26 Comments

  1. Shapeshifter 3

    I love the notification of this and suggest that both WordPress.com AND WordPress.org plaster this all over their Home Pages or Theme Directories as constant reminders to both Theme Developer and prospective users searching for themes.

    Make WordPress the most Mobile-First Blog/CMS Platform on the planet !!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Pranjal

    Helpful guide, I am now using WPtouch plugin to make one of my site mobile friendly. I found it better than using responsive design, since it also reduces the page load time, by serving a separate theme for mobile devices, which is specially designed for mobile browsers.

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  3. Ray Dale

    Overall, I think this is a good move by Google and hopefully a lot more of the older WordPress themes will start to adapt as a result. It’s great that Google are offering good resources and information to back up their latest move. There is also a good Google blog post here: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/helping-users-find-mobile-friendly-pages.html revealing a bit of information about what they actually test for (I expect the list is not comprehensive and will grow over time).

    RWD (responsive web design) is pretty much part of a standard website build nowadays, whether that is a custom build for a business or a theme. So, this should start to show up those themes that are no longer supported or are very out of date.

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  4. Matt

    For those that can’t switch themes, I’d suggest Brave New Code’s wptouch plugin. They have a lot of nice stuff in there.

    Also Jetpack has a mobile option, though I’ve never tried it.

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  5. Morten Rand-Hendriksen

    There is a good chance your robots.txt file is actively blocking the wp-content/themes folder. This is done by many SEO plugins by default. The result would be that Google can’t see your CSS and JS files and will perceive your content as if it was unstyled. To fix this you have to edit the robots.txt file. You can check your robots.txt file through Google Webmaster Tools and even check if your current theme stylesheet is being blocked. If it is being blocked, simply remove the reference in robots.txt, rerun the new mobile check, and Google will flag your site as mobile friendly.

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  6. joe

    This should be headline news. There will be a lot of people that get dinged that wont even see it coming. It will take some time to fix and climb back up the ranks. Thanks for the great write up

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  7. Tomas M.

    Just a heads up for others – initially I got some errors, but apparently they where caused by some robots.txt rules I was using to restrict spider access to certain WP folders. Google uses spiders to check the mobility of the site and if they cannot access theme and other files, they consider site as not mobile-ready.

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  8. Miroslav Glavić

    I have Jetpack’s mobile theme. is this tool checker thing checking that mobile theme or my “standard” theme?

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  9. Chris Vendilli

    Great post. I love the quick links to the important stuff on Google Developers especially the tools and guides.

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  10. Jigar Pandya

    You should not required to change the theme, which is responsive. Update the latest wordpress version & you are done. But the mobile friendly version is in beta right now!

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  11. Elfa Viona

    Awesome! My pages are mobile friendly. Great post, i check my blog immediately after read this article. Thanks for information.

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  12. Robert

    Any good responsive themes to look for in the repository?

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  13. Mike

    Any suggesting about how to convert a custom built site (e.g. http://www.webtoolhub.com) where there are many sections and users just not read articles but interact with many features like using tools to analyze their site?

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  14. Noel Worli

    Hello Sarah,

    I am using responsive theme but still got the notification from Google. It says some of the pages are not mobile friendly. I think mobile crawler pays attention to page size too, when it exceeds certain size limit than it will flag as non-mobile friendly.

    Google recommended to use “WPtouch” plugin for self hosted WordPress websites.

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    • Andy Tinsley

      I use WP touch and it works really well, the free version is o.k and you can upgrade for access to more themes.

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  15. Christena

    I’ve been told Google is going to charge a fee for websites that are not App friendly – is this true? And will I be able to make it App friendly without the help of the person hosting our website? Thanks!

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    • bemdesign

      @Christena – The only thing Google can do is penalize your rankings in their search results. No fees charged.

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      • Christena

        Thank you for the prompt reply – I wonder why they told me I’d be charged? Oh well – next question……I know a little about updating a website, is there an ‘easy’ how to that I can follow to make it App friendly? We are a non-profit, any help in that area? Thanks !

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      • bemdesign

        Are you using Google AdWords? Perhaps Google will charge extra for that. But really, a penalty in search result rankings is likely worse! BraveNewCode’s WPTouch plugin is the easiest solution I know of to make a WordPress site mobile-friendly. The free version is very capable and can be found on the WordPress plugin repository. If you need additional functionality or some nice mobile-friendly themes, a pro version of the plugin is also available. All this being said, the best long term solution is to use a mobile-friendly theme. I would suggest planning ahead for your next website refresh to ensure that you make your WordPress theme mobile-friendly.

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      • Christena

        Thanks for the info – we have a place that hosts our website and they developed it on WordPress but I’m thinking I can do what it takes to make it mobile-friendly myself. I do not believe we use AdWords.

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  16. Steve

    Funny thing is that if I open my site with a mobile device, it looks okay, I can browse normally and all is good. When I check my site with google checking tool, it says my site is not mobile friendly…

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