Blog Be Nimble

New, Shiny and Completely Responsive

That sums up our brand new website,

This site update has been a long time coming, and in a separate post I'll talk about why it took so long. Fortunately, it's here now, and just in time!

As you may have heard, Google is implementing some ranking algorithm changes on April 21, 2015 which will take into account how "mobile friendly" your website is when displaying search results.

In other words, your site ranking may drop if your website is not mobile-friendly come April 21st. That being said, there's no need to panic just yet. :-)

You can check how "mobile friendly" Google sees your page by using this tool:

Note that this tool is different from Google's PageSpeed test, which runs a bunch of other tests as well:

The PageSpeed test is very strict, so don't be surprised if it shows you lots of errors. Even Google itself doesn't get a perfect score here!

In a later post I'll explain more about how to tackle the recommendations Google makes with its PageSpeed test, but for now I'd recommend just focusing on making sure you get that nice green "Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly." notification from the "mobile-friendly" test.

Happy Weaving!

The Next Big Thing

And this is going to be huge! I’m literally bursting to tell you about our newest theme - how completely awesome it is, how it really breaks the mold of what RapidWeaver themes are so often viewed to be, and how you can use it in so many different ways for so many different sites - seriously!

iPhone/iPod Touch/Android enabled? - check
Beautiful, exquisite design? - check
A seriously intelligent navigation system? - check
ExtraContent? - check
Custom headers? - check
Custom backgrounds? - check
Much, much, much more? - check

And some other features that are so completely amazing, you’ll wonder how one theme can do it all.

As a wise kung-fu panda once said, “There is no charge for awesomeness.”

Designing for the Mobile Web

As all web designers know, getting your site to work with the three major desktop browsers can be a real pain in the butt. Now imagine you design for the mobile web, except here there are at least 19 major browsers to support, and somehow your site is supposed to look similar on all of them.

Nigh impossible.

That's why the first commandment of mobile web design is to know your audience. What kind of devices do your visitors use? Which devices do you need to support? Once that's figured out, then you'll know exactly what limitations you're working with - screen sizes, browser types, etc.

One thing to keep in consideration - it's very unlikely that your web site is going to look perfect on all the thousands of different mobile devices on the market. Don't get frustrated though, that's why it's so important to know your target audience.

Another part of knowing your audience is why they are visiting your site to begin with. There's an excellent article on sitepoint about designing for the mobile web, and it touches on the three main groups of mobile users and how to approach designing your web site for each group.

There is a wealth of information on the web regarding this topic, and below we've included a short list of the articles and resources that were helpful on the journey we took to bring you MobileFusion.

  • XHTML Mobile Profile - A list of the standard XHTML all mobile browsers should support.
  • CSS Mobile Profile 2.0 - Ditto for the above, except for CSS. A side note, though - in our tests many devices did not support all the specifications listed here, i.e. Blackberries don't appear to support either the display: inline; or display: none; elements, etc.
  • Screen Size Trends - A good reference when you need to know what screen sizes are on the market.
  • Designing for the mobile web - The same sitepoint article we reference above.
  • Mobile web design - Another good article from the Dev.Opera site about designing mobile web sites.
  • Serving content to mobile browsers - We decided not to take this approach, but a good read on browser sniffing, etc.
  • CSS 2.1 Reference - This is a great resource, especially for those who know what they want to do with their stylesheet, but aren't sure of the syntax to use.
  • W3C Mobile Validation - A beta service that will check your page to see how mobile friendly it is.

Show more posts