You’ve likely heard that you need to have a responsive website. And you may already know what that means. But if you don’t, here’s the definition according to Wikipedia:
Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).
And having a responsive website is great for a variety of reasons that have to do with the usability of your site, and the ever-increasing number of people consuming web content on their phones and tablets.
But it’s never been more important than since Google announced that they were changing their search results to favor sites that are mobile friendly at the end of April 2015. This decision meant that even if your website looked great on a mobile phone before, if it doesn’t meet their criteria for what it means to be mobile friendly, you’ll be dinged in their search results.
Want to find out if your site is mobile-friendly? Go here and enter your site into the field: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
If you have a WordPress website that isn’t currently mobile friendly you have a few options:
- You can install a plugin (like this: https://wordpress.org/plugins/device-theme-switcher/) that will create a mobile version of your site for you, keeping your existing site the same.
- You can update your WordPress theme (or hire someone to do it for you) so that it’s responsive, and you only have to manage one design.
- You can change your WordPress theme to one that is responsive.
Responsive Websites for Authors: Why is this important for authors in particular?
Your author website is your calling card. It’s there to make it easy for your existing or potential audience to learn more about your book(s) and you. It’s there so that if someone wants to write an article about your topic it’s easy to get in touch with you. It’s there so that it’s easy to buy your book. It’s there to be easily searchable for you to reach new readers. For all these reasons it’s important for your site to be responsive. Now more than ever!
If someone is trying to do these things on a mobile device, you don’t want them to give up on you because your site is too difficult to use. And you certainly don’t want to turn down search traffic.
It’s not too late to get started with a responsive solution to your site — Google picks up on site changes relatively quickly these days — so pick a solution that works best for you and get started on your responsive author website to ensure your maximizing your efforts across device displays.