Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices, from an over-sized desktop computer monitor, a laptop, a 10-inch tablet, a 7-inch tablet, or a 4-inch smartphone screen.
A responsive website changes its appearance and layout based on the size of the screen the website is displayed on.
Responsive sites can be designed to
- make the text on the page larger and easier to read on smaller screens
- make the buttons on a phone’s screen easier to press
- hide or present entirely different information
- change the graphics and colors, or
- reduce the site to emphasize just its most important piece.
Responsive Web design has become one of the hottest trends in 2013. This is due in part to the growth of smartphones and other mobile devices. There were 2.1 billion mobile Web users in the world at the end of 2012. That is 29.5% of the global population. Mobile-broadband subscriptions have grown 40 percent annually over the last three years.* And, there’s no end in sight! More people are using smaller-screen devices to view Web pages.
With this in mind, WordPress created the Twenty Twelve theme, its first default theme that is fully responsive. With its lightweight, simple, stylish, and well coded foundation, as with other default themes, it’s a great way to demonstrate the built-in features of WordPress.
I always recommend that newcomers building their first WordPress website start with a default theme as a way to learn the WordPress framework. Coupled with the growing number of mobile web users, the benefits to the reader to view a responsive web design, not to mention the ease with which you can change themes (without losing your content), why not test drive the Twenty Twelve responsive theme to develop your new WordPress website? Let me know how it’s working for you…