In my last two articles, I discussed how to mobilize your WordPress website, and the future of mobile apps. Native apps and Web apps share a symbiotic relationship on a mobile device, and each provides the end user with a unique experience.

However, there is no question that the mobile Web is tremendously popular. In fact, according to the Adobe "Mobile Experience Survey," 81 percent of users prefer mobile sites to apps for researching prices.

I was thrilled with the positive feedback and the dialogue that ensued from my last article. However, if a scaled-down mobile website or WordPress mobile plug-in isn’t the right fit for your website or real estate blog, a responsive Web design could be the solution.

If you’re not familiar with responsive Web design, it’s a single, clean, flexible design that accommodates all devices and screen sizes.

As Joel Burslem of 1000watt Consulting points out in "Responsive Web design is the future of real estate online," there is no need for a separate mobile-only version of your site (one that’s usually hosted on a separate subdomain). There’s also no need for iPhone or Android apps.

Responsive Web design utilizes HTML and CSS media queries to deliver a platform-agnostic design. If you’re interested in learning more of the technical specifications, "Responsive Web Design" by Ethan Marcotte is a comprehensive guide.

Marcotte is a notable designer who consulted on the new Boston Globe design, which is a subscription-based website not to be mistaken with the existing site, Boston.com.

A responsive design could have meaningful value to the real estate professional. Here are just a few of the benefits:

1. Eliminates the need for creating a website for multiple platforms and screen resolutions.

2. One site with one design can be more cost-effective and easier to maintain for a real estate professional.

3. A responsive design provides consistent branding across your Web presence.

There are a few really cool and responsive WordPress themes out there. I have put a few to the test and have to admit that I prefer them to mobile plug-ins.

Here are three free responsive WordPress themes to try out:

1. Responsive Twenty Ten: Responsive Twenty Ten is a child theme of the default WordPress theme, which simply means it inherits the functionality of the main default theme. The developer states, "special touches such as flexible images, nice margins, and some mobile image rules" have been added. You can preview or download the theme here.

2. SimpleMarket: The SimpleMarket theme is a clean, lightweight, HTML5 WordPress theme. You can preview or download the theme here.

3. Yoko: Yoko is my favorite responsive WordPress theme and I am currently running it on my website now. The developer states in the theme directory, "Yoko is a modern three-column blog theme. A responsive layout optimizes the theme for mobile devices like tablet PCs and modern smartphones (the layout switches to a two- or one-column layout depending on the screen size the theme is viewed on)." You can preview or download the theme here.

Consumers expect to have a mobile experience comparable to the desktop, if not better, and responsive Web design can provide this.

Is it the future of Web design and where the real estate industry is heading? That still remains to be seen. However, I think it’s a trend that’s going to make impact in 2012.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Real estate news and analysis that gives you the inside track. Subscribe to Inman Select for 50% off.SUBSCRIBE NOW×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription