April 6, 2020

How to Fix The Most Common Mobile Usability Issues in WordPress

With the advent of technology, the mobile internet is among the most popular means of internet access. Over 50% of web usage is through mobile phones. Therefore, having a mobile accessible site is not only paramount but also vital for anyone with a website.

However, there’s more to mobile compatibility. For your site to function as intended without any hitches, you have to fix mobile usability issues. You can check your website for mobile usability issues by running it through Google’s Mobile Usability Report or PageSpeed Insights.

The report will give you a rundown of errors, bugs, issues that need fixing to have your site at its best. The procedure to have your site checked by the report is by having your website added to Google Search Console. 

So, what kind of errors can you come across with the usability test? What are some of its causes, and how can you fix them? Below are some common issues, causes, and solutions.

1. Incompatible Plugins

This issue means that your website uses a plugin that is not friendly to mobile usability. The plugins on your page are incompatible with mobile web usage. As a result, anyone trying to access your site via a mobile phone finds trouble navigating through your website.

An example of such a plugin that is incompatible with mobile web usage is Adobe Flash. It could also include other multimedia plugins such as Silverlight. 

To fix this, always ensure that all plugins used in your site are compatible with mobile web usage. Remove entirely all plugins that aren’t mobile usability friendly, and find other plugins that support mobile usability. If you can’t wholly remove a plugin, restrict it to the desktop version or recreate it entirely with HTML5.

2.Viewport Not Set

Many mobile phone brands come up with different designs for different phones. These phones come in different screen sizes, and this is a great issue. You cannot predict the screen size of a phone used to access your site. Neither can you create variations for each device? 

Viewport not set; therefore, it is an issue with the sizing of your website mobile version. How does your website look on a 5.0-inch full bezel screen? What if it’s a 5.5-inch notched display? Worry not. It is the viewport that directs the web browser into sizing the content within a page.

This wasn’t a problem in the past. Most websites opted for adaptive designs and basic website designs. However, that is a thing of the past. Setting a viewport is a crucial aspect of having a responsive web design. It is the only way visitors can ascertain that their welfare is catered for in your site.

To fix this, you need an expert developer. Setting a viewport isn’t an easy task where you write codes and expect it to work miraculously. It involves the use of Meta tags. You need a width set to the device scale and a setting to help adjust according to content within the site. The setting is dynamic and is bound to change from time to time.

3.Content Wider Than Screen

Have you ever clicked on a site that had you scroll horizontally to read a sentence? If yes, then you have encountered this issue. It is an issue that indicates that a mobile device accessing the site has to scroll horizontally to access all its content.

There are interesting things to do, but scrolling horizontally on a mobile phone to read a website isn’t one of them. It is exhausting, tedious, and most content on the site; for example, images can’t be viewed as a whole.

This error occurs mostly when fixing widths for content via CSS. For example, you want to attach an image to an article you’ve written on your website’s reviews page. You set the image to start at 500 pixels. Since you’re using your desktop to display the picture, it will not have problems with the desktop view. But when viewed using a mobile phone, the user will have to scroll horizontally to view the whole image. 

To fix this, remove any absolute positioning code. Opt for a dynamic repositioning code. You can fix it by yourself or find an expert web developer.

4.Text Too Small to Read

Have you ever encountered a WordPress site with small texts, you had to zoom in? Such old-school sites use 12 point Times New Roman text on a mobile device, which makes them small. To read it, you’ll have to zoom in, forcing you to scroll side to side, horizontally. 

This issue doesn’t need a definition. The definition is right in its name, self-explanatory. 

Photo by Roman Pohorecki from Pexels

While most would think that to fix it, you only have to increase the font, and it goes way more than that. It stretches to programming, where you have to add a dynamic code to scale the font size to a device.

To set an appropriate font for your site, Google suggests 70-80 characters per line. It is approximately 8-10 words in English. However, it isn’t a directive that you have to add a line break after every 80 characters. It’s a standard of sorts, used to measure the kind of scale of the text.

5.Clickable Elements Too Close Together

Sometimes buttons come too close to each other. It creates a problem when trying to click on one, and you end up clicking on the other or both. For mobile usability, it is a significant threat.

Having clickable elements too close to each other on your WordPress website is a bad show. Most people associate it with shady scammers, hungry for clicks, relying on accidental clicks. Users hate it, and it can have a great impact on traffic and reviews on your site.

To fix this, ask your developer to make sure anything clickable is distinct within its own space. Check to see the necessary is done as Google penalizes this error. 

Most mobile usability problems are caused by plugins installed, having an outdated version of WordPress, and a few technical hitches. Having a responsive plugin should solve almost half of your problems. 

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Daniela McVicker

Daniela McVicker is a blogger with rich experience in writing about UX design, content planning, and digital marketing. Currently, she is the chief contributor at TopWritersReview, a website dedicated to assessing legit paper writing services, where Daniela helps individuals and organizations improve their web content writing, design, and planning skills.

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