On April 21, 2015, Google released yet another algorithm update, this time focusing on mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. While many websites weren’t at all bothered by the news, since the merits of responsive design have been discussed for years, still some weren’t ready.
Using a responsive WordPress theme solves that problem, since it allows the design to adapt to any screen size, creating a usable version of your website for desktops, tablets, smartphones. There are plenty of responsive themes available; a quick scan of the Themeforest WordPress repository reveals more than 2,000 responsive options.
With so many to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one to use for a project. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the awesomeness out there, but it’s a good place to start.
Enfold by Kresi
Enfold is optimized and retina ready. It comes with 18 pre-defined skins, and uses an intuitive drag-and-drop layout editor so each page can be customized to your needs, and creating templates is simple. This multi-purpose theme is a great option for business/corporate uses, e-commerce, and portfolios. You can customize it with unlimited color schemes, unlimited sidebars, advanced typography, and more.
If your website needs to be translated to multiple languages, the theme is WPML plugin ready and translation ready with mo/po files. The theme supports multiple post formats: standard, image, video, link, gallery, and quote.
Enfold also supports child themes so you can make customizations without future updates affecting them. PSD files and demo content are included to make building your website easier.
Price: $58 | Demo
Avada by Theme Fusion
Avada offers a clean, optimized, and retina-ready design. It comes with four pre-defined skins, and offers users a choice between a wide or boxed layout. Layouts are completely customizable with either the Fusion drag-and-drop builder or shortcode. This multipurpose theme is ideal for a variety of applications.
Avada is ready for translation and includes mo/po files for several languages. Right-to-left (RTL) support is built-in for languages that read that way, and the theme is also WPML and qTranslate compatible.
PSD files are demo content are included. Avada includes 11 custom widgets: Flickr, Contact Info, Twitter, Social Links, and more.
Price: $58 | Demo
Visionary by Themeple
Visionary is an optimized, highly customizable theme with 45 templates, and the option to create unlimited wide or boxed layouts. Layouts can be customized with the drag-and-drop layout builder. Video backgrounds are also an option. Demo content is included for quick and easy customization.
Like the others on this list so far, Vision is WPML plugin ready and translation ready with mo/po files. It also includes Contact Form 7, and custom widgets.
Vision does not provide source PSD files, but offers rather extensive documentation to for support.
Price: $48 | Demo
X by ThemeCo
X is an incredibly versatile theme. The theme includes “stacks” that act like child themes to create a completely different version of the website. Four stacks are included, but more will be released and can be added. There are 30 importable demos to choose from to give you a starting ground on your design, along with PSD files.
Within the theme, virtually everything is customizable from layout, to element sizing, colors, backgrounds, and more. It also features a drag-and-drop page template builder so each page can be different. It works with the “Customize” feature in WordPress to let you see changes as you make them without affecting what your audience sees.
X also includes 12 premium WordPress plugins to handle everything from videos, to email marketing, analytics, and more. A single license includes all future updates of the theme, any new stacks, any new plugins, and access to a members-only support forum. The theme is optimized, compatible with BuddyPress, and ready for the WPML plugin.
Price: $63 | Demo
BeTheme by Muffin Group
The BeTheme features more than 100 pre-made page designs to make customization easy. It includes multiple layout options, header locations, blog layouts, and more. You can make an unlimited number of sidebars for use on pages and unlimited menus. It’s possible to customize nearly every element of the theme with zero coding knowledge.
For businesses that need multiple language support, there is a built-in translator, and the theme is ready for the WPML plugin. The theme is also WooCommerce ready, and includes a license for Revolution Slider. The BeTheme can be customized with more than 200 shortcodes.
Price: $58 | Demo
uDesign by AndonDesign
This theme is highly customizable and easy for both those with little to no coding experience and developers alike. Layouts, backgrounds, colors, fonts, etc. can all be customized to your liking. Though there are no child theme layouts included, each page’s layout can be adjusted with shortcode.
This theme is ready for multiple language support, and also offers RTL support. The theme also has action hooks, so you can customize it with a child theme to prevent any customizations from breaking when the theme updates to the most recent version. Detailed documentation helps you walk through all the features of the theme. PSD files are also included to make adjusting design elements simple.
Price: $58 | Demo
No matter what style of WordPress theme you use, responsive design is the way to go. If you’re not quite ready to make the jump to a responsive theme, check out these WordPress plugins that will make your current theme mobile-friendly.
DISCLAIMER: The author is not, in any way, affiliated with any of the theme developers mentioned in this article.
Featured Image: George J. McLittle under Creative Commons
Screenshots: Taken on May 2, 2015 of ThemeForest.net