Over 60% of web traffic comes through mobile phones, so it stands to reason that your website should be mobile friendly too; that is, displays properly on mobile phones by adjusting automatically to different screen sizes.
But many WordPress themes are not responsive, so you have to choose carefully, especially since responsive design and being mobile friendly are now critical elements used by Google to rank websites in search results.
If you come across a website you like, you can find out if it meets Google’s mobile friendly criteria by testing that website using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. You just enter a URL and after a minute or two, Google shows you the results.
You can find out if the website is WordPress and, if it is, what theme it is using, by going to isitwp.com. Just enter the URL and view the results.
If the website and theme passes these tests, they are generally safe to use. But this doesn’t always mean that they will look good on a mobile phone.
To make sure, view the theme on a mobile phone after installation and activation. No sense building an entire website only to find out the theme has some quirk that disrupts the mobile user experience. Do this with plug-ins too. Since a bad plug-in can bring down your entire website, it’s a good idea to start off by dismissing from consideration those that are no longer supported.
The visual presentation of your website on desktops still matters, but the mobile user experience holds even greater importance now and is certain to become increasingly so in the future.
Nathan Muller is the author of 29 technical books and over 3,000 articles that have appeared in 75 publications worldwide. He also writes articles, blogs and social media content for tech companies and their executives.