Are You Mobile? Better Yet is your Genealogy Website Mobile Ready?

Genealogy Circle on a smart phone

Genealogy Circle on a smart phone

Recently I wrote a blog post about my occasional help with The In-Depth Genealogist Facebook page. A couple months ago I asked the question: “How often would you like to see the blogs you read updated? Are you disappointed when it’s only once or twice a week?”

The topic generated several answers, some offline discussion and although not scientific, I thought the outcome interesting enough to share it with you. You can read that post here.

I put a similar topic out for discussion a couple weeks ago. “Many articles I’ve read lately point out that increasingly people now use their smart phones w/internet more than laptops or tablets. Do you check blogs, Facebook, twitter, etc. more on your smart phone than on your laptop or tablet?”

The answer to my question was nearly unanimous. No!

Those who do use smart phones check their email and their Facebook page on their phones but they leave blog reading until they’re at home with their laptop. Only one responder said they had even looked at a blog on their phone.

Wow! Although my survey isn’t scientific in the least, I was curious as to why the response to my question was opposite of the articles I’ve been reading. It could be that my audience, all genealogists, were a generation older that those tabbed in the articles. Yet was that the entire explanation?

Personally I don’t read blogs on my smart phone either. The print is just too tiny. Expanding the print and trying to follow a post is a pain. I wouldn’t mind catching up on reading while I wait for my daughter after school or volleyball practice but with my phone it just isn’t convenient or a good experience.

So I went back to The In-Depth Genealogist Facebook page and asked this question: “If blogs were easier to read on your smart phone (not micro-mini print) do you think you’d catch up on blog reading via your phone?”

The answer was Yes! The larger print of a laptop made all the difference in the world to blog readers. If a smart phone had larger print they’d be more apt to use their phone to read blogs. Now as bloggers we can’t change smart phone technology but we can make our websites “mobile ready”.

I use WordPress and Jetpack on this blog. Jetpack has a Mobile Theme that automatically adjusts your site when read on a mobile device. It’s really easy to install. Another one is WPTouch. It’s also a plugin for WordPress that will convert your website to a format readable on mobile devices.

This is a very simple upgrade to your website. Take the time to investigate how to make your site “mobile ready”. Who knows when the generation that already uses smart phones as their main computer may need your genealogical services? Your site won’t be skipped over.

This also makes sure your site is available when one of your surnames are “Googled”. Who knows when someone may have that last bit of family info you’re searching for!

If your site is already “mobile ready” please let us know in the comments. That way we’ll know we can all read your newest post wherever we might be and be sure to check on your phone too! Good Luck!

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