If 2013 is the year that you plan to launch a new blog or makeover your existing website design, think mobile-optimized. “A responsive design website is a full-version website,” writes Lianne Vanliew, not a separate greatly-reduced site, but one that automatically detects when a visitor is using their tablet or smartphone and “adjusts to the user’s screen size, no matter the size.”
Why does it matter? We should care about delivering a great mobile-optimized website so “visitors have the best experience possible, without forcing them to adapt themselves,” to cite Josh Byers. That means “no more pinching and tapping” as users try to decipher microscopic fonts on your site and end up leaving in frustration, explains Kelton Reid.
Having a mobile ready site is quickly changing from “nice to have” to mission critical, according to a new survey from Google, involving 1,088 US adult smartphone Internet users in July 2012. Those researchers found that public expectations surrounding mobile web design are rapidly rising, with three-quarters of respondents admitting a strong preference for sites suited for smartphones, and half reporting “feeling frustrated and annoyed when they get to a site that’s not mobile-friendly” even assuming that “if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones…the company didn’t care about their business.”
Tools You Can Use
If you’re using a WordPress self-hosted blog there are many solutions and I’ve tried a few of them. Some work and some break your blog and cause much digital pain (speaking from experience–which is why my newer sites are mobile-ready and legacy sites are not…yet). The following two responsive themes by Themify.me are free and worked like a charm for me. I have tried both themes on numerous sites and liked them so much I became a pro member (and as always on this blog, these are not affiliate links). Click thumbnails to go to download pages.
Here are some other great looking free mobile responsive themes I plan to try soon.
Happy blogging for the small screen.