity is also due to slower mobile processors and memory, slack mobile browsers, plus a variety of network factor such as traffic congestion, bandwidth throttling restrictions, data discrimination and content filtering. Time to consider the Google mobile speed-up solutions.
The Bottom Line is that improving mobile response time is ushering in major changes in how WordPress development is best done. Be prepared for the change.