| Apr 13, 2023 | | 14 min read

10 Tips (and plug-ins) to keep your WordPress site mobile-friendly


The way we use the internet has changed significantly from the days of the cumbersome family computer in the living room. As of February 2023, over 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices (Oberlo). On top of that, over 40% of the websites we visit are built on WordPress (HubSpot).

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The good news for you and your clients is that making a mobile-friendly WordPress website doesn’t need to be difficult. But sorting through the thousands of plugins to decide just which ones will make life easier for you and your clients can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll cover the top ten tips and a list of WordPress mobile-friendly plugins to make building, developing, and optimizing a website hassle-free.

Mobile-friendly websites 101

Whether you’re creating your clients’ websites on a case-by-case basis, or looking into reselling white label websites, you need to keep mobile top of mind. But what does it mean to have a mobile-responsive WordPress website? Simply put, it’s a website that’s designed to look great and work properly on smaller devices like phones and tablets. With a much smaller screen size, it’s important to make it easy for customers to navigate, use font sizes that are easy to read, and fewer graphics or animations to keep loading speed in check.

For SMBs, ensuring their website is mobile-friendly means customers can find the information (or products) they want, have a good experience using the website, and potentially return in the future. Mobile optimization can also improve search results since Google indexes the mobile version of a website to determine rank results (known as mobile-first indexing). Improved search results means more people will see your clients’ website when they’re searching — meeting potential customers when they’re looking.

Challenges with creating mobile-friendly WordPress websites

If you’re looking to make a WordPress site mobile friendly, there are some things to look out for. A few culprits can cause a WordPress website to have laggy load times on mobile devices, which isn’t a great experience for potential customers visiting your clients’ websites. Some common causes of slow mobile WordPress experiences are:

  1. Slow server hosting: Choosing the right website hosting solution can make a big difference. For example, if you choose shared hosting and the other sites get a lot of traffic, that can impact the resources available to your client’s site.
  2. Large images: Including large images (high resolution or large file sizes) can really slow down a website during a mobile visit.
  3. Using the wrong plugins: If your plugins are outdated, not optimized, or you just have too many on your site, it can slow things down significantly.
  4. The wrong theme: Just like plugins, an outdated or poorly-coded theme can impact site speed.
  5. Caching issues: Caching, or temporary data storage, can help websites load faster. Not using a plugin to support caching can make your website load at a turtle’s pace.

With the importance of making your client’s WordPress site mobile-friendly, there are great plugins (and default settings) that can take a WordPress website to the next level for both user experience and improving SEO results.

Top 10 Tips and Plugins to Keep a WordPress Site Mobile-Friendly

1. Optimize images for mobile-first design

Most websites have plenty of eye-catching images to make them engaging and keep the visitor’s attention. For businesses offering products instead of services, there are also product images to take into consideration. Almost everyone has dealt with slow-to-load or even broken images while trying to navigate a website on their phone, and if the experience is too cumbersome it usually translates into leaving the site.

Reducing the file size, dimensions, or both, can lead to faster load times. This results in happier visitors and potentially higher SEO ranking since loading speed is a ranking factor for Google when it comes to mobile search results.

Another factor for people browsing on mobile devices is data. Large images can eat up data, and if people are worried about their data limits it can deter them from staying on a business’s site.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: Smush

Smush is an award-winning plugin that reduces image size without sacrificing quality. It does this through a number of techniques, including:

  • Lossless compression: Stripping out unused data without impacting image quality
  • Multi-pass lossy compression: Removing less important or redundant data or information that’s not visible to the human eye
  • Image resizing: Set images to specific dimensions for your website
  • Lazy loading: Images load as visitors scroll instead of all at once, meaning offscreen images won’t impact load times

Smush allows users to optimize all images on a mobile-friendly WordPress site at once, or on an image-by-image basis.

Cost: Smush is a freemium plugin, with a free basic version and a pro option that comes with more advanced features.

2. Test and improve page speed

If you aren’t continuously testing your WordPress site's page speed, you won’t know where you’re succeeding — and where there’s room for improvement. You can get an idea of where you’re starting from with a speed testing tool like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to measure how fast your mobile-friendly WordPress site is.

For businesses, site speed can directly impact income since 70% of consumers stated page speed influences whether they’re likely to purchase from an e-commerce site (Unbounce). Ideally, a mobile site should load within 1–2 seconds. Aside from the impact it has on ranking with Google, here are some impactful statistics about just how important site speed is for business owners like your clients:

  • The average mobile website loads in 15.3 seconds (Think with Google).
  • Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time (Portent).
  • Half of consumers would rather have faster site speed over animation or video on mobile websites (Unbounce).
  • Page design elements, not mobile data networks, are responsible for the majority of slow mobile sites (Google).

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: NitroPack

NitroPack tackles site speed and performance through a variety of techniques, including:

  • Caching (including automatic cache warmup, device and cookie-aware caching, and browser and session-aware caching)
  • Image optimization (with both lossy and lossless image compression, lazy loading, preemptive image sizing, and adaptive image sizing)
  • Content delivery network (CDN) optimization
  • Preloading

NitroPack can help ensure your client’s WordPress site is mobile-friendly and optimized to be as fast as possible.

Cost: NitroPack has a free plan as well as monthly and annual pricing for businesses of multiple sizes and needs. The free option does come with

3. Mobile-optimized menus and navigation

When you’re thinking about making a WordPress site mobile-friendly, it’s crucial to remember the most important person: the potential customer on the other side of the screen. Navigating a website on a phone — even the largest, newest model — is always going to be different from the experience on a laptop or desktop. Think about where and how you access menus, how you scroll, the role of footers and headers, information hierarchy, and more. In addition to the challenges of using a website on a smaller screen, many visitors may have digital accessibility needs that should also be considered in website design.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: WP Mobile Menu

WP Mobile Menu is a popular WordPress mobile-friendly plugin for creating mobile-optimized menus. The easy-to-use plugin lets you customize color, font, and icons. You can also change the menu location based on the section of your client’s site and what makes sense from a design standpoint.

The plugin works with any WordPress theme, is optimized for search as well as being fully responsive so it works regardless of screen size, and is WooCommerce optimized.

Cost: WP Mobile Menu offers multiple monthly or annual plans at a variety of price points, starting at $6.49 per month for one site.

4. Remove unnecessary plugins

While plugins can solve a host of problems, sometimes they can be the cause. Too many plugins can impact how mobile-friendly your client’s WordPress site is.

  • Performance issues: Every plugin adds more code — and too much excess code can make a website sluggish. As mentioned above, slower loading times can not only be a bad user experience, but it can also directly impact revenue.
  • Plugin conflicts: Not all plugins are compatible, and if two (or more) plugins conflict, the website could have unexpected errors and potentially crash. More plugins mean more chances for incompatibility.
  • Security risks: Every plugin comes with a risk. If they’re not kept up-to-date, or they’re not secure, people can target the site and exploit those vulnerabilities. Approach every plugin with a risk-versus-reward framework.
  • Maintenance challenges: Despite the name, plugins aren’t actually plug-and-play. They require maintenance, updating, and monitoring to make sure they’re doing what they’re meant to — and not harming your site’s performance.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: Jetpack

Jetpack has a suite of features to address performance and security vulnerabilities to make your WordPress website more mobile-friendly. Since Jetpack has so many features, you can replace multiple plugins with one tool that includes security, site stats, and performance optimization, among others.

Cost: Jetpack’s tools also include security to protect against malware and spam, real-time backups, and a host of other features starting at $13.50 per month depending on how robust you’d like your plan to be.

5. Create mobile and desktop-friendly themes

A good, responsive theme is crucial when it comes to making your WordPress website more mobile-friendly. The right them can ensure a website meets reliability and accessibility requirements, images that load quickly, an intuitive layout that works on small (and large) screens and is easy to navigate by touch rather than a mouse or trackpad. Google prioritizes mobile sites, and using a responsive theme can also improve search results — getting your client’s website in front of more potential customers.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: WPTouch

The WPTouch plugin can optimize a current WordPress website without changing the desktop experience.


  • Comes with an easy install wizard to guide you through the setup
  • You can change themes and add or remove extensions directly within the plugin
  • Mobile device detection, improving load times
  • Completely customizable settings
  • An auto-save admin panel
  • Built-in analytics
  • Full WordPress Customizer support
  • Full-time customer support

Cost: WPTouch has bundles starting at $79 per year or à la carte options so you can choose just the products that suit your client’s needs.

6. Make sure your caching is efficient

To keep your client’s WordPress site mobile-friendly, you need to ensure your cache is under control. But what is caching? Simply put, it’s the temporary storage of data that is used frequently so that it can be accessed as quickly as possible. When someone visits your website, the server first checks the cache to see if the information is there and then checks the original source. Caching takes place at different locations, including browser caching, server-side caching, and content delivery network (CDN) caching.

An efficient caching system can reduce server load, speed up page load times, and only store the most necessary and relevant data. Expiring the data on a regular basis can also ensure that the stored information is always up-to-date and the most recent version of your website content.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: Hummingbird

Hummingbird can optimize a WordPress mobile site and boost site speed through multiple tactics.

One of the biggest features Hummingbird offers is caching by creating a cached copy of a website's pages and resources, which can then be accessed quickly and served to visitors as fast as possible.

The plugin features both browser caching and server-side caching. Browser caching stores data such as images, stylesheets, and scripts, on a visitor’s device so that they don’t have to be accessed from the original source every visit. With server-side caching, the information is kept on your client’s web server — also allowing for faster access.

With Hummingbird, you can also decide how long your files are cached, determine which information you want cached, and when and how often the cache is cleared.

Hummingbird comes with a scanning tool that scours the entire site for files that are slowing things down and provides you with solutions to fix them.

Cost: Hummingbird is a freemium plugin, with a free basic version and a pro option that comes with more advanced features.

7. Mobile-optimized pop-ups and messaging

Pop-ups and messaging are key tools in any digital marketing strategy. However, it’s crucial that they don’t interfere with the experience of visiting that website on a smaller screen like a phone.

Your clients can use pop-ups to grow their email list (leading to more marketing opportunities), increase conversions or add to cart size, and even do market research to find out more about what potential customers want.

Here are some ways to effectively use pop-ups on your mobile-friendly WordPress website:

  • Sales and discounts: You can promote sales and discounts to prospective customers. Some ideas include percentage discounts for first-time buyers, limited-time or seasonal sales, or a discount when someone spends a certain amount or purchases a specific number of items.
  • Grow your email list: A business can do a lot with an engaged email list. You can use pop-ups to collect email addresses, and send them marketing campaigns, promos, and keep them up-to-date with the latest and greatest about your company.
  • Use social proof and scarcity to drive sales: Pop-ups and messages can be a great place to let potential customers know if there are low quantities of an item or to share that other people are purchasing the product they’re looking at.
  • Engage further with your audience: You can use messages to encourage visitors to follow you on social media, take a survey to find out more about their needs, share a video, encourage cross-selling, and more.

Too many or poorly-designed pop-ups can be intrusive enough on a desktop site, but when people are using smaller screens they can make or break the browsing experience. That’s why you need to make sure they’re optimized for mobile websites.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: OptinMonster

OptinMonster is an easy-to-use pop-up builder and conversion tool to help businesses like your clients get the most out of their websites. You can build lightbox pop-ups, floating bars, slide-in pop-ups, full-screen welcomes, a spinning wheel for discounts, forms, timers, and more.

The plugin features a drag-and-drop pop-up builder, plenty of templates, A/B testing, analytics, and advanced page targeting and behavior-based personalization so your clients can customize pop-ups based on previous visits or show specific offers on certain pages.

Cost: OptinMonster has a basic package for $16/month and more robust plans for businesses with multiple websites starting at $32/month.

8. Adaptable call-to-action buttons

When visitors are already on their phones while browsing your customer’s website, sometimes it’s easier for them to call to find out the information they need. Instead of sending them digging in the menu or to Google to find out the business’s contact information, a floating call now button gets customers in touch with your clients faster.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: WP Call

WP Call Plugin is a user-friendly plugin for businesses to add click-to-call buttons to their mobile-friendly WordPress websites. The plugin allows customization of the button’s color, text, size, and placement anywhere on the site — including specific pages and sidebars. The plugin also has analytics so you can find out which pages are more likely to prompt calls.

Cost: WP Call is a freemium plugin, with a free basic version and a pro option that comes with more advanced features.

9. Cross-browser compatibility

One thing to factor into making a WordPress website mobile-friendly is cross-browser compatibility. Most of us stick to the same browser on our devices, so when visiting your client’s website you might not think to check for cross-browser compatibility. But it’s important for a number of reasons:

  • Consistency: Checking for compatibility ensures that potential customers have a consistent experience regardless of which device and browser they’re using.
  • Accessibility: If someone with an accessibility need is accessing your client’s website, you want to be sure any specialized browsers or tools are supported.
  • SEO: Google prioritizes websites that are optimized properly, so if your client’s website doesn’t display properly across different browsers, you could see that impact their search rankings.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: LambdaTest

The LambdaTest WordPress plugin is a cloud-based tool that allows businesses to test their websites across different browsers without the need to set up a dedicated testing environment. With the plugin you can test your website directly from your WordPress dashboard, as well as record screenshots and videos of the website in different browsers.

Cost: LambdaTest is a freemium plugin with 60 minutes of testing per month on the free version and paid plans starting at $15 monthly.

10. Dark mode adaptability

Many mobile users keep their devices in dark mode — in fact, over 80% of people use dark mode on their phones (IncrediTools). If you want them to have a good experience on your client’s mobile website, you need to take this into account. Dark mode can be easier to read in low light, and many people choose it to help reduce eye strain. If a website isn’t optimized for dark mode, people are less likely to stay on that website.

WordPress Mobile-Friendly Plugin: Droit Dark Mode

The Droit Dark Mode plugin comes with a host of features to enable dark mode adaptability on your website. It includes both automatic and manual dark mode switching so you can set it to change based on the device or time of day or let visitors make that call themselves with a manual button. It also comes with a customizable color scheme, and is compatible with all the major WordPress themes.

Cost: Droit Dark Mode is a freemium plugin, with a free basic version and a pro option that comes with more advanced features.

Frequently asked questions

Is WordPress optimized for mobile?

Yes, WordPress is optimized for mobile devices. You can use plugins to ensure your WordPress website is mobile-friendly, but the standard WordPress experience is designed to be responsive regardless of screen size.

What if my website is not mobile-friendly?

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, there are a number of things you can do. To make your WordPress website mobile-friendly, start with the basics: make sure your theme and design look good on smaller devices, and there aren’t obvious things like large images or files slowing down the experience. From there, you can look at plugins to optimize your website to look great on any device.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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