Google measuring sites’ “mobile friendliness”

As of April 21, 2015 Google is using the degree to which a web site changes form based on the device being used to display it. “Mobile search” (from a phone or similar device) will get lower ratings if it is not mobile friendly; responsive. Google has a web page that will tell you whether a site meets their new criteria or not. Of the WordPress sites I’ve worked on recently, only two passed this test on first try – one done using and another done for the NEK Collaborative for which I used the Suffusion theme for the first time. Evidently it has responsiveness baked in well enough to pass Google’s tests.

To get this site ( to pass Google’s test, I added the WPtouch Mobile Plugin. It takes a site not ready for mobile and uses a separate theme when it is displayed on a small screen. I used the default “Bauhaus” theme. Other themes are available with paid versions of WPtouch.

Free WordPress Resources

posted in: Links to Sites, Web Design, WordPress | 0

The site Free Resources to Help You Build Your Next WordPress Site has links to lots of excellent resources for those building WordPress-based sites. The site on which this appears, SixRevisions, has lots more WordPress-oriented posts as well as many other posts relevant to web site design.

Brian Krogsgard has a site that is focused primarily on issues related to WordPress. One post of particular interest is on Go-to WordPress Resources.

More WordPress

posted in: Links to Sites, Web Design, WordPress | 0

First, a survey at W3Techs of Content Management System usage – about 2/3 of sites use none. Of the others, WordPress is the leader by far, followed by Joomla, Drupal, and dozens of others.

On Kyle Jones’ Corkboard web site there’s a near hour-long video of an interview of Matt Mullenweg and Dries Buytaert (founders of WordPress and Drupal, respectively). They’re quite open about what they see as the strengths and weaknesses of the two platforms.

The Poynter Institute has posts comparing WordPress and Drupal. One titled “5 questions to ask when deciding whether to use Drupal or WordPress” discussing how two newspapers came to choose two different Content Management Systems. The comments have much additional information, and bring Joomla into the discussion. Another, titled “9 reasons to switch from Drupal to WordPress” discusses the reason the writer chose WordPress over Drupal.


Building with WordPress

posted in: Links to Sites, Web Design, WordPress | 0

I’ve run into multiple sites related to WordPress. Some of the more interesting I’ve encountered recently are:

WP Candy – an active site with WordPress developers and users chiming in. It has news, opinion, tutorials, reviews, a forum and much more.

WP Questions – ask for short-term expert help with your WordPress questions

On Smashing Apps (free and unusual online resources for designers and developers), two posts: 21 Mindblowing Free Themes and 13 Plugins to speed up your Blog.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I found an article titled SEO Basics: The Principles of Search Engine Optimization via a page on the site . I don’t quite understand what they’re selling, or its possible value to me – so for now, I’m endorsing on the site only this one article. I’m wary of the rest for the moment.

I found the article an excellent starting point – a guide through deeper material. It points to the four primary raters of web sites and their guidelines, and suggests not trying to “game the system” but to pay attention to those guidelines. For those who’ve digested that material, there are links to eight sites with deeper material on SEO.

Composite Content Platforms

posted in: Web Design | 0

I ran across yet another content management system, jahia, with both free and paid distribution. On their blog, I found some interesting articles about the future of web tools (from the point of view of large-scale sites and web applications).  One – The 4Cs: Content, Composite, Context, and Contributor – discusses four key parts of building sites and applications on the web. A follow-up article – The Rise of Composite Content Platforms – discusses ten types of services (Library Services, Identity Services, Process and Orchestration Services, Content Interoperability Services, Semantic Services, Information Access and Retrieval Services, Analytical Services, Social and Collaboration Services, Mashup Services, Rendering Services) that make up modern web applications.

Content Management Systems

posted in: Web Design | 0

In the early days of the web, sites were created using HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). Over the years web site construction added CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and various programming languages. Some companies created software specifically to manage the content of a web site. This category of software is know known as CMS – Content Management System. Initially CMSes were expensive commercial software. In the last few years, multiple free alternatives have become available. Drupal and Joomla have been two of the most popular CMSes for a few years. More recently, WordPress has joined the ranks of the most popular. I found a reference to the 2010 Open Source CMS Market Share Report, produced by water & stone.

[2012 May] A update on a “community discussion and aggregation platform” based on Drupal called VoiceBox. It doesn’t seem to have caught on. The most recent Google reference I’ve found is from Feb. 2011. VoiceBox was funded by the Knight Foundation as part of the Knight Drupal Initiative and built by FunnyMonkey.

What is the “magic” that sets some new tools afire,
while others get little use and eventually die?