WPTouch Meets a Responsive Theme

Echelon 2.3 Responsive Settings

WPTouch Meets a Responsive Theme

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 [simplepullquote]Warning: this article makes many references to a “responsive theme.”  However, the only theme I tested was Echelon.  Your responsive theme will almost certainly be different.  Try before you buy.[/simplepullquote]In an earlier article (Ten Best WordPress Plugins for 2013) I reviewed WPTouch, a WordPress plugin that converts your WordPress site to mobile.  Handy, convenient, but now there are “responsive themes” that build mobile versions by checking a few boxes in the theme setup.  In this article, WPTouch meets a responsive theme.

For years this blog has been using the Echelon theme (version 1.5) from MySiteMyWay.  On a recent visit to their site I discovered that Echelon 2.3 was available.  And, to their everlasting credit, MySiteMyWay offers free upgrades from previous versions.  So I took the offer mainly to see what a “responsive theme” would be like.  (There are a ton of other new features which I can’t begin to explore.  But I recommend MySiteMyWay for high-quality, customizable WordPress themes. Priced at $35, Echelon is a steal.)

Echelon 2.3 Options

Echelon 2.3 Options

This article reviews the responsive version of Echelon and compares it with WPTouch.

WPTouch Review

3. WP-Touch (version 1.9.42) converts your WordPress site to a mobile version on the fly.  It doesn’t do a perfect job — that would be impossible — but it’s pretty darn good.  Seems to have problems with Android devices, so be cautious.  Read the reviews, especially the one stars.  I like it but YMMV.  I only use the free version.  The reviews say that the pro version ($50) solves some of these problems.  There are small business ($129) and developer/agency ($299) versions as well.  Sure, you can create mobile versions of your site.  But if you’re a DIY blogger like me, WP-Touch is a real time-saver.

WP Touch page

WP Touch page

To see how WPtouch works, here’s what my website looks like in the desktop version:

Desktop Website

Desktop Website

And here’s what WPtouch produced (screen capture from an iPhone):

 

WPTouch iPhone Version

WPTouch iPhone Version

The Responsive Theme

Naturally you get a bit more flexibility with the responsive theme.  First,  here are the responsive options (including my selections):

Echelon 2.3 Responsive Options

Echelon 2.3 Responsive Options

The first thing I noticed is that the responsive theme is slower than WPTouch.  And it’s not particularly good-looking, slightly overflowing the sides of my iPhone.  Here are some sample screen captures:

[portfolio_slideshow include=”850,849,847,848,846″ autoplay=true click=advance navpos=bottom pagerpos=bottom]

Conclusion

WPTouch is fast, efficient, and not very flexible.  The responsive version of the Echelon theme is slow, has some issues fitting an iPhone screen, but has quite a bit of flexibility.  In a future article I’ll explore the options available for the responsive theme and see what they do to the output.

1 Comment

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