Category Archives: Web design

Building a web presence

BJW

About ten years ago, I decided that the web was not only here to stay, but that it was likely to become a dominate aspect of how we go about marketing. At the time, I could have teamed up with web developers and as I do with other production vendors such as printers and sign companies, remain focused on design and let them deal with the technical end of production.

However, in designing for those other disciplines I had hands on experience to bring to the table. I had no experience in the structural aspects of how a website was built and functioned. To make matters worse, the web world was dominated by code. I have great mechanical ability and instincts, but show me a page of code and my blood runs cold.

In transitioning from hands-on graphics to computer graphics back in the late 80’s, I was faced with similar problems. What saved me then was the advent of graphics software that provided a codeless interface allowing me to focus on design.

So I purchased a copy of Adobe Dreamweaver, web development software, and that allowed me to enter the strange universe of the internet without becoming a programmer. This was a big learning curve for me, but eventually I managed to develop stable websites that functioned smoothly and consistently, making it possible to put my focus back on design.

Because of that, I am not only able to build fairly complex sites, great for small businesses, organizations and professionals, but I am also able to work with more advanced web developers for more complex projects and provide them with design concepts they can easily work with.

 

What I have to offer…

Most small businesses do not have the budget to both create and then maintain a website, yet lack the skills necessary to maintain it themselves without corrupting the site in some way. However, sites that don’t regularly change and evolve tend to get ignored by the search engines.

To remedy this situation, I began encouraging my clients to add a free WordPress blog to their sites. The free blogs use templates that are well designed but limited in terms of customization. That said, they are easy for any business owner to make changes or add to, including both text and images and those updates are great for attracting the search engines.

What I’ve been doing is creating a website to serve as a showcase for your enterprise, since the design possibilities are not restricted by templates and integrating a blog feature into that so that it feels like part of the site. My clients are then able to make changes and regular additions to the blog portion of the site while leaving the showroom (website) intact. This provides a healthy blend of consistency and change without breaking the bank.

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The website can be an economical, single page site or it can be made up of multiple pages to help you better detail what you have to offer. Either way, a blog can be integrated with the site.

WordPress blogsites do much more than allow you to blog. They are websites in their own right with a built in blog option. You do not need to become a blogger to take advantage of these sites. They can be set up more like a multipage web site that can be closely integrated with your main single or multi-page website, the WordPress portion of which you can easily make changes to. I try to set things up so that information that is unlikely to change much appears on your website and information that is likely to change appears on your blogsite.

In fact, if you can live with the limitations imposed by the WordPress templates, your blog can be your website. This is a very economical way to go.

Conversely, there are WordPress developers out there who can, through code, design outside the limitations of the templates. I can provide them with a design concept and they can build it in WordPress in such a way that allows you to make changes and additions, making your WordPress site, your website.

Do it yourself

WordPress makes it possible to DIY and is not the only game in town. There are many other free options available for DIY blog and website building. Some are easier to use and some are technically more challenging. You may feel confident about designing within the limitations of the templates offered or unsure about how to visually put things together.

They all provide technical and design assistance if you opt into the level of service that requires a monthly fee. If you want the free service plan, but feel technically or visually challenged, I can work with you to come up with a design that works within any particular service including, of course, WordPress.

JKN

Summary of website options

Single or Multipage website

Single or multipage website with WordPress blog

WordPress blogsite only

Design a site then turn production over to WordPress or other web developer

Assistance designing for Do It Yourself web/blog builder.

 

 

 

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You’re right next door.

I work from my office in Western Mass, serving the Northampton area, but I work with clients from almost anywhere with an internet connection and a phone. That work includes web design, print communication, book design, visual identity development, business cards, interpretive lettering for book titling, signs and display, illustration – anything involving visual communication. Because of the internet and my technical background, I am able to communicate with printers, engravers, sign companies, web developers in your area to get the design onto a production path and in a way that is convenient to you.  Here are some examples of long distance work I’ve done in the past.

 

BluestemSignPhoto

Columbia, Missouri
This was perhaps one of the more difficult jobs on the production end from over a thousand miles away. After having created a visual identity for a crafts gallery, I was asked if I could design their sign utilizing an existing, odd shaped projecting sign frame left over from the 1950s. I worked closely with a local sign company and was able to design to fit the odd space exactly. Angles, curves, frame thicknesses, etc. all conspired to undermine the project, but with photos, careful measurements provided by the sign company and my familiarity with materials, we managed to get it right.

imagine

Palo Alto, California
This was the creation of a visual identity utilizing my interpretive lettering skills working with Adobe Illustrator. The project was art directed by a San Francisco design firm that hired me for the logotype development. The client was Imagine Foods, a natural foods producer famous for their Rice Dream products.

 

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Pretoria, South Africa
Wilmette, IL
This was a workbook and  cover design for the late Deborah Christesen in collaboration with  Julie Burnes Walker who together created the Oneness Model. This was a spiral bound workbook loaded with illustrations. At certain times we even managed conference calls between South Africa, Illinois and Massachusetts. Not so easy back in 2008.

 

IKKWeb1

West LaFayette, Indiana
Visual Identity,, website, blog and various print pieces such as business cards, stationery, etc. Iris Karas began this consulting practice not long after moving to indiana. Once the website was up and regular posts were being made to her blog, her business grew steadily.

 

 

BMCLig14

El Sobrante, California
This was a DVD cover design including front (right) back (left) and spine (middle). This was part of a series of DVDs produced by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen founder of the School for Body/Mind Centering. Bonnie travels the world giving workshops and overseeing the training programs she has developed for certification. The DVDs are another method of educational outreach.

 

 

 

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So, what’s your story?

I focus on designing websites primarily for individuals and small businesses and I’ve developed an approach that is fairly simple, but effective given that my clients sites are all on or near page one when the service and region are typed in a search, such as in my case where someone might search for graphic designer, Northampton Mass.
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Website home page for Visage Salon

But for me the key issue is having a place to present yourself to your community and beyond in the most complete manner possible. In other words, all of your marketing efforts, both online and traditional point to your website as the place where visitors can discover your unique story, one that expands, grows and changes as your business does. It is by far the most cost effective and convenient way to get that story across.

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Visage Salon website, featured hair products page


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Visage Salon blog post featuring product line

I recently visited a restaurant after having researched it online. The decor and the dining experience were way out of synch with what was posted online. The restaurant in the website was great and I was really looking forward to visiting. The restaurant in the flesh was a real disappointment by comparison. Perhaps if my expectations were more in line with the reality, I wouldn’t have felt so let down. Visually and technically, the site was great, but whoever created it failed to get at the essence of the business and show the reality in its best light.

Usually however, the opposite is true. An online presence is created, which is better than no presence at all, but the website falls way short of the reality. Some businesses lose perspective of what they have to offer and undersell themselves.

New signs10Prf

Visage Salon sign face for sandwich board display on street level

As a web designer, I look for the story and work closely with my clients to make sure their online presence is accurate and fully represents what their business has to offer. Because of my background in branding (visual identity), designing for print and signage, I can then create a seamless marketing approach with the website at its core.

VSGSticker

Visage Salon label for product bags

All of these things require technical knowledge and expertise that I can provide, but for me it’s all about the story and how to communicate that through words and images.

VSGBusCdSmBrb

Visage Salon customer appointment card

 

 

 

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A soft, remote control landing within the design grid

In the summer of 2014, I was approached by Pamela Donleavy a Jungian analyst from the Boston area about a complete redesign of her website. I explained my approach to web design and after a little back and forth we agreed to work together on the site.

PDHome

This is the Homepage of the main site .

The first hurdle, and a big one, was establishing rapport with someone over the phone that I had never met in person. I don’t dictate design, but rather, work closely with my client’s, trying to tease out a visual identity that they feel represents them well. Not meeting someone face to face or seeing where or how they work makes that process all the more difficult.

PDAbout2

So, I asked a lot of questions about her practice. I even emailed a whole list of questions, asking her to answer only those that triggered something in her imagination. She showed me examples of websites she most responded to and I asked her to send favorite photos she had taken or that friends had sent to her.

Analysis, being a mind to mind sort of thing, doesn’t suggest much in the way of images
without making the site look either like the History Channel (Photos of Jung etc.), a Dali exhibition (you know, Jung, dreams, etc.), or a psychedelic hallucination (mandalas), any of which might scare off potential clients. After looking and talking a lot we decided to focus on representing some of the qualities of mind that clients might hope for as an outcome to the therapy – clarity, freedom, peace and so on.

PDWho2

That’s when we started looking at photos in earnest.- lots of photos. In the meantime, I began working on a way of laying out the pages that somehow reflected those qualities just mentioned. One thing that emerged from that effort was establishing the size and proportion to be applied to all of the images.

Pamela liked the direction things were heading and by my sending her proof revisions we worked out a color scheme and finalized the elements in the layout. All while that was going on, Pam was busy writing content for the page headings we decided on.

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We then focused on narrowing down photo choices which I had presented to her in the low, wide landscape format we decided on. Sometimes that meant choosing not to use a particular photo or recropping it, etc. I did several photo shoots so we would have plenty of images to work with and gradually we narrowed things down to a single image to represent each page.

At that point I began constructing the web pages and configuring the blog. The method I use to construct pages utilizes a series of rectangular boxes arranged top to bottom and side by side and often nested inside one another. It is a very boxy, hard edged universe that I’ve made it my mission to soften up. One of the things I like most about this site is that other than the main photo, everything else fades into the background. The clarity of the images contrasts well with the softness of everything else.

PDStruct

I try, whenever possible to include a visually matching blog closely integrated into the site structure. The blog consists of Posts which appear on the main blog page and moves down that page as new posts are written, ultimately being removed from that page and archived. The blog also contains pages similar in function to most other web pages.

WordPress is a company that provides the blog structure that I use to integrate into my clients’ web pages. There are other companies that provide the same service but I’ve enjoyed working with WordPress and I am familiar with how the sites are structured. I do not build my sites using code, at least for the most part and probably never will. For those that do, WordPress blogs can be completely custom designed using code. The rest of us must rely on templates created by WordPress developers. Many of them are well designed and quite beautiful, but ultimately limited in design options for code impaired designers such as myself. That said, there is still quite a bit of flexibility in how the templates can be configured and I am able to make the blogs bear a close resemblance to the main site.

PDCnct2

I try to include a blog with the formal website for two main reasons. One is to allow the site owner to add content, words, photos, etc. to the site by posting as well as updating pages that contain information that is likely to change often. It is fairly easy to learn how to post using WordPress. What appears on the main site is the more permanent information about the business that is unlikely to change much. I prefer not to create a dependent relationship with my clients requiring a lot of site updating and maintenance on my part.

That brings us to the second reason for the blog. The internet abhors anything static. Websites that just sit there without evolving on a regular basis are unlikely to get the attention of search engines. By updating blog pages and posting regularly, your website becomes more dynamic and that gives viewers a reason to return to learn more about what it is that you do.

Pamela’s blog page is shown below. It’s much in keeping with the main site but lacks the subtlety of the main web pages. The blog pages are more functional and somewhat less formal than the main site, but make the whole of the website experience more useful to visitors.

PDPost

In spite of the distance that made it impractical for us to meet in person, Pam and I were able to arrive at a web design that represents her practice well. The internet really makes such an undertaking possible, but it’s always reassuring when the outcome is such a happy landing.

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Sharing icons: Weaving an open ended, virtual, word-of-mouth network

SMI3

When it comes to hawking your wares, stop sweating your SEOs and start building and using your social media infrastructure. Why not? It’s free and the connections you make are much higher in value than those you might get from a newspaper ad for instance. That’s because, like the garden variety word-of-mouth, however far down the chain the message is spread there is ultimately a human contact at its source who has positively interacted with you in some way. “Oh! My son-in-law’s best friend’s girlfriend’s mother, just had her toenails painted with glow in the dark polish at Nails ‘n Rails and was able to toss out all her night-lights.”

SMI2

Social media comes in all shapes and sizes, but you don’t have to sign up to any or all of them to make them work for you. I can install a plug-in in your WordPress blog that will automatically place a row of social media icons that your customers might regularly use, before or after each post and page you create. This allows them to post your article on their Facebook page, etc. – instantly, I might add. It’s that quick and easy response that puts your information in front of the connections of those who find some value in what articles you’ve posted or information you’ve provided.

One icon is in the shape of an envelope. If someone finds one of your posts valuable, they just have to click on the envelope and an email window opens that they can address to themselves or anyone. The email will contain an automatic link back to your post. That same process happens with each of the other Social Media sites. They click on the appropriate icon and the link is posted on their Facebook, Tweeted on their Twitter, Pinned on their Pinterest and so on.

SMI1

It’s all so fast and easy that visitors to your site barely have to think about it. If they have a positive response they just click. Others who are connected to them will be able to see that post on whatever social media site it appears and if they like it, they can instantly share it with their connections.

You can choose which social media icons you want displayed and in what order you want them to appear. You also have some control over how they appear on your blog site.

 

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Social Media: People is good for business


Connections1

You have access to each Friend’s information and Timeline as they do yours depending on each Friend’s settings deciding who gets to see what.

Each of the social media sites allows people to interact in unique ways. The Facebook description below is about just one such approach. Because each one serves its members in a particular way, it is not uncommon for one person to belong to several social media sites. That means more potential exposure for anyone who wants to promote what they do through social media. Your primary social media tool should be your email, since that usually involves anyone who has already used your services or will use them. Without becoming a nuisance, you can connect with these people intermittently to let them know what you are up to by sending a link to a recent blog post you made, etc. From there, you can branch out to some of the social media sites through Sharing Icons or even developing your own Business Page on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Those are great places to offer specials, etc.

Connections2

 

You are able to visit anyone’s home page. How much you will be allowed to see, is up to the owner of that home page. Often you need to become that person’s Friend in order to view their content. You can Search for Friends or browse your Friend’s Friend list. Better yet you can find out who Liked a post that you liked, or Commented on it, or Shared it.

Social media sites are pretty simple to use but very hard to wrap your head around. In Facebook, for instance, you open an account and start posting whatever you want to post, with the latest post showing up first and older posts disappearing down the page (Timeline). Then you ask someone to be their Friend as others ask you to be their Friend. Friend basically means that you both agree to let the other visit their timelines make comments, share, etc. Unless you are a complete party animal, you may want to be somewhat selective at first in how you choose Friends, especially with those you know nothing about. Designating someone as Friend doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re your friend. It’s just a FB designation for someone you feel ok about interacting with, mostly on a pretty basic level.

So let’s say that Facebook limits you to 5 Friends, which which it doesn’t. Your list of five Friends is different from each of your five Friends’ list of five Friends. Because each of your five Friends group of Friends is different from your Friend group and each others’ groups, the way you experience Facebook is different than the way your Friends are experiencing it and their experience is unique to them as well.. What a mess!

Connections3

 

Your Newsfeed is unique to you including Posts from all your Friends. However, your Friends cannot see each other’s posts since they each have their own group of Friends unique to them. The diagram on the left shows you the makeup of your unique newsfeed. On the right, Friend A sees only their unique Newsfeed which includes you since you are one of A’s friends.

Then there’s the Newsfeed, or Home. Each of your five Friends and you are regularly making FB posts. Without visiting your Friend’s FB home pages, you can see some of what they are posting by clicking on the Home button in the menu bar at the top on the right, which brings you to your Newsfeed. Like the Timeline, the most recent posts are at the top and move down the page as new posts appear at the top. Unlike the Timeline it’s not just your posts, but some of your Friends’ posts as well. Which ones appear are decided by some mysterious cyber force. Reading your timeline is somewhat akin to reading the daily newspaper except that the news is being generated by your Friends and no two newsfeeds carry the same stories. Oddly, what your Friends post about can be pretty compelling, even addictive. Addictive means captive audience which is why social media is well worth the effort to learn your way around. What you see in the newsfeed is unique to you only. Since your Friends are reading posts in their newsfeeds that their particular group of Friends are writing, they’re not seeing your Friends’ posts and your not seeing their Friends posts.

Now, to make this really exciting, no one is limited to having just five Friends and some people have into the thousands! The problem is that regardless of the numbers you remain somewhat isolated from all those Friends’ Friends. What allows you to break through those barriers is Liking, Commenting and Sharing which your friends can do with your post and you can do with theirs. Once your post is Liked or Commented on they leave a fingerprint on your post that others, outside your circle of Friends can see. If someone Shares your Post, they can decide who they want to show it to. It’s at this level of interaction that the word-of-mouth process becomes really dynamic.

Connections4

 

Liking, Commenting and Sharing breaks through the walls separating Newsfeeds.

If one of my Friend’s posts something and one of their Friends, not in my circle of Friends, comments on the post, then I can see that comment in the Newsfeed and if I choose, I can comment on the comment. I can also visit the commenter’s home page and learn something about them and perhaps invite them to be my Friend. Normally, if one of my Friends makes a post, then I can see it in my newsfeed, but my other Friends cannot see it in their newsfeeds. However, If I value my Friend’s post, I can share it and it will be seen in my Friends’ newsfeeds as well. Like and Comment also break through the isolation barriers. Like, by the way essentially means that you think a post is worthy of sharing, which often means that you really like it as well, but not necessarily so. Who you Friend and what you Like should not be taken as an accurate barometer of your personal tastes. Commenting allows you to be clearer about how you actually regard the post.

As I said, easy to do, hard to comprehend! The thing to focus on is what you post and how you interact. This is not a good venue for hard sell. You can post whatever you want, but unless it’s interesting to others, it won’t get Liked, Commented on or Shared and thus will be of little value to your business. If you are too heavy handed promoting your business you might get ‘Unfriended’ in a hurry. No one wants to see your commercials. Friends are pretty open to your accomplishments though as well as information they might find useful and in fact, your posts might have nothing to do with your business at all yet still draw people to your business. If folks become interested in you they might get curious about what you do.

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The no signature Email Signature: Step one in creating virtual word-of-mouth 

Signatures

If you haven’t already done so, I would start by creating a formal and informal email signature. The formal version generally should include your name, business name, web address and phone number along with your street address if you have any kind of office or storefront and perhaps a line or two about what your business has to offer. It’s ok for the formal signature to be reasonably inclusive since it will generally be used only at the beginning of a client relationship. The informal signature might include just your first name, phone, and web address depending on the nature of your business. These are easy to create following instructions in the help section of your email software. You might also type into Google, “How to create signatures in my (name of email software}”.

Once configured, you then have the option to sign your emails with whichever signature makes the most sense. I usually use my formal signature when I first contact a new client and once we get to know each other, switch to a shorter, less formal version. Basically though, once you’ve created these, every email you send out gives your recipient the opportunity to instantly discover more about who you are and allows them to easily pass your information on to a friend. Listed web addresses will automatically be linked to that address when the email is sent. With one click, the recipient is at your website.

I also suggest not trying to get too fancy, displaying logos, photos, animation, etc. Those can distract the recipient from your email message and also limit who can view your email without running into technical problems. Just use your basic email type with perhaps some judicious use of bold and italic.

An email signature then is just typing and not really a signature. It’s simply a short cut so you don’t have to continually retype all your vital information. When you compose an email, there is a signature tab that allows you to choose between several signature options you’ve created including displaying no signature. It’s quick and easy and an invaluable way of making your website one click away and your web address easy to share.

 

 

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Blog spam gets nasty: Flipping the switch on Comments

Spam

If you have a blog and you allow readers to comment on your posts and pages, then unfortunately, you are open to receiving spam comments. Spam is bulk messaging designed to make your life miserable and sometimes if interacted with, can lead to forms of identity theft and/or the installation of malware on your machine.

Plugins can be added to your blog that will filter out most of the spam, but without it you may find you have thousands of comments, most of which are spam. Trying to find legitimate comments among thousands is next to impossible and even dumping them is very time consuming unless you use a plug-in designed to dump bulk comments indiscriminately.

Even with spam blockers installed, some get through that use language a legitimate comment might contain. What gives this form of spam away is lack of specificity as in the example at the top of this post. These comments will praise you for your blogging style and tell you how useful your article was but without referring to anything specific. Because they are bulk comments, they have to be generic.

In many ways these are the worst, since you are forced to evaluate them and that takes time. I was so uncertain over a recent comment regarding its legitimacy, that I decided to check out the website. Big mistake!! I thought my computer had been compromised, though fortunately that turned out not to be the case.

Comments are a great way to interact with your readers, but if I could be fooled by this form of spam, then I’m sure most of my clients could. Nuisance is one thing, identity theft or a damaged hard drive is quite another. So until I discover some iron clad way to keep Comments turned on without worrying about malicious spammers, then I’m using a work-around, encouraging direct email comments instead and encouraging visitors to comment on my FaceBook business page.

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Grandmother! What big SEOs you have…

LittleRed

OK, you’re Little Red Riding Hood. Think of the basket of goodies as a basket of search engine optimizations (SEOs) that you plan to give to grandmother for her website. The wolf is not too concerned about the basket. He’s more interested in eating you alive, but will make pleasant conversation with you about the contents of your basket in order to distract you so he can pounce on you.

Unfortunately, the whole world it seems wants to help you with your SEOs, for a small fee that is. The object is to make you feel very insecure about your ranking when people do searches related to what you have to offer, citing all kinds of statistical analysis. They will refer to technical tricks guaranteed to drive traffic to your site if you will only agree to pay them so much per month.

The reality is that search engines today are designed to elude most of the ploys used to draw them to a specific site. Let’s take keywords for instance. For a while search engines did favor keywords, so people crammed keywords into their sites to the point of unreadability. Now if the search engines catch you stuffing your text content with keywords they will lower your rankings.

The good news today is that if you have a site that works well for those it serves to the point where they visit a lot and interact with it, then your site will be rewarded in the rankings. I love it! The search engines today are asking you to be creative, thoughtful, and focused on the quality of your content. It’s a challenge.

Sure, there still are some basic ways to optimize your site, but in the end it all comes down to how well you serve your potentiaL customers.

Here’s some excellent advice directly from Google:

Even though this guide’s title contains the words “search engine”, we’d like to say that you should base your optimization decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors to your site. They’re the main consumers of your content and are using search engines to find your work. Focusing too hard on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search engine optimization is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.

So beware, Little Red, when talking to strangers! They do not always have your best interests at heart. Two particular areas to be wary of are spammers and unfortunately your web host providers. If you have a blog and don’t have spam protection plug-ins installed then your comments will soon number in the thousands as the spammers discover you are there, and the majority of those are trying to get you to hire them to fix your SEOs, or worse, to get you to respond to their spam comment so they can trick you into giving up personal information. 

Even with spam protection, some spammers will send spam messages that are worded in such a way as to almost feel like legitimate comments, full of praises for your site. They are the worst since you actually have to read them to decide whether or not they are spam. You learn to recognize them by their lack of specificity, but you really have to pay attention which is a real time waster.

On the web host front, I’ve been recommending a particular web hosting company that I’ve been using for years without any major complaints, but I failed to notice in their branding that they had become a subsidiary of another company whose focus was offering website building services. 

What I had noticed however was that every time I called I was being given increasingly aggressive sales pitches for their services with SEOs being right up there. Call to renew a domain and you come under attack regarding your rankings. One of my clients bought into such tactics and was paying a substantial monthly fee that was not only not bringing significant results, but was very difficult to get out of. 

Most of my clients are focused on what they do best and are not particularly geek savvy. If you are approached about your site’s rankings, proceed with caution before buying into any solutions. Internet searches are only one way to build your customer base on the web and not necessarily the most effective method.

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‘Mobile Friendly’: The new Google bots kid on the block

GooglebotTest

 

Here is how my now ‘Mobile Friendly’ blog appears on a mobile device

Because there is a growing trend toward mobile device use, in many cases to the exclusion of PCs, Google’s search engines were recently reconfigured on the mobile side only, to favor ‘mobile friendly’ sites.

What this means is that someone doing a search from a mobile device (not PCs or tablets) may get results mostly from sites that Google deems ‘mobile friendly’. If your site does not pass the ‘mobile friendly’ test then there is a good chance your site may not rank very high in a search from a mobile device.

I use the word ‘sites’, though the Google bots are actually ranking the individual pages within the site, so it is even possible that some pages may pass the test while others fail for whatever reason.

If you have a particularly effective site (or pages), it may still rank high even though not deemed ‘mobile friendly’, so ‘mobile friendly’ is not the sole criteria, but it is a strong one, at least since April.

Any searching from a PC or tablet will be completely unaffected by this new Google bots policy.

At this point the ratio between PC and tablet users vs mobile device users is about 50/50 with mobile device use a little stronger but coming on fast, which is why these policies have been instituted. Google is trying to nudge us in that direction.

Sites that were created using code that allows for flexibility will render one way on a PC and in whatever ways necessary to fit tablets and mobile devices. However, such adaptive sites, in spite of functioning well on various devices, may still fail the ‘mobile friendly’ test.

The same is true for sites that were designed specifically for mobile devices. They, too, may work well yet still fail the test. It is up to site developers to discover why such sites or pages are failing the test and figure out a remedy.

Word Press has stepped up with it’s army of geeks to meet the Google bots challenge, at least on the latest versions of many of its templates. In my recent work developing sites, I’ve moved from the template Twenty-Ten to Twenty-Twelve (that’s what you are looking at now) which as it turns out, passes the ‘mobile friendly’ test and displays well on the mobile device. Yet another reason to include a WordPress blog within your site.

I’m working out some strategies that will provide mobile users who end up on a Word Press blog page to be able to experience all of the site content from within the mobile device friendly WordPress blog without having to jump out to the main PC oriented site.

WordPress is much better equipped to keep us up to date as we move deeper into this world of mobile communication, so for now anyway I think it’s a good solution. 

There are still gillions of people out there visiting your site from a PC, so i wouldn’t abandon your full featured site quite yet, on the other hand, using a WordPress blog to solve the ‘mobile friendly’ dilemma will help your site keep up with the latest developments.

Last week my site failed the ‘mobile friendly’ test, including the blog pages. This week I changed my blog template to the latest version of Twenty-Twelve and my pages now pass the test. The change was not difficult and I’m really happy with the way it looks. The image at the top of the page shows the test results including how the main page would appear on a mobile device. 

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