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ChristineWilde Envato team says

Hey everyone,

I’m working on a new theme design. Is it worth going responsive on all future themes including Tumblr themes? Tumblr already has a mobile design for each blog, but it is very basic.

Is it a lot of work to achieve this?

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digitalimpact says

I’m in the same situation as you Christine.

Responsive seems to sell like crazy, so in terms of ROI , I’d think yes, even if work can add up for a complex layout.

As much as I’d wish for them to understand, buyers seem not to care that responsive isn’t a true mobile solution.

Personally, I’d do a double dipping and, instead of responsive, I’d also release a matching stand-alone mobile version (with jQuery Mobile, for example). I think that would be doing it right, but it won’t overcome responsive in terms of sales. Personal opinion.

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ChristineWilde Envato team says

Yeah it does seem to sell a lot. I’ve seen a lot of comments on themes saying ‘If this theme was responsive I’d buy it’. It is nice to have a mobile friendly version of a site with better navigation for such a small screen. It is more work, but hopefully it would pay off.

I’m guessing this is what web design is going to be like in 2012.

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digitalimpact says

I’ve seen a lot of comments on themes saying ‘If this theme was responsive I’d buy it’.

‘If this theme was responsive, I’d buy it. I have no idea what the heck that even means, but it’s what all the cool kids are using + I own an iPad. I have no idea that a media-rich won’t load faster because of the responsiveness, but I like how it changes the layout when you pull the corner of your browser and resize. So cool. MAKE IT RESPONSIVE !’

</endrant>

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ChristineWilde Envato team says

I personally don’t like browsing the internet on my phone as it is so small. I use my iPad or desktop and that works fine with normal websites. I think it could just be a ‘phase’. If it is worth starting to do now then I will but still unsure. It does look like it’s something you can add in at any point.

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Dream-Theme says


I’ve seen a lot of comments on themes saying ‘If this theme was responsive I’d buy it’.

‘If this theme was responsive, I’d buy it. I have no idea what the heck that even means, but it’s what all the cool kids are using + I own an iPad. I have no idea that a media-rich won’t load faster because of the responsiveness, but I like how it changes the layout when you pull the corner of your browser and resize. So cool. MAKE IT RESPONSIVE !’

</endrant>
  1. Make sure that you theme looks adequate on iPad
  2. (optional) Enlarge menu/fonts bigger
  3. State that it’s responsible
  4. ...
  5. Profit!!!

another scenario:

  1. Make another clone on Skeleton (or any other responsive framework)
  2. (optional) Add kick-ass slider
  3. State that it’s responsible and unique
  4. ...
  5. Profit!!!

:)

The sad part is that people even don’t know what “responsive” is. And authors are making clones to state “hey, I’m responsive too!”. A true hysteria…

P.S. All IMHO

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ChristineWilde Envato team says

That’s interesting Dream-Theme. I will keep that in mind for my next theme, I’ll also be having a nosey at that Skeleton theme. I think themes need to be a little responsive as some navigation can be annoying on the iPhone when it’s so small.

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Parallelus says

I’m also in a similar situation with users asking a lot about theme’s being responsive. For one thing I think it’s not a great time investment for the return (my opinion) since it can be very challenging to achieve. Also, with mobile device traffic accounting for about 7% of web traffic and to my knowledge over half of mobile users click the “Show full version” link when alternate designs are shown on mobile devices… so less thank 5% of users… it’s a resource waste for most sites.

Unless your site targets mobile users, ‘responsive’ seems like a trend to me. I can understand it being used for a very small version on phones where lots of reading is taking place but to have 5 size variations for different screens becomes very time consuming and wasteful. It can also be a major challenge for complex features that require a pixel width be specified for layout purposes of your content and I’m guessing it’s plugin hell for WP support. :)

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VisualSharing says

(...) I’m guessing it’s plugin hell for WP support. :)

I’d love to hear some feedback on author dealing with responsiveness – what are the challenges and how can they be solved.

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arrowthemes says

. Also, with mobile device traffic accounting for about 7% of web traffic and to my knowledge over half of mobile users click the “Show full version” link when alternate designs are shown on mobile devices… so less thank 5% of users… it’s a resource waste for most sites.

I guess this could be a valid point when making a decision on whether to go responsive or not. Most buyers would want responsive themes but their users would probably never use the site on a phone owing to the stats.

It makes it tough for the author if its a complex theme with certain features that you’d not want leave out. A case in point, most buyers would definitely need a pricing table in a business theme. So a buyer may go like ‘Hi, I’d want the pricing table to be re-sized to a pie chart when viewing the data on my iPhone – if you put this in I’ll buy TWICE !!’ Well you can do that with a couple of JS lines but that’s just one item. You got thousand more to go. In my research about responsive pricing tables, I realized there isn’t a bullet proof, all-round solution for pricing tables to be fully responsive. I’m trying to toy around with Chris Coyier’s roundup and see what I can make out of all the suggestions in there – each has its pros and cons BTW . Bottom line is, there are elements/plugins that would not just work out of the box with responsive design but I’m fine with that.

Personally, I started off with skeleton on my new theme only that I didn’t like the use of px over percentages. So I switched over to foundation and so far I’m impressed. Skeleton is equally good plus they got a ready wordpress version but I personally think you got to fiddle with few frameworks and find the right one for you.

Here’s my plan on going responsive:

1. Find the right responsive framework 2. Build a skeleton blueprint that you can re-use and abuse. This will reduce your development time for any theme that you want to design in future. 3. Design your theme 4. Decide whether your theme needs to be responsive or not. If responsive then {build using responsive blueprint framework} else {use the blueprint framework and disable media queries & responsive css e.g max-width for images} <- the else part will help you to upgrade your theme with ease if at any one time in future you’ll need to make it responsive. 5. Let the coding begin!

Just my thoughts – you’re free to agree or disagree :)

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