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Does Your WordPress Site Look Dumb on Smartphones?

Your Website Needs to be Mobile Responsive

My sites have been responsive for years now. Surprisingly there are still websites that are WordPress sites that are not on responsive WordPress themes. Some are not as responsive as they could be. Many don’t have the ability to designate mobile-specific navigation menus.

Why is that? Many don’t realize all the variables involved in having a user-friendly mobile-responsive website. Some folks are hesitant to make a theme switch. Or, they don’t want to spend the money. I get the former but not the latter.

By not keeping up with technology and making sure your website looks good on all possible platforms, that’s called lost opportunity. Even if you don’t do e-commerce, a website that is difficult to navigate will also prevent lead generation for service offerings.

Have you looked at your site on a smartphone and tablet lately?

When your theme is not as mobile responsive as possible, it doesn’t resize based on the device viewing your website. If that is the case, it is time for a new look. Most likely, if you haven’t updated your theme in years, your theme is pretty old, and you are due for a refresh anyway.

Premium themes are mobile responsive. And offer demos so that you can see how the theme lays out on various devices. If you don’t see this type of information — find a new theme to purchase.

Discussing mobile responsiveness makes me feel like I’m in the “way-back machine.” Back in the day, in a land far, far away, web designers had to check their designs in over 10 browsers and platforms, knowing each would render the very same HTML code or scripting differently.

In some cases, it was impossible to get a website to view the same on all platforms. So we had to settle for a website to “degrade gracefully.”

I remember AOL’s browser and Internet Explorer is the biggest PIAs. Internet Explorer is still a problem child in that regard — it always has to be just a little bit different. AOL, well, lost its market share and has become irrelevant to this discussion.

Degrading Gracefully

Back then, “degrading gracefully” was what you hoped to accomplish. But, of course, you knew there was no way to really get a web site (yes, website was two words back then) to look identical in every browser or environment. But you could add a few snippets to get better results.

Fast forward two decades, and here we are again. Numerous OS’es, browsers, screen sizes. Technology now offers us the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) combined with a bit of scripting to detect the user device and serve up the site/styles that will look best.

What I love most is that the K.I.S.S. principle has come full circle. If your market views your site primarily on their non-desktop platforms, “Keep It Simple Silly” is the only way to go. Simpler layout, cleaner design, larger fonts all make the mobile experience one that encourages mobile viewing by focusing on content.

Deja vu? Once again, there is no way to guarantee your site will look the same on every possible combo if for no other reason than it is out of our control to control each individual’s user settings. (You can run a test on your website here.)

So how do we ensure our site is Mobile Responsive?

Another reason to love WordPress. There is no lack of themes that are responsive out of the gate that allows you to cater to mobile and tablet environments. It is really pretty easy to have your site look great without you having to know any programming.

There are a lot of great responsive premium themes out there. I stick with “premium” themes because I know that the developers are invested in their products. So the chances are that they won’t disappear off the face of the Earth when an update requires modification, security, or bug fixes.

Premium themes also assure you the support and resources when you need them. (With Free, most times you get what you pay for.) I also tend to gravitate to premium plugins for the same reasons.

With all the choices out there, there are a handful of themes and shops that I stick with. Primarily StudioPress and now, Kadence. (You can read why here.)

This site is now on Kadence.

Time to ReCheck and Double-check Your Theme

StudioPress began evolving their Genesis framework/child themes to be responsive a while back and has quite a few responsive themes to choose from. Unfortunately, then they slowed and were stagnant for a while.

With WordPress 5.8 coming out to start supporting Full Site Editing (FSE), they are back in the game. But StudioPress’s delay left the door open for others. I covered StudioPress, FSE, and Kadence in this post.

All quality theme shops bake-in responsiveness. But that doesn’t mean the theme will compensate for any changes you may make that will throw things out of whack. That’s why you want to make a point to check your site regularly in this regard.

If you aren’t sure which theme is best for you, be sure to read my article: Choosing the Right WordPress Premium Theme

Mobile | Responsive Plugins:

WPTouch is an option if you aren’t up for a total theme switch or have even more control than your responsive theme offers. The premium version of WPTouch gives you the ability to look great on all the top mobile platforms by offering mobile themes that you can tweak to your liking, all within your WordPress dashboard.

While WPT makes your site look great on all operating systems — one of the neato features of premium WPTouch is that it allows your iOS visitors to save your website like an app.

With each passing day, more mobile users are visiting your site. So if you are reading this article, that tells me you need to get on the shtick.

Look at your server statistics/logs to see what platforms are hitting your site — you may be surprised at the number that is not on desktops. Then go test your site here: MobileTest.me

At your service,

Judith: WordPress Consultant and Coach