Bloggers need responsive WordPress themes in 2014.
We can’t avoid it any longer.
As the internet goes mobile we are seeing larger and larger portions of traffic come from smartphones and tablets. What this means is that if you don’t have a suitable theme, your website is going to be too small (or too broken) to successfully navigate on those devices.
Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you buy a premium theme through a link on this page I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
People are getting more and more impatient with designs that don’t work on their website. If you are seeing a high bounce rate for mobile traffic it is likely because people are hitting the back button as soon as they realize that they can’t read or navigate your blog because it doesn’t have a responsive design and is too difficult to get around.
Now, not every blogger can afford to pay a designer to build something from scratch so I’ve put together the 15 best responsive WordPress themes for blogging.
Each one has to meet certain criteria:
- Clean and simple design
Blogging requires a clean and simple design with a focus on the content. If I don’t see that, I don’t even look at the themes features.
- Simple set up and customization
A lot of the bloggers that read my sites are beginners and as such I want to make sure they have a WordPress theme with a simple set up process and features that are easy to customize. Ideally we don’t want to have to hire a coder or developer again.
- Professional coding
Some of the coding that you see out there is really scary. We want to make sure the coding is professionally done and thus error free.
- Uniqueness of design
There are some responsive WordPress themes out there that you see everywhere. I want to make sure bloggers are choosing themes that are customizable in a way that allows you to make them look and feel like they are completely original designs.
- Emphasis on email subscribers
You need to grow your email subscriber list if you want to run a successful blog. If the theme doesn’t have a nice way for you to add that then forget about it.
With all that in mind let’s move on to the important part of the post.
The best responsive WordPress themes for blogging in 2014
I’d really love your feedback on these responsive themes so if you have any thoughts or if you have personally used one please leave a comment below.
Vertex is, plain and simple, one of the most beautiful WordPress themes I’ve ever featured. With an incredible full screen welcome image on the homepage, and some scrolling fade-in features to catch your eye, this really is one of the best themes to showcase your content be it visual or text-based. Bloggers will also really love the full screen image at the top of the single post page which automatically places your post title across the photo. Amazing!
You know it’s going to be a well built theme when it comes from StudioPress. And the Modern Portfolio theme is no different. Don’t be fooled by the name – this theme is as much for bloggers as it is for artists or photographers who want to showcase their work.
Beautiful Pro responsive WordPress theme is perfect for anyone who just wants to put an emphasis on written content. This theme is really plain and broken down, there is not much to distract the eye from the words and as such you will find a deeper penetration if your writing is actually compelling.
I’m not usually a fan of magazine style themes but Metro is so stylish and clean that I just had to include it. Another gem by Brian Gardner of StudioPress, this theme is perfect if you like using high quality images mixed with compelling copy. The sidebar is one of my favorite features as it displays the opt in form and social icons next to the About Me photo in a way that looks really good when shrunk down to the iPhone or iPad size.
This theme is one where I feel like Brian Gardner actually moved to a new level of awesome in terms of his responsive WordPress designs. It’s left aligned but comes with a beautiful full screen background photo and a lovely scrolling content area that just glides perfectly. Comes with the usual inbuilt landing pages and blog style set up. This is a perfect site for someone trying to build a personal brand.
I have set the Mindstream WordPress theme up for a client and found it really nice to use. Has all the shortcodes and post style options that you’d need (like image, quote, post, etc.) and it has a really cool sidebar that draws attention to the person writing the content. Again, this is a great theme for someone trying to build a personal brand because it always has your crisp photo displayed nicely next to that content.
Now you might be wondering why I’m including this default WordPress theme in this collection. It’s simple. It is really good. It is responsive, free and comes with a lot of wdigets and options that you can use to make it look different. Now, you will need a little bit of coding to make this unique to your brand but it is such a clean coding job that you will hopefully find it pretty simple. Again, this theme can be used as the basis for a lot of works and changes so it is worth taking a look if you are just starting out.
Mindful is a beautiful WordPress theme that you just have to check out. The effects on everything are beautiful and it works really well on desktop as well as mobile devices. I think this theme is perfect for bloggers that are trying to build more of an all-encompassing website that includes portfolio work or links to popular articles on the homepage. Indeed, this theme will catch readers’ eyes and then draw them deeper into the content. A very cool option.
What more is there to say about the Aegaues theme? I’ve written about it before because it literally has every possible feature that you could think of. Well worth checking out. Again, don’t go overboard with its features. Just keep it simple.
The Website responsive theme is another magazine theme that does things really well. Simple to set up and has all of the social and featured content technologies that you often find missing for some strange reason. It’s a clean layout that will work well for static sites and people who are more active with their blogs. You can set the homepage up in a variety of different ways which makes it useful for all kinds of bloggers. There is something about the blog layout and font selection that just really does it for me.
Okay now this is actually one of my all time favorite WordPress themes. It’s so simple and brave but at the same time really beautiful and elegant. If you are a serious writer who wants to be minimal like guys like Zen Habits then this theme will do you really well. Easy to add your log up the top and just show readers your latest blog posts. If I didn’t have so much going on I’d love to switch to this theme and just go back to writing.
This is a very cool responsive theme that, at desktop level, appears a lot like Google+ with its multi-column layouts. Once you shrink it down to mobile level it becomes a really cool stacked blog with a huge focus on quality images and content. This is a very fun theme for bloggers who write more in collections. Check it out.
The Serene WordPress theme is a really cool little blog with a magazine-style homepage that features a crisp slider and all the color-changing and theme settings that you could want. The thing I really like about this theme though is the sidebar. It categorizes everything really nicely which is something that always bothers me about my own sidebars. I always feel like they are unruly and cluttered. Check out Serene if you want a responsive WordPress theme that features photos and content in a no-fuss way.
Not much to say about this theme other than that it is really plain. And that is sometimes what you want when you want to get your content out there. Put a super professional photo of yourself in that top photo area and you are well on your way to building your personal brand. The simplicity of this one will appeal to lots of people.
Memoir is, yet again, a simple and clean responsive theme that just focuses on the content. No BS. No clutter. The thing I do like about this one, however, is that the menu at the top is quite flexible which means you can add a little bit of depth to your blog. It’s not just a scrolling list. This theme is absolutely perfect for people who want to get the content back onto the blogging side of things and less onto the design aspect. Make your writing speak.
Final words on responsive WordPress themes in 2014
I really do think it’s time that a lot of bloggers get their theme converted to responsive or start looking for new ones. It will help your blogging by keeping mobile readers on site and driving them deeper towards your conversions. Do you have any favorites?