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Advice on responsive or mobile design please.... WordPress


Hi Guys

I built this site a while back on the Catalyst theme framework. However this particular version does not have the responsive design option.

Also the pages are highly customised and sometimes not in the way they should be. We have html in alot of the pages directly in the editor. i.e not templates.

It also has a lot of customised sidebars using several different excerpt widgets.

The site works ok, its a bit slow.

But the client now wants a mobile version or it upgraded to responsive design.

I'm really asking the question to get several opinions on what I should do. What you think the best way of going about it is.

Many thanks

Answers (6)


S├ębastien | French WordpressDesigner answers:

use rem and flex

Steve Watson comments:

Explain please Sebastian.. what's rem and flex?

Steve Watson comments:

I googled it and got car exhaust pipe company LOL :)

S├ębastien | French WordpressDesigner comments:

[[LINK href=""]]CSS3 flexible box layout model[[/LINK]]


zebra webdesigns answers:

Hello Steve .

Is this theme enabled with dynamic custom option as like we worked before.
Then It would be easy to implement.
Based on the analysis you can go for responsive instead of mobile.

If you go mobile it will affect search engine [SEO].
Based on the structure of this website. there is not lot of tables used.

I would recommend responsive design and I can help you in doing it

Have a great day Steve

Steve Watson comments:

Thanks Zebra, I am gathering information at the moment so I can go back to my client and offer suggestions. I will be in touch if i need your help.


Galia Bahat answers:

Are you basically asking if you should go responsive or do a separate mobile version?

If the website is slow already (it is), and if you do not intend to get that fixed in the near future, I'd go with a separate mobile version (use a plugin).

Mobile phones may have slower internet due to bad networks or bad reception. A device may have old or bad hardware. Yeah, they're pretty good these days but quite a few people still have 3 year old smartphones.

So I wouldn't go responsive if I were you.

And if you have clunky code maybe it's time to fix it regardless :)

Steve Watson comments:

Good points Galia... the code is a bit clunky you are right and the site is slow, thanks for your advice much appreciated.


Balanean Corneliu answers:

You can work with your css to get fixed dimension for the template in this way you can have the same interface from the desktop to the mobile. Take a look at this website from the mobile and desktop for example:

Balanean Corneliu comments:

Or the fast way for a mobile version is to install a theme with bouth types: desk and mobile

Balanean Corneliu comments:

Or install a plugin end test it to make a good mobile and friendly theme


Sabby Sam answers:

Hi Steve,

It is all depends on website customization.
If you entering directly HTML then you have to check different things.
I would advice you to use Genius framework with child theme. You can update your website as well as theme too.
There are plenty of free responsive theme. That would be easy and best way to do for long time.
Alternate option is to use plugin like mobile or theme switcher.
or simple use this code in css
/* =Responsive Structure
----------------------------------------------- */
@media (max-width: 800px) {
/* Smaller Resolution Desktops and Laptops */
@media (max-width: 650px) {
/* Smaller devices */
@media (max-width: 450px) {
/* Even Smaller devices */
@media only screen and (min-device-width: 320px) and (max-device-width: 480px) {
/* Even Smaller devices */

Use responsive wordpress theme.
Any question let me know.


Eric P. answers:

I would also advise going with a responsive theme.

My observation on themes is that "open source" (free) themes with larger installed bases (>2000 downloads >200 ratings) and mostly good ratings are the best choices.

"Premium themes" (the ones you have to pay for) are usually not as high quality code as the open source ones with good ratings and large installed bases.

If you want some assistance with setup of a new theme, let me know. There are some plugins, and some tips/tricks, which allow testing a new theme on an existing wordpress site, where developers/testers see the "new" theme, even while "normal" visitors see the older, known theme.