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WordPress is the most popular blogging platform around thanks to its user-friendly interface and affordable themes.
And in keeping with current web trends there are a huge number of excellent responsive templates currently available.
For small businesses or amateur bloggers a responsive WordPress theme is an excellent option as it allows the site owner to offer users a mobile experience without spending loads of money.
I’ve previously rounded up 10 simple responsive WordPress themes for small businesses, and to add to that list here are 11 more that are available either for free or for a relatively small investment.
Responsive design continues to be one of the most important trends in web design, yet a new report has found that businesses are still lagging behind consumers when it comes to mobile adoption.
In the annual survey from ExactTarget, 42% of marketing professionals said they rarely or never use responsive design in emails.
However more than a fifth (24%) of businesses said that more than 50% of their email marketing is read on a mobile device.
Similarly only 41% of respondents said that they ‘always’ or ‘often’ create responsive landing pages.
We love a good example of responsive design here at Econsultancy and judging by our traffic stats so does everyone else.
Our techies are currently squirreling away behind the scenes creating our own beautiful responsive site, but until that’s ready to be revealed here is a roundup of some of the finest examples we saw during 2013.
I should point out that some of these sites may have been launched prior to 2013, however I've taken the examples from posts that we published in the past 12 months.
And for more information on this topic, check out our blog posts detailing why responsive design is so important and highlighting brands that have achieved an increase in conversions after adopting the technology.
2013 turned out to be a monumental year for ecommerce.
Twitter, Rocket Fuel and Criteo IPOed. Online sales closed at record highs, with more and more transactions taking place by consumers on smartphones and tablets.
Overstock.com committed to become one of the early adaptors of Bitcoin as a method of payment. And in an economy traditionally dominated by finance and real estate, tech has become New York City’s second largest sector, cementing its status as Silicon Alley.
So what’s new for 2014? I asked my friends in New York’s digital community to share their predictions of how the marketers’ world may be affected as it relates to global ecommerce trends, mobile’s continued prowess, and emerging acquisition strategies. Here’s what they had to say.
Responsive email is likely to be a key priority for marketers in 2014 as the consumer shift towards smartphones and tablets continues apace.
It's not uncommon for as much as 50% of marketing email to be opened on a mobile device, so brands need to take action to ensure they are providing a smooth user experience.
The alternative is that recipients have to spend ages pinching and scrolling to read the content, which will inevitably impact on click-throughs and conversions.
To find out a bit more about the process of shifting marketing emails to a responsive template, I spoke to Missguided's affiliate and email marketing manager Cath Higgs.
Pretty sounding search algorithm updates (Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin...) have plunged many digital publishers into peril as their content plummets out of search engine results pages in consequence.
The decline in visitors impacts the performance of ads, which hits revenue. Under pressure from the publisher and ad sales team, the media title’s SEO and editorial teams try to reverse engineer Google’s update and work out new tactics that will improve their search engine performance.
In the main, quality publishers producing compelling shareable editorial need not worry too much about Google algorithm updates. Google’s focus has generally been to prioritise quality content.
However, a key objective of the Hummingbird update is to accommodate the fact that more searches are being conducted, and more content is being consumed, on smartphones.
As people are beginning to use their smartphone’s voice recognition functions to actually talk to Google search apps, Google has started to respond to search terms given in natural speech, a key part of the Hummingbird update.
'Big whoop', right? No. Massive whoop, especially for the 68% of the UK’s 175 top publishers do not have a digital site that displays effectively for mobile devices.
UK based online fashion store Fallen Hero recently launched a new responsive website and has experienced a 143% rise in revenue on tablets alone.
We humble lot at Econsultancy have been trumpeting responsive design as the key way for ecommerce to capture the fast increasing mobile and tablet owning market for a while now, and many brands are reaping the rewards already.
Let’s take a deeper look at one of the newest additions to the responsive design club, and then see if the rest of the stats back up our claims.
New research shows that one-in-five (19%) multichannel sales now comes from click-and-collect, up from 13% in the same period in 2012.
The figures are taken from sales data in Q3 2013 and show the importance of offering a click-and-collect service in the run up to Christmas.
Halfords and Argos have already proven the impact that the service can have on online sales, so it’s no wonder that small retailers also want to get in on the act.
A new service called StreetHub aims to make this possible in north London by creating ‘click-and-collect network of local boutiques with the best of design and fashion’.
The consumer shift towards mobile devices means that businesses should have a strategy in place to optimise their email marketing for smaller screens.
It’s not uncommon for businesses to find that up to 50% of their email messages are opened on mobile devices, however a recent Econsultancy report found that a large number of companies do not have a mobile email strategy in place, with 32% reporting this as ‘non-existent’ and 39% saying their strategy was ‘basic’.
One option for dealing with mobile email is responsive design, which uses one set of code that renders an email differently when viewed on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.
This means that the user experience is optimised regardless of where the recipient decides to open the email.
Carter’s has the only website out of 100 major US multichannel retailers to feature responsive design.
The Search Agency’s mobile experience scorecard published this week, highlights 100 ecommerce sites and rates them according to their mobile readiness.
Although over ninety companies operate effective dedicated mobiles sites, Carter’s was the only company to achieve full marks in the site format category because it operates an entirely responsive website.
Responsive web design means that the same website can be deployed for multiple screen sizes, and is the best way for ecommerce sites to increase conversion on mobile devices.
Before reading the The Search Agency's report I didn’t know much about the retailer Carter’s; it’s a USA based manufacturer of children’s clothes, however as this is posited as a leading example of responsive design, there must be some valuable lessons to learn from it.
A quarter of marketers are yet to execute campaigns across multiple screens, with tracking apparently the main issue that’s holding people back.
New research from Undertone found that 59% of marketers and 68% of agencies say that difficulty tracking people across devices is the main barrier to implementing a multiscreen campaign.
A lack of common performance metrics is also cited as a key barrier to deployment by 59% of marketers and agencies.
Responsive design is a potential remedy to this problem, however the research suggests that knowledge of the technology is still quite limited.
We publish a huge amount of content on the Econsultancy blog so it's understandably difficult to keep track of it all.
To help out, I've compiled a list of some of the most useful mobile posts and reports that we've written this year. You'll find best practice tips, stats, reviews, useful examples and more.