WHY DO YOU NEED A RESPONSIVE WORDPRESS SITE?. If you are launching a new website, the question does not arise. Will my visitors access my site using mobile devices and desktop screens? What should I do to make my site accessible to smartphones  ? 

This question is even more important when you know that 61% of users are likely to return to your site.

In order to understand how to better support these mobile users, we will explain how to make your WordPress site responsive and accessible to smartphones.

Approach to mobile display

As the issue of usability of mobile devices became more important in the late 2000s, marketers had to choose between several options when creating sites to adapt to Smartphones.

The first option was to create a complete site built with bMobilized or DudaMobile. The sites were hosted on subdomains such as http://m.yourdomain.com. The mobile sites looked totally different from the original and presented only certain services.

However, there were two drawbacks to this approach that have been questioned in recent years. The first is the fact that, as the use of our smartphones grows, users have no longer wanted to see reduced versions of a website on a mobile device. Indeed, they want to be able to consult the same content without having to switch from the mobile version to the desktop version.

The second problem is the negative impact that can have on the SEO of your website . Standalone mobile sites must be properly mapped to desktop versions by using the rel (conanical or alternate) tag. If you make a mistake while mapping your site, you might see a negative impact on your search engine ranking because of an indexing and duplicate content issue.

Why create a responsive website?

The approach suggests that the design and development must respond to the user’s behavior and environment according to the size of the screen, the platform and the orientation. The practice is a mix of grids and flexible image layouts and intelligent use of CSS media queries . When the user moves from his laptop to the iPad, the website should automatically change the resolution and size of the images relative to the size of the user’s screen.

Imagine that you are browsing a website on your desktop. If the site uses a responsive website design and you try to access it on your mobile device, you will see that the same content and design elements are still displayed. They have just been reconfigured based on the size of your device’s screen, as detected by your website’s code.

According to Google,  responsive website design offers a number of different benefits  that are:

  • Helps Google’s algorithms accurately assign indexing properties to the page.
  • Requires less engineering time to manage multiple pages for the same content.
  • Reduces the possibility of  common errors   that affect mobile sites.
  • Does not require redirection for users to have an optimized view.
  • Saves resources when Googlebot crawls your site.

By observing this list, you will see benefits for both the user and the performance of your website.

WordPress and Responsive Design

Despite the complex code requirements that allow a website to seamlessly move from the desktop screen to the screen of your smartphone, implementing a responsive design on your WordPress site is quite easy.

You have several choices:

  • You can turn a static WordPress design into a responsive design with a little bit of coding
  • It is possible to use a plugin to make the same transformation
  • You can choose a responsive theme right from the beginning of creating your site.

Let’s start with the last option from the list above because it is the simplest option to launch a responsive website on the WordPress platform.

Choose a Responsive theme

responsive theme on WordPress is coded to adapt to screen changes between desktop and your smartphone.

When you search for a theme for  your new WordPress site  , look for those that are tagged as reagents:

Responsive designs have become very popular. Most of the themes you will see claim to be responsive. However, do not rely on that. Read the criteria of the theme if they are available. Read also the comments left by the users. This will allow you to know if the theme is working properly and if it has the ability to function responsively.

Once you have chosen and installed the “responsive” theme, test it on as many devices as possible. You can check a test service such as UserTesting to make sure it works properly.

Use a responsive plugin

Suppose you installed your site a few years ago and it is not yet responsive. As mentioned above, you can change the source code of your site to make it responsive or install a plugin. The use of a specific plugin will be easier to implement.

Take the Sinking Dropdowns WordPress plugin . The plugin installation will adjust the display of your main navigation bar from a desktop drop-down list

Transform a static WordPress site into a responsive site

If you’re a developer, you can of course, code your own WordPress theme with your own specifications.

Before modifying your Responsive WordPress site , do not forget to make a backup of it. It is even advisable to make several backups during the changes. This makes it possible not to start coding again from the beginning in the event of a problem.

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