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Best tips to develop and test WordPress websites for responsive design

6 min

Not too long ago designers used to focus more on website design. But the technological revolution of bringing smartphones into the picture has made it essential for designers to focus on developing web designs but RESPONSIVE web design. 

Generally, responsive web design is considered as one that automatically adjusts to any screen size. Pretty obvious, right? But actually, it is much more than that!

Here are some qualities of responsive web design and how it differs from ordinary web design:

  • Automatic Screen Adjustment – The name says it all. It adjusts to any screen size including desktop computer, mobile phone, laptop, tablet, phablet, and other screen types.
  • Story-Telling – It is more interactive and communicative, it also targets human emotion. This type of interaction is made by altering and amending the use of colors, fonts, and pictures in the layout.
  • Navigation – For smarter and easier user experience, a responsive web design offers smooth navigation. As responsive web design is simpler in its layout and well, design.
  • Media Display – Responsive web design offers a virtually clearer interface.

Apart from these features, responsive web design also uses smarter SEO strategies, requires lesser maintenance, has faster loading speed, and is user-friendly. The purpose of explaining these features of responsive web design is to ensure that you don’t miss any feature while testing your WordPress website.

Most importantly, Google has announced that from April 2015, mobile-friendly and more relevant websites will appear in search results more often than other websites. So, here we have a few tips to develop and test the responsive design of a WordPress website to make it more functional and efficient. Take a look!

1. Use PHP

This one’s easy, especially for those who don’t know much about PHP. If you want your brand’s logo and the website’s navigation to be in alignment, just add this code to the functions.php file-

@meida only screen and (min-width: 768px)


#header {

float: left !important;

max-width: 20%;

position: absolute !important; }


max-width: 70%;

float: right !important;

top: 2.5em;

margin-bottom:53m !important; }

2. Responsive Images

At the point when building responsive web design layouts, you can make optimized images for each design. This helps greatly reduce bandwidth and scaling issues. Always remember to use JPEG, GIF and PNG-8 file formats, and avoid the PNG format at all costs, because it unnecessarily increases the file sizes of your images by at least a factor of 5.

For those of you want to make your images responsive, all you have to do is use the code mentioned below and add it to the images you want –

img {

max-width: 100%;


3. Responsive Grids

An important factor while creating responsive websites are grids, which is why you need to ensure that they have been set up properly. One of the easiest ways of doing so is to use fluid grids, because they are created specifically to allow resizing of website layouts. This helps you maintain a website that has all its elements in their proper proportions (which can easily be found out by dividing the target element by its context)


4. Using CSS And HTML

PHP is one way of aligning your logo and navigation bar on your website. Another way of achieving the same results is to use the following steps:

  • Move your navigation bar (and the logo) to the header section
  • Eliminate the width, because it will be inherited from its parent element.
  • Adjust the height, margin, width, and padding according to your liking for the nav bar.
  • Go to header height restrictions and opt for the auto setting. This will remove all restrictions. You can go ahead and add your own height as per your liking.
  • The logo can be adjusted so that it overlaps the menu, making it easily noticeable.
  • Make use of the “hide/show” features to hide your menu items and make them reappear as per your convenience.

5. Make Use Of WordPress Options

When using WordPress, there are 2 ways in which you can ensure you have a responsive website:

  • Those using WordPress are already aware of how much easier their lives are when they use plugins. This is why you should make use of WordPress plugins to make your site responsive on mobiles – they help provide your website visitors with an excellent user experience.
  • Use a theme switcher. It doesn’t matter what kind of smartphone you’re using, which OS, or even which browser -you can select a different mobile theme for each mobile browser. But keep in mind that every device has a unique theme, which means this switcher is not a viable option for those looking for consistency.

6. Make Use Of jQuery And JavaScript

To have a more responsive header on your website, try using the following pointers:

  • Eliminate the navigation element’s style attribute.
  • Use jQuery to attach a click event to your mobile menu button.
  • If the height of the navigation reaches a certain height, then simply animate it!

7. Things To Keep In Mind

Here are a few miscellaneous pointers you need to keep in mind, because if ignored, they can prove to be a major pain:

  • Avoid absolute positioning until and unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Don’t use too much text on mobile devices, else it’ll negatively affect the proportion of your mobile design because much of it will be used to accommodate extra text.
  • Code breaks can happen if your divs is extremely complicated, so keep it as simple as possible.
  • Stay away from attractive JavaScript or Flash elements because making them responsive is an unnecessary headache that you’re better off without.

8. Use Online Emulators

It is quite difficult and definitely expensive to purchase separate devices and check WordPress websites’ responsiveness on those devices. For saving money and time, we have online emulators which show how your website would look on the screen of different devices.

Here we have some online emulator sites to make testing easier for you:

9. Choose Mobile Friendly WordPress Themes

You might be using selected WordPress themes but now is the time to pick from various responsive WordPress themes. All you need to do is to install a responsive theme and make your website optimized to responsiveness and screen-friendliness.

There are countless benefits of using WordPress responsive themes.

Firstly, many of these themes are free so that you don’t have to pay extra to web developers for optimizing your website or making them responsive.

Secondly, these themes offer advanced and powerful features including short codes, full authority site management, and exclusive theme customization. The different types of themes are designed for a number of purposes including business presentation, brand presence, online shopping, and others. Choose a theme that best suits your needs.

Bear in mind that despite what their developers may claim, responsive themes are not automatically web-accessible. To ensure your site can be properly accessed by everyone, you will need to use a WordPress accessibility plugin.

What To Do Next?

  • If your website has already been developed on WordPress, give it a whole new look simply by installing a WordPress responsive template.
  • If you need to make customizations to a template, start by wireframing potential changes. This will allow you to visualize new designs without affecting your live pages.
  • Check all the features of your responsive web design as explained earlier.
  • Count the increase in your sales.

With so much to offer, WordPress has come up with major advancements and modifications, thus attracting business giants from all industries. CNN, TIMES Magazine, and General Electric are already enjoying amazing online brand presence and social media marketing benefits with WordPress.

With a responsive web design, you will not only boost your business but also improve your online presence as well as strengthen your business to customer relations. And WordPress has everything to make it easier for you! Do you use WordPress responsive templates? Share in the comments below!