What’s the big deal with ‘future-proofing’ your WordPress site? It’s just another buzzword, right? Wrong.

You have no doubt heard the term “future proof” at least once or twice as it pertains to web design. At first glance, it appears to be yet another of the many buzzwords floating around the web. In actuality, it is far more than that.

The modern web is a climate of constant evolution. Consider, for example, the fact that just five years ago, mobile just became mainstream. Grid layouts just started making their way into web design. “Appification” was a new concept, along with single-page sites.

It is surprising how much has changed, isn’t it?

And the web will continue to change, along with consumer expectations. If you are unable to keep up with these changes, you will inevitably be left behind by competitors who can. That is why ‘future proofing’ is essential – it allows you to ensure that you can easily adapt to new trends without having to make extensive and costly changes to your site.

Responsive design is an important step in this, perhaps even the most important step. By optimizing your website so visitors can comfortably view it regardless of what device they are on, you can ensure that unless something fundamental changes about the web, you will not need to make any significant changes to your site’s layout for the foreseeable future. Better yet, this is easily-accomplished on WordPress, through the use of a responsive theme, such as one of the following:

It would be a mistake, however, to believe a theme is the only thing you need. Responsive design is about more than how your site looks – it’s also about how it feels. Even if your layout is perfectly-sized for every device, your efforts will fall flat if you don’t strive to make your content mobile-friendly, as well.

“No one enjoys endlessly scrolling to get to the ‘meat’ of an article, and it’s even less comfortable on a smartphone,” reads a blog post by design agency Orange and Blue. “Smart content prioritization is the key to helping your visitors find what they are searching for quickly and easily.”

But what does that mean, exactly? A few things. In addition to reducing the size and volume of images and cutting Flash, you also need to look into breaking up the content you write into small, easily-digested paragraphs.

That doesn’t mean you need to abandon long-form content, however – on the contrary, a Pew Research Study found that long-form content actually does better than short-form content on smartphones and tablets.

The only constant on the mobile web is change. You need not fear that fact, though. By making sure your website is responsively-designed and your content is mobile-friendly, you can ensure you stand ready to adapt to whatever changes may come.

About AJ Morris

AJ Morris is the Managed WordPress Product Manager for Liquid Web, a fully managed hosting company. He has extensive experience both developing WordPress sites and speaking at WordPress events. AJ leads product and go to market strategy for Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress product line. Liquid Web’s Platform as a Service solution for WordPress hosting allows you to seamlessly host multiple sites and access top-quality 24/7 Heroic Support®.