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A Mobile Friendly Artsnova Blog

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Google Developers Mobile Friendly Test Page
Google Developer Says I’m Mobile Friendly

Last night I held my breath and swapped out my old blog theme files and CSS with the new responsive web design replacements I had just finished coding up. Why? Well, if you follow the news of the web then you are no doubt aware of the big change Google made last month (4/21 to be exact) to its search engine ranking algorithm. The heart of that change was to penalize web sites that are not mobile-friendly – or to put a positive spin on it – to reward web sites that are mobile friendly.

It was last September that I re-coded my main web site using the responsive web design paradigm to make my web site mobile friendly. You can read about that in my post Artsnova Digital Art Gallery – Mobile Friendly At Last. And in December when I launched my Jim Plaxco Photography web site, I did it as a mobile friendly web site from the start. It’s much easier to design a mobile friendly web site from scratch than it is to convert an existing web site!

Tackling my blog was another matter entirely, particularly since I had to first edit all of my previous blog entries to ready them for use with a responsive web design layout. That took time. Plus I had to insure that the responsive design theme I came up with for my blog provided the same look and feel as my separately managed web site. This extra challenge is a consequence of having created my web site first and only later adding a blog – for which I simply used a default theme at the time. With all the other items on my agenda, I really did not want to spend time making this design change but I viewed it as a necessity given Google’s actions. Note that mobile visits to my web site for the last month accounted for 16.9 percent of my traffic.

I’m happy to say that the implementation work is now done. I only have two more tasks. First I must revisit all my posts that contain embedded videos and determine how I will handle them as they use a fixed-width definition (just 425 pixels wide so not a big deal – I just need to create a CSS class for them). Second, I need to revisit every blog post using a combination of browsers and mobile devices to make sure that nothing broke in terms of the page layout. You could say that I’m doing my testing in a "live" environment. This is not considered good practice but given my time constraints, it is a better course of action for me to pursue.

If in the course of wandering around my blog you find something amiss, please contact me so that I can put things right. Thank you.

Happy Surfing!

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My Art Blog Posting History

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Blog Post History Bar Chart
Blog Post History Bar Chart

Checking on the date of my previous blog post immediately after posting AVG Anti-Virus and Comodo Firewall To The Rescue, I was slightly shocked to see that it was my first blog post since August 18th, 2012. It seemed to me that I had posted much more frequently in the past and I became curious about my track record. Just how well does my current blog posting frequency compare with previous years?

My first step was to collect the necessary data. I logged in to my phpMyAdmin account and ran the following SQL query on my WordPress database:

SELECT `wp_posts`.`post_title` , `wp_posts`.`post_date`
FROM wp_posts

It turns out that I’ve written 210 posts since starting this blog on Oct 13 2006, which was 2206 days ago. Considering the number of days that have elapsed since that time, that works out to just one post every 10 days. That doesn’t sound so bad until I look at the average period between posts for 2012 – which is one post about every 17 days. 2012 compares poorly with 2008 which was my best year with me averaging one post a week.

My next step was to write a Processing program that would read my data file and graphically summarize my monthly posting record (yes I could have produced a bar chart with Calc or Excel but where’s the fun in that?). The graph above is the output from that program. Each vertical bar represents the total number of posts for that month with each year being assigned its own color. A quick scan makes it clear that my posting frequency/quantity has declined. Clearly my posting isn’t what it used to be.

One thing I plan to do to up my posting frequency is to blog about some of my art projects, principally small screen-size experiments with digital painting, photo manipulation, and algorithmic art techniques.

So until next time (which hopefully won’t be too long a time) I leave you with the words of American humorist Robert Benchley (1889-1945) who quipped "It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous."

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