Stay Google friendly on phones
Google’s latest algorithm is now markng down websites which are not responsive to smart phones or other devices.
Responsive websites will now appear in search results before unresponsive websites.
That makes sense as 80% of mobile phones in this country are smart phones.
People with smart phones do favour websites that can be read easily on their phone. Pre-smart phone websites tend to need zooming in and scrolling from side to side to be read on a phone. Such websites tend to have pictures that are wider than their phone screen and also take longer to load.
So can you easily make your website reformat on a smart phone screen and not overflow the sides?
1) You can redesign your website to detect each device and use one style on computers and other styles on other devices,
2) you can just convert your website to WordPress which has 10,000 themes most of which are responsive to smart phones.
The first option will be a job for a web designer.
The second option can in many cases be done by the web owner.
Converting to WordPress:
Make sure that you have about 30 Mb space on your hosting plan available for each WordPress installation.
- Install WordPress into a subdirectory or folder, e.g. /wp.
- Login to www.yourdomain/wp/wp-admin
- Under Appearance, choose a theme which is responsive (most now are). The theme Weaver Xtreme is an example of one with many options.
- In that theme’s admin, choose colours and layouts to suit, e.g. width of site, height of header, number of columns or sidebars.
- Customise by loading a suitable header image to suit the width of the site and height of the header.
- In Settings, Discussion, untick the option allowing comments
- In Settings, Permalinks, set Custom as /%postname%
- In Settings, Reading, set option to static site. Later you need to nominate the home page title here.
- Create blank pages with titles from the webpages on your main website and with Order set to the order you want them on the menu.
- Trash the Sample page
- Make sub-pages as dropdowns by making their parent a main page.
- Edit the pages and copy the text and images from your main site’s pages to the corresponding WordPress pages.
- You can load images using the Media icon on the page editing screen but just copying the whole page will copy the images too. These will have an address like http://www.yourdomain.com/images and this address will work on the wordPress site.
If you have an ecommerce website which is not responsive, then in wordpress there are a number of ecommerce plugins. The most popular is Woocommerce, downloaded seven million times. There is a plugin to import up to 10,000 products at a time from a csv spreadsheet. It also has plugins including Australia Post to calculate shipping costs by weight and destination, or other criteria, and other useful plugins
Because WordPress relies on reading from a MySQL database to produce web pages, it’s speed can be helped by installing a cache plugin. WP Super Cache is good.
There are other useful plugins for SEO, security, forms, galleries, slideshows, memberships, and almost anything you want.
To avoid old pages being found by Google delete them all and install a wordpress plugin to redirect not found page searches to a new page, say the new home page. There is one called 404-301.
Once your wordpress website is workng well for you, it’s time to make it your main site.
Briefly, the easiest way is to:
- In cpanel, Databases, PhpMyAdmin, Database, Export to SQL file with Replace option
- In cpanel, Software services, Softaculous, Install WordPress in main directory (public_html)
- Edit the SQL file (usually in Downloads folder) to globally replace yourdomain.com/wp with yourdomain.com and edit the database name on line 20 to the new database name for the wordpress just installed in the main directory. Any plain text editor can do this.
- In cpanel, Databases, PhpMyAdmin, Database, import the SQL file.
You now have a mobile friendly – google friendly website.