How To Check If A Website Is Mobile-Friendly

Last updated on June 10, 2021.

6 quick and easy ways to check if a website is mobile-friendly.

The mobile-friendliness of a website is one of FIVE Google page experience signals that also include Core Web Vitals, safe browsing, HTTPS, and no intrusive interstitials.

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.
Google page experience signals
  • 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.

⚡ Check my full guide to Google page experience to learn more. Don’t miss my Google page experience audit.

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:

Google Mobile-Friendly Test
  • Check the results.
Google Mobile Friendly Test
This is what you want the Mobile-Friendly Test to look like every time you run a test.
  • 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.
Google Mobile-Friendly Test results for a not mobile-friendly website

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.
Checking if the site is responsive using browser
  • Grab the left side of the window with your mouse and shrink it maximally to the right.
Shrinking browser window to check if a site is mobile-friendly
  • If the website is mobile-friendly, then it will not be cut off on any side and all of the content will be here.
Mobile-friendly site
  • 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.
Screnshot of SEOSLY on iPhone 12 mini
Screnshot of SEOSLY on iPhone 12 mini
  • 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.
Inspecting an element in Chrome
  • Click Toggle device toolbar.
Checking the mobile-friendliness of a site using Chrome DevTools
  • Choose Responsive. If the website shrinks, it is mobile-friendly.
Checking is a site is responsive
  • Check how the website loads on other devices.
Checking mobile-friendliness of a website in Chrome DevTools
  • 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.
SEOSLY on Pixel 2 in Chrome DevTools
SEOSLY on emulated Pixel 2.
SEOSLY on iPhone X
SEOSLY on emulated 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:

Google PageSpeed Insights
  • 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.
Google PageSpeed Insights tests and mobile screenshot
  • 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.
Google PageSpeed Insights results and recommendations

To learn even more detail, you can also use other tools like GTmetrix or WebPageTest. WebPageTest also lets you test your website with different mobile devices and different Internet connections.

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:

The Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console
  • 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.
Details of the Mobile Usability report in Google Search Console

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.

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