One of WordPress.org‘s most popular themes was officially brought to WordPress.com users on Thursday, as Automattic representative Michael Cain posted that the Responsive WordPress Theme will now be available to websites that use the premium hosting service.
According to Cain’s blog announcement, “Responsive is clean, feature-rich, and you guessed it… completely responsive! With a Home page template that allows you to concentrate on specific content in a more traditional website layout, all while looking great across any device, this theme is well-suited to anyone hoping to start their website on WordPress.com.”
Designed by Emil Uzelac, Responsive is designed to make it easy for mobile device and tablet computer users to browse your website without having to go through an unnecessary amount of horizontal thumb-scrolling and pinching. Those who navigate via their iPhone, Blackberry, Android, iPad and iPod Touch will be greeted with a customized view that re-arranges content for a more practical front-end viewing experience. Visitors who use large desktop monitors will not notice any difference from the traditional layout unless they manually change the parameters of their window.
Customizable Theme Layout
The Responsive WordPress theme features a grid-style layout that is easy to design through custom page templates such as a full-width page, 50/50 content and sidebar split and four widget widgets (along with the homepage widget areas). There is a 100% flexible header included with Responsive that can be replace your site’s title and description along with simple controls for customizing the background.
The homepage contains a featured region immediately below the navigational bar. This is used for providing a “Call-To-Action” prompt for front-end users who are visiting a business website or who would like additional information on services offered. It can also be utilized for giving readers more insight into your personal blog site.
There are default widget slots on the homepage, located below the featured area. These can be dedicated for the insertion of calendars, categories, archives, search functions, meta links, etc. to configure the widgets, you can click directly on the Appearance → Widgets tab within the WordPress Dashboard.
Custom Social Icons
Responsive can be in one or two columns, with a sidebar on either side of the main content. The theme also comes with a collection of custom social icons that can be easily hyper-linked via the Control Panel. All you need to do is input the corresponding URLs and let Responsive do the rest of the work. Your readers will be able to link to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and other account with just one click of their mouse or one tap of their mobile device.
The main column width is 605 pixels (except when using the full-width custom page template; in which case this will change to 918 pixels). The featured image within the homepage template is 440 pixels wide by 300 pixels tall, while the width parameter of each homepage widget region is 264. The sidebar is 250 pixels wide.
WordPress.com customers who would like to ask questions about the Responsive theme should post their queries in the Support Forum to ensure they are viewed and replied to as quickly as possible.
Within the first few hours of the announcement, over 50 readers had clicked on the generic “Like” button for the blog entry, while 205 shared via Twitter along with 29 Likes for Facebook. Responsive has threaded comments for displaying bother general replies and direct comments, plus the ability to publish a sticky post at the webmaster’s discretion.
Responsive is simple in design compared to many of the premium WordPress themes currently on the market, but it is an excellent starting point for beginners who wish to get their feet wet without worrying about advanced design and functionality.