Responsive Mobile Themes For WordPress
The Web is Now Truly Mobile
Web content is increasingly being accessed by mobile browsers from smartphones like iPhone or Android.
It is always preferable to have a single responsive website delivered from the same set of URL’s rather than a non-responsive website plus a mobile version delivered from a subdomain. This is Google’s recommended configuration.
I therefore offer design and build of a single WordPress website which is responsive on all devices.
Google is Beginning to Adopt ‘Mobile-First’ Search Indexing
The video below explains the changes that Google is making in the way it ranks websites in the Google Search results. Google will now primarily use the content of the mobile version of websites in order to rank their pages.
Key Learning Points From The Video
- You need a mobile equivalent of every page you want to rank in Google Search Index
- Pages must pass the Google Mobile Testing Tool
- Page Load Speed has become an increasingly important factor in the way Google ranks a website in the search results. More information about this can be found in my SEO & Performance page.
- It is always preferable to have a single responsive website delivered from the same set of URL’s rather than a non-responsive website plus a mobile version delivered from a subdomain. This is Google’s recommended configuration.
Choosing a Responsive WordPress Theme
There are now many free WordPress themes that deliver a single responsive website and they can be found in the WordPress Theme Library.
Choosing a Free Theme From The WordPress Theme Library
This is a good starting point as themes are closely scrutinised before being accepted into the Theme Library. The themes must adhere to specific guidelines.
When you select a specific theme you are also given further information:
- the number of times the theme has been downloaded
- star rating reviews
- whether there is any theme documentation.
- an indication of the level of tech support for the theme.
- basic characteristics of the theme (what it’s used for, whether it is responsive etc)
All of these factors are important to take into consideration when choosing a free theme.
Choosing a Premium WordPress Theme
You may want to choose a premium WordPress Theme because:
- you like the design
- the theme offers some specific kind of in-built functionality. It may be specifically designed for your industry sector, or trade.
Please be aware that you don’t have the same kind of ‘safeguards’ that are present when choosing from the WordPress Theme Library but in any case, the same applies-do your research!
Dedicated Theme vs Basic Theme + Plugin
There are many different possible ‘routes’ to getting the website that you want. Imagine for example, a scenario in which you wish to build a real estate website, listing properties for rent or for sale.
There are many free and premium WordPress Themes that have all the functionality required for delivering a real estate website with listings. The advantage is
- it’s an all in one solution
- design and content work seamlessly together-you should get a professional-looking website ‘out of the box’.
The possible disadvantage is that you are effectively ‘putting all your eggs into one basket’-if the theme fails for any reason or is no longer supported then you may effectively have to start again from scratch.
Basic Theme + Plugin
You could opt for a basic WordPress Theme and then use a Real Estate plugin to provide you with the functionality to add and display property listings on the site.
The advantages are:
- you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket since you have more or less separated the design framework from the functionality.
- the plugin itself may have many more features in terms of functionality than that of the dedicated Theme.
Possible disadvantages are that the website content generated from the plugin may look different to the rest of the website. Generally speaking, the output of plugins tend to ‘inherit’ the styling of the main website but this is not always the case. This may impact on the overall design of the site.
As I have shown, choosing the WordPress theme that is right for your project is not an easy or straightforward process-do your homework!