Just in the last year or so, the term “mobile responsive” has become a topic of discussion among WordPress theme developers, and more mobile responsive WordPress themes are showing up every week. At first it was just paid themes, but it’s gone mainstream now and there are free mobile responsive themes out there that can be found with a search. So, what does it mean?
Mobile responsive as it applies to WordPress themes applies to a theme that, without plugins or other manipulation, senses the device and screen size accessing the site and automatically formats the display to fit the screen of the mobile device. It’s more than what some plugins do, as they were limited in what could be accomplished and frequently just “shrunk” up the pages and posts, creating a tiny rendition that really was not of much use. It required zooming the view to read it and use links, so navigation was slowed down significantly.
A mobile responsive WordPress theme is designed from the ground up to adapt to different device screens and not just shrink the display, but re-format it to be readable as-is and navigable with links and navigation bars displaying properly for the viewer. It’s a very different and much better experience. Is it important to you as a WordPress site owner and marketer? How about a few mobile device statistics as an answer to that question:
- There are 6.8 billion people on the planet, and 5.1 billion of them own a cell phone.
- By 2015, mobile devices are expected to surpass desktop usage of the Web.
- Mobile traffic has climbed to more than 16% of all Web traffic, and increased by 27% in 2012.
- Global mobile traffic in 2011 was 8 times greater than in 2010.
There are plenty of other stats that bear out that there is a major movement from desktop Internet use to mobile devices, whether phones or tablets. Internet marketers can’t ignore the number of page views that are happening on mobile devices, and the best way to address this with WordPress is through using a mobile responsive theme.
Many of these responsive type themes can be found for free with a search on “mobile responsive wordpress themes,” and there are also some excellent paid versions at under $100 for a lifetime license. It’s really not a choice in today’s mobile world, especially when it’s free or low cost and extends your marketing reach.