Google search results are great, but you don’t always want to read them on the google search results page. It would be nice to able to get an RSS feed from your favourite searches, perhaps emailed to you on a daily basis or perhaps used as a feed in your website. Continue reading
Responsive WordPress Website Design – Is yours?
Google has recently started talking about mobile friendly websites and how they will (potentially) penalise websites that are not mobile friendly. This basically means – does your website view properly on mobile devices, phones, tablets, etc. This is generally termed Responsive Web Design or RWD by the trade.
If you website is not optimised for these devices, Google are talking about tailoring the traffic for these sites. This could mean that people searching on mobile phones will not see your website IF it is not mobile friendly – of course it may not mean this – but as with Google most of the time, it’s best to try to tick all their boxes if you want to rank properly in their search algorithms.
There are of course many resources to help you determine if your website is mobile friendly or not. Here’s a few:
Google Mobile Guide for WordPress. This is a great start if you are using WordPress and need to do some changes to your website.
Google Mobile Testing tool. This website will enable you to test your website with Google to see that it ticks their boxes for mobile friendly.
How fast is your website. Google is starting to look into the overall speed of websites. Rich websites tend to have a lot of information and content, the content can slow the site down. If you are using WordPress you may suffer from plugin’itus – the problem of having so many plugins that it grinds your site to a slow speed.
Using Google Chrome to Emulate Mobile Devices
If you are using Google Chrome as your browser of choice, you can use the developer tools to take a peek at your website and check that it performs well viewed from the mobile experience. Look at the device mode documentation for developer tools under Chrome to see how to use this effectively.
The Mobile emulator built into Chrome is a great debugging and viewing tool to check what your website looks like when viewed on different devices. A wonderful free tool for developers and if you are a more advanced user, use it and see what your website looks like, for example, on a iPhone 3/4. This will help you understand what needs to be done to your site to improve it.
You can also emulate geolocation and device orientation (portrait and landscape) using the google screen emulator. Handy when you are testing services that rely on location information from your phone or if you holding the device in different orientations.
Using Mobile Friendly WordPress Plugins
In case you do not want to have to change CSS and other aspects of your site, but just have a ‘mobile friendly’ version of your site, you should look at plugins and perhaps having a separate version of your website – just for mobile users.
Mobile friendly resources for WordPress
JetPack from WordPress themselves has many facilities and options for mobile friendly website creation.
WPTouch is a plugin that enables you to run two themes in one WordPress installation; one for desktop and one for mobile devices. Each can share the same content or even have different content for different devices.
If you create a separate website for mobile content you may want to use a plugin that detects that the person browsing is using a mobile device and then divert them to your mobile version of the website – this is a typical Mobile Detection plugin that does this for you using WordPress.
Examine your media queries to see if you are using the correct CSS for different break points and emulations.
Check the WordPress site for the most popular themes, and look at the responsive themes in particular – these will be the best ones as most people are using them. Of course you may want to customise them to suit your business but they are a good starting point. Also search for the key term ‘responsive’ when looking for themes.
Read the Docs
“Read the docs” is an online system that allows you to create documentation of your system, software, etc. This is a FREE system (although they would like you to contribute to the project in order to help the funding).
Read their getting started guide. This shows that you can get your documentation online within 5 minutes and available to all your users. A very clear and easy to use system, allowing you to import your documents if required.
Formatting the documentation is available in two formats: reStructuredText and Markdown. Markdown is becoming increasingly very popular as it is easy to format text – quickly and used on many systems.
There are some great features of this system:
- Github and Bitbucket integration
- Canonical URL’s
- Version control
- PDF Generation
- Alternative domains (use your own domain name with CNAME support)
Sign up! It’s free and a great, easy to use system
Read the Docs hosts documentation, making it fully searchable and easy to find. You can import your docs using any major version control system, including Mercurial, Git, Subversion, and Bazaar. We support webhooks so your docs get built when you commit code. There’s also support for versioning so you can build docs from tags and branches of your code in your repository. A full list of features is available.
via Home | Read the Docs.
If you run a WordPress website and want a quick and FREE scan to see if you have picked up any malware, pop over to sucuri.
These guys specialise in malware scanning and cleaning services for all websites. They also have some interesting articles in their blog – for example “how to create a website backup strategy” – which is a good read for anyone.
When your site is attacked, Google may notice and then your site will be effectively taken off-line until you have fixed and submitted to Google that it is fixed, they will check the site again and report back. This can all take some time – so it’s far better to have some sort of security already setup to ensure that your site is nice and secure!
Other WordPress tools to use:
Anti-Malware and Brute-Force Security by ELI. Provides a free plugin that will scan your installation for malware and identify potential threats. FREE Registration to automatically download the latest definitions and signatures.
Wordfence Security. A very popular (over 1900 5*’s at last count) plugin. You can also see ‘real time’ traffic on your website with this plugin.
Rename WP-LOGIN.php. This is a very lightweight plugin that will intercept and stop people accessing your login page (standard login page from wordpress). It’s non-destructive, which means that you can uninstall the plugin and everything will be back to how it was – lightweight as well – only 6k in size, so will have a minimal impact on your website.
Other Articles worth Reading:
Elegant Themes article about what to do after being attacked by malware.
Elegant Themes article about security with your WordPress website.
Keeping wordpress secure, from the guys at wpmudev – always a wonderful read… and http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/keeping-wordpress-secure-the-ultimate-guide/
The latest from IFTTT (If this then that)
Create IFTTT buttons on your mobile
Why not setup a button to instantly fire off an email with some information to someone or perhaps send a photo to all your social networking platforms in one click! You could potentially control your home with this system by turning on and off devices around the home when you are away – brilliant.
Do Button empowers you to create your own personalized button with just a tap. Save time and control the world around you with Recipes that connect your button to Philips Hue, Google Drive, Nest Thermostat, and hundreds of Channels you use every day.
via Do Button – IFTTT.
Typography is not merely the process of arranging font on a page. It is a living creature; it feels joy in an exclamation point, takes deep sighs at periods, grabs consciousness with each bold strike and begs for understanding in the space between every italic. It has in tricate rhythm and harmony, staccato para graphs and legato headers that blend into a melody of enlightened web de sign. Typography is an art as much as it is an essential de sign process, and it is one that is best understood by focusing on the contrast between textual elements in a given design.