Chapter 11: Device Compatibility: Responsive and Mobile Development

If you're developing themes for release to the public or for use on client sites, a solid grasp of responsive design is essential. As the use of mobile devices, and the range of available devices, continues to grow, your clients will expect you to be well versed about the latest technologies and how to get the most from them.

There is some debate among responsive developers regarding whether responsive design should be considered extra to a website build, to be charged separately, or whether it should be considered a core part of development, in the same way that progressive enhancement might be. As the mobile browser market share overtakes the market share of older browsers, I believe that responsive design is not an add-on, but just as important as, if not more important than, accounting for legacy browsers. For example, in February 2012, the number of visitors to my website using Internet Explorer (all versions combined) was less than the combined number of visitors on Safari for iPad and iPhone (see for the figures). Based on analytics such as these, it's clear that designing for mobile browsers is just as important as accommodating IE and its layout eccentricities.

These days, responsive design is becoming less about layout and media queries, and more about content—including delivering smaller files to mobile devices to improve ...

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