[theme-reviewers] Theme Tag: Responsive

Bruce Wampler weavertheme at gmail.com
Mon Feb 25 23:41:21 UTC 2013

I think this may have been discussed, but it has been a while, I believe.

There's been some discussion on this group about the term responsive.
Rather than spend effort on the existing theme named "Responsive", I think
there is something more useful for all of us:

The term "responsive" really needs to be added to the set of official theme

see: http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/tag-filter/

By now, the meaning and functionality of the term "responsive" is pretty
clear. I even think it is pretty easy for reviewers to objectively
determine if a theme is really "responsive" - one doesn't even need a real
mobile device to test if a theme is reasonably responsive - just shrink the
desktop browser. Perhaps there should be some standards, but I don't think
they need to be complicated. Perhaps as simple as:

( A simple starting point for discussion.)

A theme is responsive if it does these things:

1. REQUIRED: Scales content and images to fit the current screen size. This
means scaling, and not hiding overflow.
2. REQUIRED: The theme will provide special handling for sidebars as the
screen gets small enough. (What is the cutoff? Let the theme designer
decide - but it would not be reasonable, for example, to still see sidebars
squished on a 400px screen. And this doesn't necessarily mean stacking, but
stacking would be a good approach. Hiding the sidebars  completely is
another reasonable alternative some designers like.
3. RECOMMENDED: The theme will have a menu that works well on a phone sized
device. (Now that it has been fixed for IE8, Twenty Eleven is a nice

And I think that is about all the specifications needed to qualify for a
"responsive" tag. But, of course, that needs to be added to the theme tags
list first.

I also believe that once it is added, it will become increasingly difficult
to have a successful theme that is not responsive.

Bruce Wampler
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