Responsive Themes

It’s been a while since I was asked about Responsive Themes but a question came in recently. The question was about ‘mobile-friendly’ but the answer is about ‘responsive’. And it’s an important question with the answer not just about mobile phones.

“I’m trying to work out what makes a theme ‘mobile friendly’. It’s not something I know anything about or can test, not having any mobile devices”.

What does ‘responsive’ mean?

A responsive theme smoothly adjusts its layout based on the screen size and resolution. It will display on any device or on any monitor of any size. It will change the layout to be the best for the size of the screen. It will render your site at its best and highlight its most important features.

With responsive design, whichever device a visitor is using becomes irrelevant. The site works. And it will be true no matter what kind of mobile devices come out in the future.

So a responsive theme is a theme that was developed to work, and to look good, across all screens.

From November 2016, more users accessed the web from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets than they did from desktops or notebooks. That number can only increase as more and more people use smartphones for daily interactions online. If roughly half of your visitors are coming to your site using a mobile device, then you should seriously consider switching to a responsive theme.

This is my site (the one you’re looking at now) displayed across different devices

If your theme isn’t responsive, your layout will display by chance and most of your text will be unreadable. If a visitor can’t read your content or navigate through your site on their mobile device, you can make a safe bet that they’ll exit your site and visit one of the millions of others. They’re likely to exit pretty fast too.

The important thing to do is make your site easy to use, simple to navigate and give your visitors a pleasant experience, not a frustrating one.