Last updated on June 10, 2021.
6 quick and easy ways to check if a website is mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendliness is more important than ever.
- By the end of August 2021, all Google page experience signals will be official ranking factors.
- Soon the last batch of websites will be switched to mobile-first indexing.
This means that your or your client’s website needs to be mobile-friendly NOW! Let me show you how to tell if it indeed is mobile-friendly.
⚡ Google page experience signals and Core Web Vitals are becoming a THING. Check my in-depth Core Web Vitals audit.
Mobile-friendly vs mobile-first indexing
Let’s start by making clear that these two things are separate:
- Mobile-friendly means that a website is responsible and adjusted to mobile devices. Mobile-friendliness is one of Google page experience factors that are going to become a ranking factor by end of August 2021.
- Mobile-first indexing means that Google takes into account only the mobile version of the website when ranking it. If a website still has two different versions (a desktop and a mobile version), then Google will only see and assess the content that is on the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing will be switched for the last batch of websites soon.
The take-home message is that your website needs to be mobile-friendly! Let’s now check if it really is.
How to check if a website is mobile-friendly: 5 ways
Here are 3 very quick methods to check the mobile-friendliness of a website.
1. Use Mobile-Friendly Test
The easiest way to check if a site is mobile-friendly is to use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. All you need to do is:
- Open Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Enter the URL you want to test. Hit TEST URL.
- Check the results.
- The tool will tell you explicitly if the website is mobile-friendly or not. As you can see on the screenshot above, my website is mobile-friendly. Below is the screenshot of a website that is not mobile-friendly.
2. Use Your Browser
You can also tell if a website is mobile-friendly by simply using your desktop browser, such as Chrome or Firefox. Here is what to do:
- Minimize the browser window so that it is not on full screen.
- Grab the left side of the window with your mouse and shrink it maximally to the right.
- If the website is mobile-friendly, then it will not be cut off on any side and all of the content will be here.
- If the website is not mobile-friendly or fully responsive, then the website and its content won’t shrink as you shrink the browser window. As you can see, my website is mobile-friendly.
Note that this method is not 100% reliable but is usually a good indication of whether the website is mobile-friendly or whether it has issues with responsiveness.
3. Use Your Mobile Phone
You can also simply use your mobile phone to check if the website is mobile-friendly. Here is what to do:
- Open the website on your phone.
- Check if the content is cut off from any side or if the navigation menu does not shrink. Check if you need to scroll left or right to see the whole content.
- If the website is mobile-friendly, then you should be able to see all of its content without any problems.
And here are 3 more methods if you want to dig a bit deeper and test the website more thoroughly.
4. Use Chrome DevTools
Chrome DevTools (a set of web developer tools built into Chrome) also lets you quickly check if a website is mobile-friendly. Here is what to do:
- Go to Chrome and open the website you want to test.
- Right-click anywhere on the website and click Inspect.
- Click Toggle device toolbar.
- Choose Responsive. If the website shrinks, it is mobile-friendly.
- Check how the website loads on other devices.
- Click on the arrow down next to Responsive and choose 2-3 different mobile phone models to compare the results.
- Here is my website on Pixel 2 and iPhone X.
- If the content is not cut off and the website adjusts as you change devices, then it is mobile-friendly.
5. Check Google PageSpeed Insights
You can also check if a site is mobile-friendly and how mobile-friendly it is with the help of the Google PageSpeed Insights. The tool will also give you other important data. Here is what to do:
- Go to Google Google PageSpeed Insights.
- Enter the website URL and click ANALYZE.
- Take a look at the rendered screenshot of the website in the tab MOBILE. If the content is cut off, then the website is not mobile-friendly.
- Regardless of whether the website is or is not mobile-friendly, the tool will provide you with important data about the performance of the website and actionable tips on how to improve. It will also display lab data based on Google Lighthouse.
6. Check Mobile Usability in Google Search Console
Google PageSpeed Insights give you lab data on the website while Google Search Console has field data that actually reflect how your website performs for users and what its mobile usability is. All you need is access to the Google Search Console account for the website. Here is what to do:
- Log in to Google Search Console. Choose your property.
- Under Experience click Mobile Usability.
- Error shows web pages with issues. Valid shows web pages without any issues.
- Under Details, you will see the details of the issues and the pages affected.
You can learn more about Google Search Console Mobile Usability report here.
What to do if the website is not mobile-friendly?
If the site is not mobile-friendly, it is going to have serious problems once mobile-first indexing is switched on for all websites and Core Web Vitals (Cumulative Layout Shift, First Input Delay, and Largest Contentful Paint) become a ranking factor.
The absolute top priority, in this case, is to make the website mobile-friendly or even doing a complete redesign of the website so that it is fresh, fast, and MOBILE-FRIENDLY.
What to do if the website is mobile-friendly?
If your website is mobile-friendly, congratulations!
In that case, you should focus on other Google page experience factors, such as Core Web Vitals, HTTPS, good ad experience, and safe browsing.
Here are my other similar articles that I think you may like:
- WP Rocket review (the review of the best speed and caching plugin for WordPress)
- Google Search Console crawl stats report (learn how Google is crawling your site)
- How to verify Google Search Console via WordPress (without the need to access the server)
- How to add and remove users in Google Search Console
Olga Zarzeczna is a senior SEO specialist with 8+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done more than 100+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.