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WordPress Gutenberg — The Marmite Ratings

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WordPress Gutenberg — The Marmite Ratings

Pivotal owner and lead developer, Phil, shares his views on Gutenberg, the latest WordPress plugin

I’m sure all fellow WordPress lovers will have heard the news about the impending integration of the Gutenberg plugin to the future release of WordPress Version 5.

Gutenberg is a page builder that allows users to manage their WordPress websites with extra formatting capabilities without any knowledge of HTML or CSS coding.

WordPress users will have already started to see on their Dashboards:

“A new, modern publishing experience is coming soon. Take your words, media, and layout in new directions with Gutenberg, the WordPress editor we’re currently building.”

However, looking at WordPress users’ reviews, Gutenberg is showing a poor average rating of only 2.3/5 (as at 20/08/2018).

With few ratings in the middle, it appears people either like it or loathe it (with an air towards loathing), but I can’t understand why.

I’ve been testing and playing with the Gutenberg plugin for several months now. It seems like a perfectly reasonable and organised page builder to me, that will no doubt be further and further developed to everyone’s advantage.

As a WordPress trainer, personally, I’ve never been a lover of Page Builders. Some of them are so complex you may as well book yourself onto an HTML course. I would always prefer to use HTML and CSS, but I recognise that not everyone wants to have that level of knowledge or may simply want to design a page or post layout that helps make it more readable and engaging.

Enter Gutenberg…

A simple-to-use but comprehensive page builder that can replace many a plugin for adding content and creating a nicely laid out page.

Plus there are some really nice options allowing users to easily have 2 or more columns of text in a row. This is not easy for a layman in current WordPress. Gutenberg also allows you to easily embed items from YouTube, Instagram, etc.

And then there is still the option to revert to Classic Editor for people like me, and to view revisions. So, what’s the beef?

My simple view is that we should embrace the changes. They are for the better, and I’ve no doubt that WordPress’ team will just make it even more so, as they always do.

Thank you WordPress and congratulations!

Mobile-Friendly Website for computers and smartphones.

Why You MUST Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

“Do I need a mobile-friendly website?”

Have you asked yourself this question recently? Smartphones and other mobile devices are fast becoming the preferred method of Internet access; if you haven’t already got a mobile website, you need to get one soon.

Why? Because your customers are increasingly going mobile.

Mobile Online Shopping Time Now Exceeds Laptop/PC Online Shopping Time

In 2013, there was a seismic shift in shopping trends. As of June 2013, the online shopping champions were – you guessed it – mobile devices. They officially passed desktop PCs and laptops, garnering 55% of consumer shopping time spent online, as compared to 45% for laptops and desktops combined. That number continues to climb. The latest statistics in 2016 show 97% of Millennials shop via mobile and 20% don’t use a desktop at all.

Mobile is Not Just a Must for eCommerce Sites

People are increasingly doing all sorts of online research using mobile devices.

A Google Survey found that:

  • 74% of visitors were more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites
  • 61% were likely to leave if a site wasn’t mobile friendly, and
  • 67% were more likely to buy at a mobile-friendly website

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing business.

Here are three reasons you must have a mobile-friendly website now:

1. It’s What Your Customers Want – and They Expect You to Provide It

mobile friendly ipad

Increasingly, your customers are on the go, and they’re accessing your website from their mobile devices.

What does that mean for you? If you don’t give customers what they want (easy visibility and navigation so they can browse and shop while mobile), they’ll go someplace else.

So how do you go about creating a mobile-friendly site? Don’t try to simply “tweak” your existing website to try to make it so. Traditional websites don’t display well on mobile phones.

Mobile phones have smaller displays and will often distort visuals on regular websites. Cut your mobile-friendly website down to just essential features, with content that includes links to secondary information pages. You should also enlarge interface elements for easy touchscreen navigation.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore those customers who still use desktops and laptops, though. They still account for a significant portion of your customer base and new prospects.

Change Your Standard Website to a Responsive Website

Instead, opt for a responsive website. A responsive website recognises the device being used (laptop, PC, tablet, smartphone, etc.) and will resize itself accordingly for optimal viewing. You’ll be able to accommodate mobile and PC/laptop users alike.

2. Google will Penalise You if You Don’t Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

mobile friendly

It’s true. From 21 April 2015, Google Search expanded its use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal, and there’s a reason for that. Google recognises that you don’t need a computer to surf the Internet. Many sites, however, still use content, images, and navigation structures that just don’t work well on mobile devices.

Users can only see those websites properly using a desktop or laptop monitor or screen, and smartphone browsers end up with a very unsatisfying user experience.

Why does that matter to Google? Because if a particular website isn’t mobile friendly, Google will recognise that and be less likely to display it as a legitimate search result.

That makes sense, since Google wouldn’t be doing its job if half the results displayed were useless to mobile users. Google’s goal is to increase search traffic, including mobile search traffic, and you can use that to your benefit by jumping on board.

So when you’re asked, “Do I need a mobile-friendly website?” answer “yes.” It will help your organic search results. If you want to double check your website is mobile friendly enough, you can check using Google’s handy test, by clicking HERE.

3. You’ll Lose Business (If You Haven’t Already)

mobile friendly

You’ve probably already seen a decline in business if you still use only a standard website. If not, go mobile friendly before you do. Most aren’t yet completely ditching their desktops or laptops for their mobile devices, but an increasing number are.

Give your customers what they want with fast loading pages, easy navigation, and a streamlined site with great content and great products. Grab hold of that growing number of customers who use mobile devices to shop. Keep Google happy, too, and you won’t risk “disappearing” from search results.

Other Website Must-Haves

Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, what questions do you have about converting it to one that is?

Beyond just being mobile-friendly, do you know if your website is optimised to get YOU traffic and leads? If not, how can you improve it? Find out by contacting us at Pivotal Web here!