Responsive Themes

This post is part of a series designed to help developers who are just starting out understand some basics and how they relate to WordPress. This ninth post in the series is about responsive themes, including what they are and why you should consider them as a wise choice. We’ll walk you through the basics and provide a list of places that make good ones we approve of here at Pagely®. These links will not be affiliate links, they are honest recommendations compiled by our team.

So what is a responsive theme? The word responsive is commonly defined as “quick to respond or react appropriately or sympathetically”. A theme is often defined in computing as “preset package containing graphical appearance details.” So if we put the two together, we know it’s a preset package containing graphical appearance details that responds/reacts appropriately. In plain English, it’s a theme that adjusts to the size of the screen, hence the graphic above.

So why are responsive themes so important? Well, research shows that more people are using mobile and tablet devices than ever. Apple sold 4 million iPhone 6 models within the first 24 hours last week and is expecting to sell 60 million by year end, breaking all previous records. Tablets continue to rise in usage for surfing and other things. And you have to design for desktop/laptop no matter what, right? So that means responsive themes are all the rage right now, particularly for WordPress.

Responsive is more than just themes really. It’s actually an approach to web design in general. Responsive web design is defined as “approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).” It started in 2004 when a guy named Cameron Adams wrote about it, and the term was coined by Ethan Marcotte in May 2010 in article for A List Apart. It has been written about somewhat more recently by places like Mashable, Forbes, and TechCrunch.

So where can you find good quality responsive themes for WordPress? Well, here is a short list our team has compiled.


Their tagline is “Premium Themes, Plugins & eCommerce for WordPress.” They are also the makers of the very popular WooCommerce cart for WordPress.



Their tagline is “Build with ease using a CyberChimps responsive WordPress theme. Our theme options put the power into your hands. See how you can easily customize your website.”



Their tagline is “Your one-stop shop for WordPress themes, plugins and training.”



UpThemes / Church Themes

UpThemes recently acquired Church Themes which makes themes for well, churches.