Responsive, Mobile-Ready WordPress

We want to make it easy for ourselves to connect to each other, and as so many of us are now using tablets and mobile phones, connecting more often in the day, now is probably a good time to choose better, “responsive” WordPress themes.

More and more mobile

Reports indicating a tremendous expansion of tablet and mobile use are everywhere. Tablet use in the US DOUBLED over Christmas. CISCO predicts an increase to 10 billion mobile users by 2016.  Ask just about anyone in the HWR elevators and you will learn that all sorts of web work is being done on the way to school and back.

I’m also finding lots of articles on how businesses are adapting to mobile.  It’s becoming a mobile-first world describes web strategy redesign for mobile.  Amadeus is designing extensive airport services for mobile.  My notes on writing an e-book, by Jonathan Snook, offers a thoughtful account of self-publishing with an eye to mobile, and

What it looks like

Visit a mobile-ready site, such this article on my Footnotes site, drag your browser’s lower-right corner to make it smaller and you’ll see how page elements resize and, like children’s wooden toy blocks, start tumbling into new, narrower places.

More design than engineering

Engineering is a larger part of it, as HTML5PLEASE.US and Responsive Web Design discuss the technologies in some detail, but the greater advance is in design.  Gabriel White’s Multi-User Design Experience presentation explains much of what current designers take into consideration.  hello@yiibu.com’s Pragmatic Responsive Design goes into greater detail.

More generally, Mark Boulton’s  Whitespace post discusses how web design has been trending towards whiter, cleaner, more minimal designs (why minimalism is important) and Mandy Brown’s In Defense of Readers discusses how we might consider the reader’s experience.

What else we can worry about

For my Footnotes and the pages linked from there I’m mostly using the IA3 Template, which I think has been thought through beautifully, including an excellent print style sheet with automatic conversion of links to text.

The biggest problem of mobile is bandwidth, which means that even a few images can take forever to download, as is the case with my Keeping Track site — and so something I need to do something about.

Why this is important

It is just great to find a comment on a new post, and with more mobile and more frequent checking in, we have lots more chances to reply and so support each other and so making the world a happier place.

I find myself wanting to write shorter, cleaner paragraphs and with lots more sub-heads than every before.  This means more time on editing, cutting things down to a minimum.

How to do it

WordPress.com users will find a limited number of free themes on WordPress Responsive Themes, including the attractive ChâteauQuintusFresh & CleanReddle, and The Twenty Eleven Theme.  For those running their WordPress implementations, “responsive WordPress themes” will lead you to many more.

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One thought on “Responsive, Mobile-Ready WordPress

  1. Thanks for this detailed post and the many links! Blogging is becoming more and more important: in my own classes, I use blogs (thanks to you!) since a few years. I typically ask them to turn to WordPress as blogging software. Once the students have mastered the basics (after a few weeks usually), issues of “how to interact with the world”, i.e. responsiveness, quickly become interesting to them. Typically, the blogs where the students get comments, responses, suggestions, even criticism, turn out to be much better than the rest…as it happens when you get (and listen to) feedback! The issue is, as you point out, not just a technical one, but relates to style and writing as well. Thanks for sharing!

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