Redesigns: It’s all in the game

Everybody hates web site redesigns. Or so it seems, based on my three decades of doing them. I was involved with only one high-profile redesign that people seemed to love across the board. That was for a Hollywood trade paper, about 2002. Rave reviews. Rightly so -- it was a major upgrade -- but so were the others before that and the others after that. People hate change when it's inflicted upon their daily routine, and resent having to do the mental work to adapt to a new scheme. They'd … [Read more...]

Responding to responsive

Are you mobile responsive? Er, mobile friendly? Mobile ready, even? Google wants to make sure you know. Check out this mobile web site analyzer. Enter your domain name; view the verdict. Mobile-responsive web design has been with us for a while. No mere trend. I started building sites with the flexible-width scheme in the early summer of 2013. That code & design sea change coincided with the shift to HTML5. Mobile-responsive sites simply react to the screen size of the device being used … [Read more...]

‘Benny’ swings on WordPress 4.0

My son and I were headed into Ralph's the other day, and the sat radio had Benny Goodman doing an Afro-beat number featuring a long mad solo by Gene Krupa. We sat there in the parking lot, jaws dropped, until it was over. Hoping for a similar gobsmacking from the latest WordPress iteration, 4.0, named Benny in honor of that same bandleader. Enhancements in the text entry process (long needed), the presentation of images in the media library, preview of embeds and plugins, etc. I'm testing … [Read more...]

The missing links

Was reading about a study the other day, one whose sad and startling results I wanted to share with readers of my distracted driving web site. Problem was, the article's author didn't identify the study -- by title or sponsor or anything -- a flunking matter in any Journalism 101 class. Even worse, although the article was online, there was no link to the study. The first offense is unusual in professional publishing, but sadly the second is not. Newspapers are among the biggest offenders … [Read more...]

The title of this article is …

The title of this blog post is exactly 32 characters long. Did I bother to count them all? Nah. I used a handy web-thingy called Text Mechanic. Or I could have used Word (tools > word count). More importantly, why do I care? In this case, the headline and title tag of this post are identical. I'm looking out for the Google bot (or Bing bot), which considers the title tag the No. 1 clue to what the content is all about. That's also the headline/title displayed in the search engine result pages … [Read more...]

Photo finish: Cropping to fit

I coached a professional photographer a few years back. He needed something like 30 minutes of help before he was loading his images every which way onto his portfolio blog. Someone with limited exposure to photography, however, could struggle for months trying to grasp the dynamics of image processing and placement. Cropping, sizing, correcting, coding and uploading images can be maddening for those without experience and/or aptitude. Don't get me wrong: Anyone can learn to upload … [Read more...]

Taking a hit over web traffic

Having been a musket-carrying pioneer in the bad old days of the Internet, I got a kick out of a brouhaha that arose the other day over traffic to the Obamacare site in California. Peter Lee, the man who runs Covered California, told a celebratory gathering of Oct. 1 that his web site "had literally over 5 million hits on our web site today," a number that the media cluelessly ran with. The interpretation, it seems, was 5 million was the number of visitors to the Covered California site on … [Read more...]