It’s no secret that responsive themes came into their own last year; dominating to the point where many premium template companies have made the responsive design a default for all new products. If you’re a developer who is serious about attracting website visitors who make daily use of small screen devices such as smart phones and tablet computers, taking “responsiveness” into consideration can mark the difference between a highly successful template and a stale item that idly stands by on the open marketplace without anyone paying much heed.
This week, responsive themes have achieved a headline in the official WordPress.com Newsletter, which has been quite active in its first full week back following the holiday season. Cheri Lucas of WritingThroughTheFog.com has published two blog posts so far for the Automattic feature site blog, with the January 8th entry dedicated to the responsive products within the WordPress.com Theme Catalog.
Featured Theme #1: Ever After
The Ever After WordPress theme has all the basic tools you’d expect from a quality download that be used to plan, organize, arrange invitations, showcase and follow through with a real-life wedding.
If you’ve followed my blog posts and template reviews here at the site, then you’re well aware that I have a soft spot for niche themes due to their ability to take the coding work completely out of the equation when it comes to setting up an amateur website. Brides and Grooms have more important things to worry about when becoming engaged, and this theme is perfect for running an operating WP site without the need to be an actual programmer.
Ever After contains a featured content slider, user-friendly top navigation bar, pages for RSVP and Guestbook, and plenty of room for all the couple’s thoughts – before and after the event. The one-column format is simple yet effective and the responsive width will be a refreshing change for those who use smart phones but don’t frequently browse the Internet.
Featured Theme #2: Sight
The Tuesday blog post by Lucas highlights a second responsive theme called Sight, which comes complete with a content slider, custom menus, sticky posts, featured images, and widgets. The main feed comes off as a news-style format but isn’t overcrowded by the sidebar, which is fully widgetized to include one-click link ability to categories, authors, sponsors, archives, recent posts, and more.
The overall casual feel of this download shouldn’t be underestimated, as it can be used to publish an unlimited amount of categorized news stories while maintaining category organization effortlessly. Best of all, Sight will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of each front-end user; resulting in a fluid layout for those who are reading your entries from their iPhone, Blackberry, Android, iPad, etc.
Social Media Sharing is a breeze when using the Sight WordPress theme, and you can even amalgamate the posting process through the Jetpack 2.1 plugin (Publicize), which makes it easier to make one post and publish it on all social media sites that you hold an account with.
The Wave Of The Future: Responsive Design
Although a number of plugins exist that will give you a customized look for small screen visitors, they are pretty much outdated due to the vast amount of responsive themes that are currently available on the marketplace; not to mention that website admins must often go through the process of actually setting parameters for these extensions.
It is therefore much more efficient to simply use a template that will automatically take care of the process for you without missing a beat. The 2012 year was truly a breakthrough for responsive design, and we can expect more of the same this year as more readers visit websites using tablets and smart phones.