Stop To Choose Your WordPress Theme in That Way!

When you setup a new blog, the first thing you do is to choose a theme. And you surf between all those wonderful screenshots to find the one which best match your needs.

This is the wrong way.

The screenshots are almost all taken from a desktop version of that theme. And yes, they are fantastic.

But your audience is using a phone to surf your site anf the first thing you should test with a theme is: “how does it performs on mobile?”. If it is less than perfect on mobile, discard it (or take in account to do some work).

Example

This screenshot is from a site where the author asked to put up a new free theme. It is a very nice and free theme that worked ut of the box (as you can see there is still no header logo and the screenshot is missing the nice article grid after the main post).

But we need to test it on mobile. We use the Chrome developer console and we get this, for an iPhone 6 viewport:

Actually it could be ok, but we’re wasting a lot of space saying “hey, we are Insegnare e Imparare”. Is it worth to consume all that area for our name? Probably not. Probably we can remove it at all.

Playing with CSS (so without creating a child theme, but only adding few rules in the custom CSS configuration provided by the theme), I removed the top title. Now we have a really different user experience: a beautiful image, the article title and the top part of the article body.

Even Google, which asks to have the relevant content “above the fold” will be more happy!

Ok, it’s better, but we still want our name there. We can reintroduce it but with a smaller font, always plaing with CSS:

Now there is room for our narcissism and content for the reader. Even the main article title could be reduced, and always just playing with CSS.

Conclusions

Always test your theme for mobile. Don’t worry about the desktop version, you’ll find a combination of layout and options to make it good. But the mobile version is harder to adjust.

There is still the habit to build theme starting from the desktop version, because this is the first version people see. But the real value of a theme is the mobile version, if it is quick to load and render, optimized to deliver the content to the reader.

My excuses for my bad english but it's the only way I have to communicate with you. Would you suggest a correction? Leave a comment, thank you!

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