Evaluate Your Website’s Performance on Mobile Devices

Sorry to point out the obvious, but a logical place to start, when evaluating your website’s usability on mobile devices, is to pull out your phone and look at it. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and by chance a non-responsive, non-mobile site will actually be somewhat usable on a phone. Oddly enough these tend to be old-school sites with all the navigation on the left. Check out http://yakyudori.hinotez.com. You can’t see the nice pictures of the food without manipulating the screen, but you can see the navigation, address, business hours and even the quaint non-interactive map. It even looks kind of cool in a 1998 kind of way.

Another example is http://www.spicyhousesandiego.com. In this case, on a phone, you can’t see the whole navigation menu but you can see the address and read thru their enticing food menu without much effort. On the other hand http://www.koonthaikitchen.com looks terrible and is extremely frustrating to use. Which is a shame because it’s a great restaurant.

If you want to conveniently see how your website looks on a variety of screen sizes, Read more

Websites: Responsive vs. Adaptive vs. Switchy vs. Mobile Site vs. Mobile Version vs. Mobile First

This is an article for anyone thinking about having a new Responsive Website made, or having an existing website converted to a Responsive Design. Its a quick rundown to take the mystery out of terms you might hear when talking to a potential designer for your project.

So you want a website that looks right and gives the visitor a good experience on any device. Here are some choices:

Responsive Design: These websites figure out what device the visitor is using by issuing “media queries”. Once the website figures out if it’s a phone, a tablet, a desktop or whatever, the website automatically resizes elements and moves them around to optimize readability, menu function, and general user experience. Technically, responsive websites are built on a “fluid grid”, so you might hear that term. There is no particular reason why you need to know what it means. If you really care, fluid grid design assigns space to elements in terms of a percentage of the viewable area.

Responsive Design is generally the best choice in web design for a small business. Read more

Why I use WordPress for Responsive Website Design

I use WordPress because it let’s me provide my clients great value. For a small fraction of what it would have cost a few years ago, I can design and build a website that works nearly perfectly at all screen sizes and looks great. For a reasonable fee, my client gets a site that meets their needs today and has the flexibility to adapt to nearly any new requirement in the future.

WordPress began life as a Blogging platform, and has grown on that foundation. Because of that anyone who is technical enough to publish a blog post can easily learn to update many parts of their site (nearly all the text and media for example) on their own. So not only does WordPress save my clients a ton of money initially, those savings continue into the future.

There are several reasons that WordPress works so well for me and my clients.

1. WordPress websites are built on “themes”. Good themes are – in very general terms – beautiful, functional, 80% completed websites. That 80% head start quite literally allows me to create finished websites for 20% of the cost of the same website built from scratch. There are themes and themes, but the premium WordPress themes that I use are created by some of the most talented programmers and designers Read more