Mobile Friendly

Do not post support requests, bug reports or feature requests. Discuss phpBB here. Non-phpBB related discussion goes in General Discussion!
Ideas Centre
BB1955
Registered User
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:27 pm

Mobile Friendly

Post by BB1955 »

I have a "standard" forum and Google says my forum is not "mobile friendly". How can I make the forum more "mobile friendly"? I have always uses tapatalk for my mobile users. They love it, and it's easy. But how do I make the entire thing "mobile friendly"??

DB

User avatar
P_I
Registered User
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:35 pm
Location: Staying home - Calgary
Contact:

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by P_I »

BB1955 wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:31 pm
I have a "standard" forum and Google says my forum is not "mobile friendly". How can I make the forum more "mobile friendly"?
Since Google is the one saying not “mobile friendly” I would ask Google what that means. phpBB with the stock prosilver theme has been mobile friendly since it went responsive.
Normal people… believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet. – Scott Adams

BB1955
Registered User
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:27 pm

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by BB1955 »

P_I wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:53 pm
BB1955 wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:31 pm
I have a "standard" forum and Google says my forum is not "mobile friendly". How can I make the forum more "mobile friendly"?
Since Google is the one saying not “mobile friendly” I would ask Google what that means. phpBB with the stock prosilver theme has been mobile friendly since it went responsive.
That's what I have and that is what is says on their search index.

If I click on the link for that, it says
1) the text is too small
2) the clickable elements are too close together

I am using the stock forums and Prosilver. Nothing special.

The problem is, they knock you down on the search pages because of it. They say they give preference to "mobile friendly" websites.

DB

KYPREO
Registered User
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:56 am
Contact:

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by KYPREO »

BB1955 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:00 am
If I click on the link for that, it says
1) the text is too small
2) the clickable elements are too close together
This is a common problem. The issue is usually not phpBB, it's the Google crawler which occasionally produces random rendering issues. If you use the access as Google tool in Search Console and the issue is not there, then everything is fine.

I have had the same warning come up multiple times and it disappears when the page is recrawled.

Are there also URLs showing as valid? If so, then the problem is due to a random crawl issues and will resolve itself.
BB1955 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:00 am
The problem is, they knock you down on the search pages because of it. They say they give preference to "mobile friendly" websites.
Untrue in this case, as it is the site is still registering as mobile responsive, it just throws some errors.
phpBB user since 2002
www.AusRotary.com

User avatar
Lumpy Burgertushie
Registered User
Posts: 67395
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 3:11 am
Contact:

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

and unless your board is a business that you depend on google ranking for the income, it is really not that critical if you get some odd errors from google.

robert
I'm baaaaaccckkkk. still doing work on donation basis. PM your needs.

Premium phpBB 3.3 Styles by PlanetStyles.net

If nobody is in the forest, does a tree really fall?

BB1955
Registered User
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:27 pm

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by BB1955 »

KYPREO wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:14 am
Yes, it shows in my Google webmaster console also.
It is true that they down rate your website search index ranking. It's all over the internet and Google said they were going to years ago.
This is not a "crawling error". Google says the reason is, the text is too small, and the clickable items are too close to each other. I have very little control only that on the forum software.
Last edited by Mick on Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed unnecessary full quoting.

BB1955
Registered User
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:27 pm

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by BB1955 »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:44 am
and unless your board is a business that you depend on google ranking for the income, it is really not that critical if you get some odd errors from google.

robert
It's critical if I want new members. There are so many "Google advertising" in front of it and other website on the same subject, that my forums end up so far back, no one is seeing them. I have been told this time after time from new members of the forum that they "accidently" ran into the forums from another website. Accidentally? That's not good.

The other thing that Google will knock you down the list is, your website does not have a SSL. I had to go out and get
SSL certificates so I could get to https: instead of just http:// That helped a little. But I have got to figure out how to overcome this "not mobile friendly" problem so I can move up the listings.

It ticks me off because if you want to view my website on a mobile device, you can use tapatalk.

DB

User avatar
EA117
Registered User
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:23 am
Contact:

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by EA117 »

I've never chased any of those myself, but someone who reported those same warnings out of Google Search Console actually did have things "wrong" with their site's style templates. Advertisement links had been introduced, and there was advertisement-related text which had explicit fonts and non-friendly spacing applied rather than following the CSS of the site, as well as text which had ended up outside the body tag entirely.

Unfortunately, Google Search Console's report of these "issues" takes the asinine approach of refusing to tell you where or in response to what elements of the page it's generating these warnings. And in some cases, when you manually test the same page, there is no issue. So no one except Google actually knows what they were reacting to.

If we're talking about https://russian-mosin-nagant-forum.com/, the extra menu bar below the banner and the advertisements before the forum list look the most suspicious to me. But again, we have no idea what Google is actually citing, and only talking to Google could give you a definitive answer.

But as you can see in the screen shot, the menu bar is overflowing on mobile and not controlling it's display. And the advertisement images are overlapped, which is potentially the "clickable elements too close together." The advertisement and facebook link area seems to only be using non-breaking spaces to control display, which would be non-deterministic. For example the facebook icon has no margin, and ends up with no space between it and any other button or email text link that ends up above or below it.

mobile.png

This is the view I get telling Chrome's F12 tools view to emulate an iPhone 8. Once you make corrections or replace your menu bar and advertisement area with something mobile-friendly, you can test this way to see the results and whether you think there are remaining issues.

BB1955
Registered User
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:27 pm

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by BB1955 »

Thank you. That makes perfect sense.

BB1955
Registered User
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:27 pm

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by BB1955 »

I fixed the Advertising sections and also the buttons on the top. Now all that is left is it says "the text is too small".

How in the heck can I change that?

DB

KYPREO
Registered User
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:56 am
Contact:

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by KYPREO »

As per my previous post, in Google Search Console is it saying every URL has this error or just some? You have over 300,000 posts on your board and probably tens of thousands of pages in the Google index. If some of them are recognised as mobile-friendly, then your other pages are probably fine too.

There is nothing inherent in prosilver which actually causes this error. It could be something to do with your custom styling or extensions OR, as I posted earlier, it could be due to Google's crawler which is very clunky with the mobile-friendly test. It is frequently returns false positives and then self-corrects when it crawls a page again. I have seen it happen multiple times. The determining factor is whether or not Google triggers the error on every single page.

Mobile-friendliness is only one ranking signal and one mobile-friendly error does not mean that Google thinks your entire site is not mobile friendly. Signals such as mobile-friendliness and authoritativeness often work on a site-level rather than individual page level.
phpBB user since 2002
www.AusRotary.com

KYPREO
Registered User
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:56 am
Contact:

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by KYPREO »

To follow up on my earlier post, I just ran your board index page through the default Mobile Friendly Test and it looks like you have made changes to the default Prosilver style. It is not using the responsive view, as it is showing the number of posts, topics, last poster etc. In default prosilver, that automatically disappears and you can just see the forum headings and descriptions.

If it's not manual style changes that is causing this behaviour, it could be an extension or the forum images you are using in the index.

However, your actual TOPIC pages are FINE. This won't affect your ranking, as Google will likely only index your topic pages anyway, not your index pages. For example, see https://search.google.com/test/mobile-f ... wu1iZRa7Ig

It's only your index page styling that requires attention.
phpBB user since 2002
www.AusRotary.com

KYPREO
Registered User
Posts: 388
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:56 am
Contact:

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by KYPREO »

In my opinion, it is the forum/section heading images on the main index page that is causing this issue. More specifically, I think it is the dimension of the images that is throwing out the page rendering. Viewing the page on my Samsung smartphone, the page renders normally (with no topic counts or post counts), but it looks like Googlebot is getting thrown off by the width of the forum heading images and rendering the page with desktop formatting (with topic counts and post counts).

This is reinforced by the fact that the other index pages (without the gun images) do not show any errors, eg https://search.google.com/test/mobile-f ... Z1NV-gxDJg

So my earlier post was right - this is a Googlebot error, as the page appears normal when you are actually viewing on a mobile device. There is nothing wrong with your page. And there is nothing that would affect Google SERP ranking, as it is on main index page only. If it bothers you could fix this by either:
- getting rid of the section images
- trying smaller dimension images for the forum/section heading images
- tweak the CSS show that different forum/section heading images are shown depending on screen width.
phpBB user since 2002
www.AusRotary.com

User avatar
EA117
Registered User
Posts: 1390
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:23 am
Contact:

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by EA117 »

BB1955 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:02 am
I fixed the Advertising sections and also the buttons on the top. Now all that is left is it says "the text is too small".
Two potentially suspicious things for me:

One is that the email link is wrapped in an explicit HTML <font size="-1"> tag. Which is a request for the otherwise 10px size body font to be displayed even smaller. I would try taking out this explicit <font> tag altogether. And then if you still feel you need for the link to be displayed at a larger or smaller size, use CSS to target the span ID.

The other is that there seems to be a duplicate <a> tag for the https://axisarmsonline.com advertisement. And the duplicate is wrapped around simply a blank space; literally <a href="https://axisarmsonline.com"> </a>. Who knows what Google thinks of a character as narrow as a space character which is supposed to be a clickable link.

BB1955
Registered User
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:27 pm

Re: Mobile Friendly

Post by BB1955 »

KYPREO wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:53 am
Thank you so much. I am deciding on those images. I think I need to "reduce them in size" BEFORE I use them. That way they would already be small and the bot wouldn't "misread them.

Thank you!
Last edited by Mick on Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed unnecessary full quoting.

Post Reply

Return to “phpBB Discussion”