Our recent SEPHP 4.9 launch saw the introduction of our fully responsive Insignia theme. This article will introduce you to concept of responsiveness and how you can go responsively mobile with SocialEngine.
First, what is a responsive theme and why should you care?
According to StatCounter, “The combined traffic from mobile and tablet devices tipped the balance at 51.2 percent, vs. 48.7 percent for desktop access” in a study last year. Many of these devices can have differing screen sizes. This can make it a challenge when visiting websites that aren’t “mobile ready.”
For example, if a user with a smartphone visits a site that doesn’t resize to fit his or her screen, they might not see important buttons, be able to sign up, log in, log out, or interact on the site. With that experience, they are far less likely to come back.
Here’s a view from a smartphone. In this view, we’ve used a standard theme and disabled the mobile plugin to show you what issues can be faced when a site is not mobile friendly:
Notice in the image that the settings menus are cut off. It should show the change password and delete account menus. This is how it looks in a responsive theme:
With a responsive theme, such as our Insignia theme, the site naturally scales down to fit the screen. This gives a seamless experience for the user and delivers content to them without hampering the view.
Ok, Responsive Themes Sound Great! What about a Mobile App Instead?
Great question! Mobile apps can be a good option if you have the spare cash to purchase the app and the yearly fees for Apple and Google. In most cases, you want to have a mobile app customized to your own site. Why? Because mobile apps need to work with every feature of the site. Since most sites have different features and settings, a custom app usually needs to be made in order to give the best experience for those using it.
Mobile apps require quite a bit of upkeep as well, which means more expense when upgrading or changing site design, logo, etc. Many find the price tag for a custom app a bit out of reach. There are third party experts that sell mobile apps and may have lower pricing for custom work. If you need a mobile app, it would be best to contact them for pricing it to suit your site.
Budget-wise Options for Mobile Devices with SocialEngine
As we showed you above, a responsive theme can be a great option as it “responds” and resizes to fit varying screens. SocialEngine also has a “mobi” plugin that further assists in delivering some items better for mobile devices. Using both of these options ensures a great experience for members of your SocialEngine community.
As such a high percent of people use mobile devices now, mainly smartphones, it makes sense to ensure your site responds well on those devices. Our Insignia responsive theme allows a great deal of flexibility to change colors and more via CSS.
If that’s not to your desire, there are third party experts with responsive themes as well. Each of the theme experts can answer any questions you may have about their themes. These are affordable options to have a more custom look with a responsive design.
We hope you’ve found this helpful! If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to ask at our community.
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