There’s been a change in how folks are viewing websites and what Google expects in the sites they crawl & list in search results.
More and more visitors to your website are viewing the site on a phone or iPad sized screen.
While this can be an acceptable way to view older websites, and all the viewer needs to do is ‘squinch’ in or ‘swipe’ across to see all the text and images, Google is seeing a site that is NOT ‘ Responsive design.’
And Google has decided to actively punish non-responsive websites by downgrading them in their search listings. They offer a handy test so you can check your site out.
Google wants to list sites that are legible with no squinching and swiping!
Fortunately, you already have a WordPress site, and since the content and display are separate in WordPress, all you need to do to make your site responsive (and Google happy) is to switch to a Responsive Theme!
A new Responsive Theme for your website could be done in three different ways.
1. WordPress Themes have become such complex software that there is now a whole world of Responsive Premium Themes with great design & typography PLUS many options for personalizing a site as your own. I have a service called Premium Theme Support & Setup to help my clients discover, install & personalize these Themes. Premium Themes have a small (under $100) license cost & more importantly, a dedicated developer supporting the product. I now recommend this route.
2. Find a Free Responsive Theme and APPROXIMATE the design of the current site or switch to some new design you’d like to implement, using a free Theme’s more limited (compared to a Premium Theme) options & style settings palette.
3. Switch the site to an “off the shelf” Free Responsive Theme with even less options & style settings changes. (NOT RECOMMENDED – BRANDING DISASTER!)
Many sites may be using a completely custom designed WordPress Theme, built from scratch way, way back when a WordPress Theme consisted of maybe 12 files total. Now Themes can have hundreds of files powering all those cool functions.
These custom Themes, while they may be durable, have limited options for updating the code to keep up with the constant changes in hosting software, security, compatibility, or changes like responsiveness.
Bottom line is Google says to cut out all the squinching and swiping. And we must be responsive.