You may not know exactly what a responsive site is, but if you browse the internet on a phone or tablet then you will know one when you see it. There are more than just aesthetic reasons to have a responsive website, which will be covered in this article, and in 2015 you simply can’t afford not to have a WordPress theme that responds to the demands of your viewers and the changing technology they use to access your site.
What is a Responsive Theme?
Basically, having a responsive theme on your WordPress site allows it to change the appearance of each page based on the viewing device of each individual user. Some people will visit you from their smartphone, or a tablet device, or a large desktop monitor at home; you don’t want to serve up the same size content for all of those people, and a responsive theme will do it all automatically for you.
For example, some people browse pages on a 32” TV or even bigger which means there is a huge amount of space, particularly in width, for your website to take advantage of; some people will browse your site on their phone in portrait mode giving you very little space to work with. You can test how your site looks on various popular devices on many emulator sites. A responsive theme will resize and move elements of your site automatically to make it look good on whichever device the visitor uses.
Why Do You Need It?
The short answer is because it just looks better, and because people have now come to expect it. If your site is not responsive it will probably look ugly on a lot of newer devices, so a large chunk of your viewers will turn away to your competitors. If people think your site looks old fashioned or ugly it says a lot about your business and how much pride you take in your online presence, and you can’t afford to lose customers based on a bad first impression.
Google Loves Responsive Websites
You want Google to love your website, don’t you? Not just for that warm fuzzy feeling you get inside, but for the extra visitors they will send your way, and you don’t even have to pay them. If having an ugly website wasn’t bad enough, perhaps the love of the almighty Google will be enough to change your mind.
In the last few months this behemoth of a search engine has announced a responsive mobile algorithm which favors responsive websites, due to the increase in popularity of mobile devices. What does this mean for your old style website? Basically it means that mobile users searching for what you provide may not even see you in the listings, and instead see your competitors.
The dangers of having an outdated website have never been more real than they are today, with black and white differences in how you will operate and be seen online. If people can’t see you because Google doesn’t even show them that you exist, then you have lost them as a potential customer. The good news is that it’s easy to fix and really not that expensive.