Task 13: Test mobile devices and responsive Themes

Much of the world’s computing is moving to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. These days it is good strategy to design your site with a “mobile first” mentality. If a Theme doesn’t look good on mobile devices, or does not provide an alternate mobile interface, get rid of it right away! Sites that only look good on large computer screens are going the way of the Conistoga wagon!

When evaluating Themes, look for a feature called “responsive” or “adaptive” ability. Responsive Themes have the ability to change how they look depending on the device they are being displayed on. Some WordPress hosting plans, including those offered by WordPress.com, offer an additional mobile option in which the hosting company will provide a default mobile interface to users if that has been selected by you in your settings. If you are using a hosting plan like that, you can test the actual responsive ability of the Theme you are using by turning off the default mobile theme provided by the hosting company. When you turn off that default method, the actual responsive ability of the Theme itself will kick in, allowing you to test it directly.

Ability to adapt to mobile devices is strongly related to a Theme’s ability to use fluid-width settings well. Even if your Theme does not specifically classify itself as a “responsive” theme, it may still work well on mobile devices if it has a fluid-width design.

To complete this task…

As you evaluate Themes, be sure to test how they perform on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. If you don’t have any mobile devices, ask some of your friends or others in your learning cohort to show you how your site looks when viewed on their mobile gadgets.

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