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WordPress Doesn’t Display Correctly on Mobile: Guide to Fixes and Optimization

wordpress doesnt display correctly on mobile

According to a survey from Semrush, in 2023, mobile visits were 313% higher than desktop visits. The trends are obvious: for every four users who visit your WordPress site, three will be visiting it on mobile, so it’s crucial that your WordPress site looks good and functions well on mobile devices.

People browsing on their phones expect quick, responsive, and attractive websites, no matter what device they’re using. If you look at the data again, you will see that they check fewer pages and bounce quicker, not giving you a second chance if your page is slow and buggy.

This guide will explore why WordPress sites sometimes don’t look right on mobile and offer some clear and practical ways to fix these issues.

In this article:

Understanding Why WordPress Doesn’t Display Correctly on Mobile

When your WordPress site doesn’t look right on mobile devices, it can significantly jeopardize the user experience, potentially leading to decreased site traffic and engagement. Several factors can cause this issue, from design missteps to technical glitches. Let’s see what might be going wrong and how you can fix it to ensure your site looks great and works well on any mobile device.

Non-Responsive Themes

At the core of many issues with mobile displays is the use of non-responsive themes. Responsive themes adjust your website’s layout to perfectly fit the screen size of different devices. However, non-responsive themes don’t adapt, leading to content that’s difficult to navigate, read, or interact with on smaller screens.

Fix: Choose a responsive WordPress theme. Before selecting a theme, test it on various devices to ensure it scales correctly. WordPress offers many responsive themes that cater to different aesthetic preferences and functional requirements. You can preview each theme to ensure it’s responsive before installing it on your WordPress instance. 

wordpress doesnt display correctly on mobile

Poorly Implemented Media Queries

Media queries are crucial for responsive design. They allow CSS to apply different styling rules based on the device characteristics, such as width, height, or orientation. Incorrectly implemented media queries can lead to layout issues, where elements do not align or scale as intended on mobile devices.

Fix: Audit and refine your media queries. Make sure your CSS contains appropriately defined breakpoints and that each rule accurately styles the page for the intended range of device dimensions. It’s also essential to test these styles across a range of devices to catch and correct any issues.

Oversized Images

Oversized images are a common reason for slow loading times on mobile devices. Large images take longer to download, particularly on mobile networks, which can frustrate users and lead to higher bounce rates.

Fix: Optimize your images for mobile. This includes compressing images, using appropriate file formats (like WebP for better compression), and implementing responsive images with the srcset attribute in HTML. This ensures that only images of appropriate sizes are loaded on devices, reducing unnecessary data usage and improving load times. 

Hidden Content and Overlays

Mobile devices have limited screen real estate, which can lead to hidden content or improperly displayed overlays (like modals or pop-ups) that are difficult to dismiss or navigate.

Fix: Ensure that all content is accessible on mobile devices and that overlays are designed to fit on small screens. Use CSS and JavaScript to adjust the layout and functionality of these elements on mobile devices, ensuring they’re not just scaled-down versions of their desktop counterparts but are optimized for mobile interaction.

wordpress doesnt display correctly on mobile

Non-Optimized Menus and Navigation

Menus and navigation that work well on desktop can often become cumbersome on mobile devices, where horizontal space is limited, and users rely on touch interaction.

Fix: Implement mobile-friendly navigation solutions. This could mean converting your menu into a “hamburger” style menu on smaller screens, ensuring that menu items are easily clickable, and optimizing submenu interaction to be touch-friendly.

JavaScript and CSS Load Order

The order in which JavaScript and CSS files are loaded can significantly affect the performance and display of your site on mobile devices. For example, JavaScript that manipulates DOM elements should be loaded after the elements have been defined in HTML.

Fix: Optimize the load order of your scripts and stylesheets. Place CSS in the <head> of your document to ensure styles are loaded before the content is displayed. Use the async or defer attributes on your JavaScript <script> tags to control the loading behavior without blocking the rendering of the page.

Integrating Cloudinary with WordPress for Optimal Mobile Performance

The Cloudinary WordPress plugin is a powerful tool designed to streamline the process of optimizing and managing images and videos on your WordPress site. By leveraging Cloudinary’s cloud-based services, it ensures that your media content is automatically optimized for speed, aesthetics, and device compatibility, directly addressing many of the mobile display issues outlined previously.

The plugin has many benefits and will prevent your WordPress site from displaying correctly on mobile, such as:

  • Automatic Image Optimization – Cloudinary automatically compresses images without a significant loss of quality, ensuring faster loading times on mobile devices. This includes converting images to the most efficient formats (e.g., WebP) based on the browser and device.
  • Adaptive Image Resizing – Dynamically resizing images based on the device’s screen size prevents downloading unnecessarily large files, further speeding up page loads on mobile networks.
  • Advanced Image Transformations – Cloudinary supports a range of on-the-fly image transformations, including cropping, scaling, enhancement, and even adding watermarks. This flexibility allows for creative and technical adjustments to images, ensuring they are perfectly tailored to the content and design of your mobile site.
  • Responsive Images – The plugin facilitates the use of HTML srcset and sizes attributes, allowing browsers to select the most appropriate image size, further enhancing the responsiveness and speed of your site on various devices.
  • Lazy Loading – Implementing lazy loading reduces initial page load time and system resource usage by loading images only as they are about to enter the viewport.

Setting Up the Cloudinary WordPress Plugin

  1. Download and Install – Begin by logging into your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to ‘Plugins’, click on ‘Add New’, and search for ‘Cloudinary’. Hit the ‘Install Now’ button next to the plugin and activate it once the installation is complete.
  2. Connect Your Cloudinary Account – In the plugin settings, you can connect to your Cloudinary account. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll need to create one (don’t worry, it’s free!). Once you have your account, enter your Cloudinary environment URL or API credentials in the plugin settings.
  3. Configure Settings – After linking your account, configure the settings according to your needs. You can set automatic file format conversion preferences, quality adjustments, and responsive image breakpoints.
  4. Sync Your Media Files – Optionally, you can sync your existing media library with Cloudinary. This action allows you to manage all images and videos directly from your Cloudinary console, ensuring they are optimized for mobile viewing.

By following these steps, your WordPress media will be better managed and displayed, enhancing user experience on mobile devices. Remember to test your site’s mobile responsiveness after configuration to ensure everything functions as expected.

Wrapping Up

Integrating Cloudinary with your WordPress site offers a comprehensive solution to many of the challenges associated with optimizing websites for mobile devices. By automating the process of image and video optimization, Cloudinary enhances the mobile user experience and helps improve SEO rankings, engagement rates, and conversion metrics. 

With its easy-to-use WordPress plugin, Cloudinary empowers developers to focus on creating compelling content and beautiful designs, confident that their media will be delivered in the most optimized form to every user on every device.

Optimizing your media assets with Cloudinary can boost your website’s speed and user experience. Sign up for free today!

Last updated: May 3, 2024