And the Internet Moved On…

| July 1, 2013

While I was busy not doing anything online, the Internet kept evolving. The other day I was browsing around (when I really should have been doing homework) and I discovered my sites are dinosaurs. I sort of knew they were dinosaurs, but didn’t want to take the time to bring them up to date.

They are dinosaurs not so much because of old content (although I do have a fare share of that). It’s the WordPress themes I use. My themes are not responsive. While I was asleep at the wheel, the Internet got responsive.

What is Responsive?Kindle

For old timers like me who still use laptops and communicate via telephones (not cell) and email, responsive is the Internet’s answer to mobile devices. Viewing a website with an iPad, iPod, Android, Kindle or Nook is a much different experience than viewing with a wide laptop or desktop screen. As such, the website software must respond on the fly to the various width/height dimension of the devices. In other words, it must be responsive.

If you use these devices, you know what I’m talking about. NJFM, for instance is a nightmare on a small device. You’ve got to scroll all the way over to the right or left in order to view the entire screen. Personally, I would click away and go elsewhere instead of wasting my time scrolling from side to side. Scrolling up and down is normal; side-to-side is an annoyance.

If you don’t use small devices, take a stroll over to www.responsinator.com and put NJFM’s address in the website box. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

Solution to my Non Responsive Sites

Back in 2010 I purchased a blogging template called Thesis. Thesis is a responsive WordPress theme and will resolve my lack of response issue.

I used it here for a short time on NJFM. I had mixed feelings about it. Back then I was blogging more frequently and felt the more bells and whistles on a page, the better. My blogging philosophy has changed. I’m falling into the “simple is better” school of thought.

Anyway, I dusted off my old copy of Thesis and decided to start using it on one of my smaller infrequently used blogs. Fortunately, if you buy Thesis, you’re entitled to a lifetime of updates. So I downloaded the latest version and started playing around.

Thesis is not for everyone. There are better and easier themes out there (like Genesis or Catalyst), but since I already had Thesis, I’m using it.

In the short time that I’ve been playing around, I totally ruined one blog (had to back it up, reinstall WordPress and then reinstall the theme), sent another blog to the emergency room, and finally converted another blog into an acceptably responsive state.

Biggest for Last

NJFM will be the last blog that I convert. With over 600 posts I have plenty of room to cause serious damage. Actually converting a blog with Thesis isn’t so bad. I added a few unnecessary steps, which caused problems. All in all, now that I’ve got the hang of it, it should be smooth sailing from here on out.

BTW, how responsive are your blogs?

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Category: WordPress

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (9)

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  1. Joni says:

    I wouldn’t mind using the newer, smaller devices but i am old and cannot see very well! I’m hoping to be able to buy a new laptop by the end of the month, yes, I’m sticking to laptop. Each time I get new glasses my script is stronger…I hate getting old.
    It was great to see you post as of right now I am using my daughters really old laptop and sometimes it works and most times not.
    Take care,
    Joni

    • Felicia says:

      I’m with you. The smaller devices make things more difficult for me to see. But, as far as getting old, it’s not so bad when you consider the alternative. 🙂

      I think of my dog who lost his eyesight last year. My four-eyed reading glasses vision doesn’t seem so bad.

  2. I’m about to build a couple of blogs, and I’ll certainly be using a responsive theme.
    Thesis is too expensive for me right now, so I’ll go for Elegant Themes — they have a good theme library too.
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  3. Crystal says:

    Well, crap – I guess I have a bunch of work to do, too, at least if I want my websites/blogs to work on mobile devices. My BIL has been talking about this for quite some time but I didn’t know how to check to see how bad mine really are… until now. The sites I built with Expression Web aren’t too bad but my WordPress site is pretty annoying with all the side-to-side scrolling. The absolute worst, however, are my two blogger blogs and I don’t know that there is anything I can do about them. Anyway, thanks for the heads up!

    • Felicia says:

      Your comment reminded me that I have a couple of blogger blogs. Guess I should see how responsive they are.

      • Crystal says:

        Just looked under Template and there’s a gear icon for Mobile that has lots of options. It looks like my blog is already responsive when I click on the preview but it shows totally different on The Responsinator site. I’m not going to mess around too much until I do a fresh backup on my blog. Seems like the mobile options shouldn’t mess anything up but better safe than sorry, right?
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