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How to Create a Perfect Responsive WordPress Theme?

Responsive Wordpress
Posted by YDS on January 1, 2016 7 comments

What makes WordPress popular is the fact that it is an open-source blogging or CMS platform that is scalable and affordable to all. Many people develop their websites on this platform because it has various compatible themes, like Responsive WordPress Theme, and plugins for improved functionality.

Whether your business is small or big, you can create and use a WordPress website to reach more potential customers, boost your productivity, and thus realize increased ROI (return on investments). However, it is important for your website to run on both desktop and mobile platforms.

This ensures that your potential customers can reach you from almost any device they use to access the internet. With more users moving away from using just their PCs to access the internet, the need for responsive WordPress themes that are well-coded is on the rise.

You can develop a highly responsive wordpress theme for your business site. Although creating a mobile-friendly theme is not easy, this guide should help you come up with a perfectly responsive layout of your WP theme.

Prepare and Plan

First, you need to know the design differences between responsive web design and static WP themes. With an idea in mind, you can easily craft a practical and impeccable theme layout that can run on various device screens smoothly. Know your target market or user groups, and determine how you want your theme to be and what you want with it.

Get to understand the requirements and needs of your users so that you can add the useful aspects of that to your theme layout. With the list of your theme’s design features, you need to sketch its layout roughly. Do this for different devices with different screen sizes.

Note that your sketch layout widths are just rough representations of existing PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices available in the market. Your design should have the ability to adjust across these devices when accessed by users. You can also add different layout options, such as multiple widgets areas, header options and sidebar options, into your design.

The Sketching Tools You Need for Your Responsive WordPress Theme

A perfect sketching tool would allow you to work on your concept design fast and efficiently. Although you can sketch on a piece of paper or notebook using a pencil, your iPad can also come handy. You can use applications like the Bamboo Paper, or Paper, with your iPad to make sketches using a stylus.

You get to save so much effort and time in the later development processes by creating a good design concept. An influential theme design concept can allow you to come up with a layout that easily adjusts to the different screen sizes.

Know and Find Solutions to the Challenges that are Specific to Themes

Choose responsive layout options, navigation menus, and malleable widget areas.

Work with Reference Points

Executing your designs help you find out your theme’s feel and visual appearance. It is also during the design process that you must find the solutions to the challenges listed above. The nature of your project and whether you need a developer or not, determine your site’s design needs for further development.

You must display your site in layout versions of a smartphone, desktop, and even tablet. Don’t worry about design factors like button styles, size of font, and white space because they are determined by your users’ browsers. Note that these design factors are assessed by browsers differently.

Develop a Design for Devices Using the Touch Technology

You need to ensure that the buttons and form input fields on your Responsive WordPress Theme are of the right sizes. You can apply white space and font sizes intentionally so that users can easily navigate your site. Remember to work closely with a developer while designing and developing your theme so you can take advantage of his/her knowledge.

Theme Development Process

You can either use a blank theme or starter like Toolbox to code your responsive WordPress Theme, or do the coding from scratch. Opt for starter themes as they come with the framework you can work on, like Bootstrap WP. You can consider Twitter’s Bootstrap, or ZURB’s Foundation.

You can start with smaller layouts for smaller screens like smartphones, before you move on to design and develop layouts for PC and tablet screens.

Do Not Use Images

For your Responsive WordPress Theme, consider using icon fonts or CSS base64 to speed up your site’s performance as most responsive layouts of themes barely display images. This means that your site can load fast even on mobile devices experiencing slow connections. Moreover, devices like the Macbook Pro and iPad feature high pixel density.

Support Old Browser Media Queries

Your WP theme needs to be designed to support media queries through old browsers like Internet Explorer 7 and 8. Use Respond.js, a JavaScript solution, to design your smartphone layout for compatibility.

Test Your Responsive WordPress Theme

You need to test your theme to find out if all the features are working. Any feature that does not work must be fixed instantly. Use various testing tools for screen resolutions to determine if your theme is accessible across different devices.

You can also request your friends, family or colleagues to try accessing your theme from their different devices to find out if your project is successful or something needed adjustment.

With a Responsive WordPress Theme, your website becomes compatible with various devices, ranging from mobile to laptops and iPads. This ensures that you can reach more people in your target market.

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