In the past couple of years, the selection of responsive WordPress theme designs has begun to explode. And this is for good reason; with so many visitors now using an array of different devices, browsers and operating systems to access your site from.
However, with such a huge choice when it comes to theme options, making sure that your decision is the right one can be difficult. Although the techniques used to create responsively designed themes aren’t overly complex, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of them in order to make sure that you make an educated decision.
Determine the Resolution Size
Responsive designs are put together in such a way that the screen resolution is changed when the pixels fall below a certain number. For example, a responsive design may be set to reformat for mobile when the screen size is less than 480p. Once you have chosen hosting for your site, it’s a good idea to use a free re-sizing tool in order to automatically set your desktop browser to test common different device and browser types. Viewing the theme which you’re planning to use will help to alert you to any oddities at different sizes.
Understand the Menus
Due to the fact that the navigation area is affected by the number of items and the length of the labels, it can appear differently on a range of various devices and viewports. If it isn’t handled correctly your navigation area could break in odd places on certain mobile screens. Whilst the navigation area may look great in the theme’s demo, it’s important to be aware of how it might look when viewed on a different device. Many responsive themes which have a traditional link bar navigation system on a desktop will change to a drop-down menu when viewed on a mobile device.
It’s important to work out the content hierarchy when you’re choosing a responsive theme. For example, things such as widgets or sidebars may be dropped out or completely hidden at mobile sizes rather than moved to a scrollable page. This is why it is important to figure out what is hidden and what is reformatted instead when your window size becomes smaller. You can expect a good responsive theme to handle any sidebars accordingly and design flexible areas for widgets within the theme. You should pay attention to the hierarchy to ensure that the order in how content appears is suitable for how you intend to present things.
Due to the fact that many ad serving systems are not yet delivering ad content that’s optimized for mobile devices, advertising and responsive designs can often be difficult to put together effectively. Because ads are a crucial factor of a revenue-generating website or blog, it’s important to understand that they can cause formatting issues. If you plan to display ads, you’ll need to devise a strategy which allows you to turn ads on and off at different sizes or display different ads for mobile users.
Do you have any tips for finding the best responsive theme? Let us know in the comments.