There are now more people using mobile devices than desktops. In fact, 51.12% of total web traffic now comes from mobile devices.
If you’re planning on making a new website for your business or revamping the existing website, you need to consider choosing a website design that plays well with both mobile and desktop worlds.
It’s especially important if you’re setting up a website using WordPress. This is mostly because not all WordPress themes are made equal. Different web developers follow their own coding and design techniques. This makes you more responsible for choosing a functional theme that looks great on all platforms and devices.
In this post, I’ll be sharing a few tips and tools you can use to make this process easier and to help you find a responsive theme design for your website.
Choose A Mobile-First Design
A mobile-first design is a website design that’s been crafted to serve mobile devices first. Web designers used to plan the layout and all the elements of the websites according to the dimensions of desktop devices. Since more people are now using mobile devices to browse the web, most developers are designing websites according to mobile device dimensions.
This means designing all elements of the website to offer the best experience to mobile users. This includes choosing a font and a font size that looks great on mobile screens, optimizing the images and minimizing the use of multimedia to highlight the content.
Follow the next tip to learn how to find a mobile-first website design.
Preview The Theme In Different Screen Sizes
Before buying a WordPress theme, it’s important to put it to the test to see how responsive the design really is. You don’t have to view the design in different devices to do that. There’s a built-in tool in your browser that allows you to easily test a website’s responsiveness.
First load the preview or the demo version of the theme in a new tab. Then, in Google Chrome, press Control + Shift + I to open the developer console. And then press Control + Shift + M to enable the responsive device toolbar. In Firefox, press Control + Shift + M to open the responsive design mode.
This tool will allow you to view the website design in different screen sizes of mobile devices to test the responsiveness and see how the design looks like on different smartphones and tablet screens.
You can also use the Google Mobile-friendly Test tool to see if the website passes the Google responsive test.
Test The Page Loading Speed
Earlier this year, Google announced an update stating that it’s now using the page loading speed of a website as a ranking signal. This means Google will rank websites with faster loading speeds higher in search results than other websites. Needless to say, the loading speed of the website theme you’re choosing plays an important role in the success of your website now more than ever.
Before you buy a website theme, make sure to test the loading speed. You can use the Pingdom Website Speed Test tool to get this job done. Simply copy the preview or the demo URL link of the website theme you’re going to buy and paste it in the Pingdom tool to start the test.
According to a Google research, if it takes more than three seconds for a web page to load, 53% visitors will abandon the website.
Use Touch-Friendly Navigation
When using a mobile device, people will mostly use touch gestures to navigate a website. They will tap on the screen to open links, swipe across the screen to browse images and swipe up to scroll down on the website. Does your website theme support these touch gestures?
You can test the touch gestures of a website theme using Google Chrome’s mobile device emulator. You can open it by pressing Control + Shift + I and then Control + Shift + M.
Touch gestures are automatically enabled in this window. You can use your mouse to test the gestures. Select Edit in the responsive drop-down menu to customize the touch settings for devices of your choice. Press and hold the Shift button to zoom in and out of the page.
Read the full article at: Forbes.com