Is Your Blog Mobile Compatible?

mobiles The mobile web is growing at a phenomenal rate, and is forecast to overtake the desktop web in 2014.  Then more people will access the internet for the first time using a mobile phone rather than using a desktop or a laptop.

Do you know which sites are getting  the most mobile web traffic across the world wide web? Check out Quantcast ‘s new *mobile web rankings to find out.  Take a look at Cisco’s latest Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast(PDF).

  • 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015
  • Global mobile data traffic will increase by a factor of 26 by 2015
  • World mobile data grew by a factor of 2.6 in 2010 from 2009
  • Average smartphone usage doubled: 79 MB per month, up from 35 MB per month in 2009
  • Android operating system data use is rapidly catching up to the iPhone
  • In 2010 almost a third of smartphone traffic was offloaded onto fixed networks via dual-mode or Femtocells
  • Millions of people around the world have cell phones but no electricity, and by 2015 a majority in the Middle East and Southeast Asia will live “off-grid, on-net.”

What’s the biggest risk facing Facebook? Hint: it may be in the palm of your hand. Half of the social network’s 845 million users now access the site through their cellphones, and that number is surging.

Last year’s mobile data traffic was eight times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2011. Mobile video traffic was 52 percent of traffic by the end of 2011. By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules—exceeding the world’s population at that time (7.3 billion).

Do you know how many page views your blog receives from mobile users?

My blogs are on domains and have been quantified at my request.  If you are using Quantcast to measure your blog too, you can now view mobile traffic to your web properties in Quantcast.   This mobile web traffic appears in your audience profile alongside other audience insights.

*Note that to receive such mobile traffic reports for all your sites, you first need to Quantify your site.

Today 5% – 6% of the visits to this blog are mobile visits.  Mobile Web traffic is measured from web browsers on mobile devices, but not mobile applications.  And onecoolsitebloggingtips.com has more page views from a computer browser than from a mobile device browser in the United States today but this will change in the future.   (Click the images to view at full size.)

So, what does all of this mean to me and you as bloggers?

Unlike the first generation of web people, who accessed the internet for the first time on desktops and laptops, first time mobile and tablet users will be connected no matter where they are.  Social media is in real time and people share content when it’s happening. As more people use mobiles and tablets sharing that content will mean mobile ease of use will continue to have a major impact on blogging  software design.

I read David Jackson’s Tips on How To Make Your Website Mobile Compatible article and then used  the MobiReady online testing site’s free service that evaluates mobile-readiness.  In the first test I ran this blog was wearing the Inuit Types theme, without the a mobile theme or an ipad theme enabled. I was unhappy with the result.

I changed the theme to Twenty Eleven and enabled both and then ran the test again. The result was the same. I’ve posted two images below that depict only part of the report I received. When I read the report I began to appreciate that WordPress.com Staff have a lot of work to do before 2014.

mobile test 1mobile test 2How To Make Your Website Mobile Compatible?

Have a clean, easy to navigate website. Mobile users are viewing your site on a tiny little screen, there is no mouse and not all mobile devices are equipped with a touch screen.  Clean up the clutter.  Use images sparingly and compress your images to avoid zooming. Not all mobile devices can see flash. Keep it simple and have a user-friendly site for everyone.

Addendum:
You may also want to consider the theme you are using and how it displays in mobiles.

Fixed means the width of the theme does not change according to screen resolution (or the width of browser) your visitors use.

Fluid means the width of the theme changes according to screen resolution (or the width of browser) your visitors use.

Responsive width means the the layout adapts depending on the size of the device being used to view your site. When responsive width themes are viewed on mobiles sidebars appear below the posts in order to provide as much space as possible for reading.

The WordPress.com Theme team uses the “responsive-width” tag in the Themes Showcase to indicate which themes have this feature. Currently, the free responsive width themes available to WordPress.com users are Bouquet, Chateau, Fresh & Clean, Reddle and Twenty Eleven.

A tip of the hat to Gaurav Tiwari and Val who commented and prompted me to create this addendum.

16 thoughts on “Is Your Blog Mobile Compatible?

  1. Responsive design only solves a part of the problem.
    The biggest killer is the amount of javascript and requests for different css and other things.
    I’ve just done a website with the Skylark theme, tested it on my Samsung touch screen:
    It took 1 min 18 secs to load!!!
    Then it only showed some links and leave a reply box but NO CONTENT!!!!
    So I tried a different page and the same thing happened!!!
    Call that mobile friendly, I don’t think so.

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  7. Excellence. I can believe mobile internet usage overtaking laptop/desktop usage, the amount of phone deals you can get these days where you get free internet usage is immense these days.

    And not only is Android catching up to iOS but it will surpass it due to it being the better operating system overall and the fact three of the biggest phone manufactuers are applying it to their phones. Imagine where phones will be by 2015, HTC are already testing the waters with 3D cameras.

  8. There are a few mobile themes plugin available for self hosted WordPress sites. I use them on all my sites and they do help in bridging the gap. The UI though is still not that great but the mobile themes does make reading the sites a lot better.

  9. I was just jokin’ with my partner today that the only I use his iPhone when I use it for a half an hr. or less, is curiosity in seeing my blogs. I don’t even read any blog text.

    But the blogs are fine on his iPhone with the templates for: Duster, Twenty Eleven and Misty Look. It’s just the right hand column gets pushed to end the latest posts on home page. Absolutely fine by me!

    I seriously question the practicality of reading several pages of text on mobile phones. And will not feel sorry for the next generation if people wonder why their eyesight in general is getting worse at a younger age. However there are many people who can’t afford a mobile phone and desktop/laptop.

  10. I find this a bit sad. Is there specific advice for people who have photoblogs for example on size of images and so on. I ran the test thing now. I can’t pretend that I understand the results except my blog came out with a poor score. I rely on WordPress to make the themes work. I think if I had to stop putting photos on my posts then I would probably stop blogging, at least about food and the garden, as for me a picture is worth a thousand words.

  11. If I had a predominantly text-content blog, then I’d be concerned to make it mobile-compatible but as mine is image orientated and I actually prefer people to see my work in the sort of detail that is not available on a small screen, I don’t bother with this at all.

    And I also made the decisions some while ago to turn on ‘fixed’ rather than ‘flexible’ format for my current them (Imbalance 2) even knowing that it wouldn’t be quite so good for mobile users. Do they not have desktop or laptop computers as well? I thought they would have. If they only have mobiles devices, then later I might have to rethink things.

    Thanks for the article, TT.

  12. I have not heard about Quantcast before, definitely have to check it out. Thank you for these incredible tips T.T. You are very right, the way we access information is rapidly changing and it is only right and smart to go with the flow.

  13. Your blog, however does not have a mobile theme, is fast loading on Mobile too. Personally I feel that there must be a mobile version of every site since not all people have smartphones. This is the reason why Responsive Width themes are being so popular. They are optimized for every type of screen and devices.

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