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Taking device width into account

From: WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

Video: Taking device width into account

At this point, I can pretty much guess what's going to happen. You are going to take your new media queries in your new theme, upload them to your server, open the site on your phone, and notice that nothing happens. Well, that's because we haven't quite gotten to the point where our media queries interact with the phone yet. And that is because cell phones lie. That's the reality. They lie to the browser and to the web sites about what they are. A cell phone browser pretends to be a desktop browser, and unless you explicitly ask the cell phone browser, hey! How big is your screen? the web site will have no idea how big that screen is and it will assume that this is a desktop.

Taking device width into account

At this point, I can pretty much guess what's going to happen. You are going to take your new media queries in your new theme, upload them to your server, open the site on your phone, and notice that nothing happens. Well, that's because we haven't quite gotten to the point where our media queries interact with the phone yet. And that is because cell phones lie. That's the reality. They lie to the browser and to the web sites about what they are. A cell phone browser pretends to be a desktop browser, and unless you explicitly ask the cell phone browser, hey! How big is your screen? the web site will have no idea how big that screen is and it will assume that this is a desktop.

As a result, you will see the full-width content. So what we need to do is make our web site ask the device how big the screen is. Fortunately. It's very easy to do that. All we need to do is go into our theme, open the header.php file, and add one line of code. So I'll go and add it right here on top of title. I'll put in a comment to see what it is for later, and then I'll put in a new meta tag. So I'll say

So this will now track the viewport, which is basically the screen, and then the content of this meta tag will be the device width, along with some other information. So we'll say content="width=device-width". I'll close the meta tag, and what happens now is this page will ask the device hey! What's your width? And then we will set the default width to that width, which means we now know how big the screen is, so that if the screen is smaller than 720 pixels, the correct media query will kick in.

But there's one more thing we have to do. The problem with these cell phone browsers is, like I said, that they lie, and that means that we have to be extra careful about how they behave. You know how when you go to a web site, the cell phone browser has a tendency to try to zoom in on things? Well, you need to avoid that when you are using media queries because you've already accounted for the zooming in your media queries. So in addition to finding out the width of the device, we also want to tell it explicitly, do not scale my content. I know how to do it myself.

So next to width=device-width, we are going to say comma, and then we are going to say initial-scale=1.0. That just means the initial scale of zooming is going to be a one-to-one ratio. So instead of seeing the site zoom all the way out, we are just going to see the site as it is supposed to be. And then we are also going to say maximum-scale=1.0. That way the phone will never try to scale anything up and finally, we are going to say user-scalable=no. Pretty self-explanatory.

We are not letting the user use pinch and zoom to scale in and out. Now the meta tag is complete, and the cell phone can no longer lie to our web site about what it is, which means all our media queries will work. If you don't want to type this out, you can go to the code_snippets and you'll find that exact code right here. So you can just copy it from the code_ snippets file and paste it in if you want to. If you upload this new header.php file to your web server and then access your web site using your cell phone or tablet, you will see that now the media queries kick in the way they're supposed to and the site looks the way you want it to.

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This video is part of

Image for WordPress: Building Responsive Themes
WordPress: Building Responsive Themes

39 video lessons · 17196 viewers

Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Author

 
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  1. 4m 5s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 27s
    3. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 34s
  2. 8m 36s
    1. What is responsive design?
      4m 16s
    2. The different faces of WordPress on mobile
      1m 55s
    3. Exploring the finished Anaximander theme
      2m 25s
  3. 9m 38s
    1. Getting and installing the Anaximander theme
      1m 53s
    2. Configuring basic theme options
      7m 45s
  4. 23m 51s
    1. Deciding what screen sizes to design for
      4m 11s
    2. Thinking responsively: Designing for many different screen sizes
      6m 23s
    3. Visualizing content realignment for better markup
      4m 35s
    4. Designing menus
      4m 52s
    5. Adding responsive images and videos
      3m 50s
  5. 26m 8s
    1. What are media queries and how do they work?
      4m 18s
    2. Exploring CSS3, progressive enhancement, and graceful degradation
      3m 27s
    3. Understanding best practices for media queries
      3m 57s
    4. Creating a responsive frame
      5m 12s
    5. Customizing media queries with the Chrome Developer Tools
      5m 28s
    6. Taking device width into account
      3m 46s
  6. 11m 1s
    1. Resizing the site title and the description
      8m 22s
    2. Adding media queries to the header
      2m 39s
  7. 11m 22s
    1. Making the menu responsive
      3m 35s
    2. Creating a different menu design for small screens
      7m 47s
  8. 19m 22s
    1. Making a responsive single-post layout
      6m 11s
    2. Making images responsive
      4m 37s
    3. Making videos responsive by including FitVids
      8m 34s
  9. 7m 45s
    1. Making the sidebar responsive
      5m 10s
    2. Hiding sidebars on mobile
      2m 35s
  10. 7m 28s
    1. Dealing with footer widgets
      5m 11s
    2. Adding navigation links that return to the top of the page
      2m 17s
  11. 12m 54s
    1. Using FlexSlider to create a responsive slider
      6m 2s
    2. Creating a loop to show sticky posts in a featured slider
      6m 52s
  12. 24m 37s
    1. What is jQuery Masonry?
      3m 41s
    2. Installing jQuery Masonry
      4m 45s
    3. Configuring the index page with Masonry
      7m 0s
    4. Using CSS to finalize the Masonry layout
      6m 17s
    5. Adding media queries to the Masonry index
      2m 54s
  13. 9m 11s
    1. Exploring hidden features of the Anaximander theme
      5m 51s
    2. Where to go from here
      3m 20s

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