I get a lot of emails asking me all sorts of questions, but at least once a week (often more) a potential client will say – “Please copy the look of this website….” or “I want my website to look very similar to….”.
My answer is always “Why?”.
Of course I know the answer. It’s because they like it, or they know it’s successful. I’ve had two requests this year already for sites like Yaro Starak’s Entrepreneur’s Journey.
But “Why?” is not really my question. It’s “Why would you want to be like someone else?”.
Be different, or be better but don’t be the same as anyone else. Case in point is a competitor to Headway Themes (that I use on my site and for many clients) – Ultimatum. Below are side-by-side screenshots.
While there is nothing really wrong with what they’ve done by being similar to Headway’s layout, again I always wonder why? They’re both drag and drop themes for WordPress (though work differently), so they’re already similar to Headway in that respect, so why have a similar website? Differentiate yourself, make it look better, unique, new.
There’s a difference between being inspired by someone and trying to emulate them, and being a lesser version of them.
A “responsive” WordPress theme is one that resizes and looks good on different devices. So on your desktop computer, a tablet or smartphone.
While the awesome Headway theme that I use has had a responsive option for a while now, due to the customizations I had made it didn’t work great out of the box. So I spent some time making my site look good on different devices. The screenshots below show how the site changes for different sizes, but if you want to see it in action, simply resize your browser and it will change for you.
There are quite a few things happening here and that the screenshots don’t tell. Blocks are removed, and in the mobile version the logo is significantly decreased in size and the navigation menu is replaced with a dropdown navigation. There is a great free plugin for this called Responsive Select Menu.
This means I no longer need a mobile plugin like Wptouch and means I have complete control over the way it all looks.
I haven’t worked on many mobile versions of sites but the amount of time (and cost) it takes in some themes isn’t worth it and a plugin is your best bet. For themes like Headway, by default you can get a great responsive looking site. After customization it can take a few hours to perfect and look good, but it was definitely worth it.
Let me know if you have any questions or need help making your site mobile friendly.