Yesterday, I discovered that, although my website looked quite lovely on my laptop computer, on my cell phone it looked like a deranged monkey had put it together. Some of my images appeared off-center, while some were teeny-tiny, while others were huge and looked like they were going to attack unsuspecting web-goers. The text was wonky with huge spaces in between the words. “How could I have not noticed this?” I asked myself. “And why is the so-called mobile view so different from the web view?”
I did a little research this morning and the problem, it seemed, was the template I had been using was old, old, old. Ancient in techno-years. My website needed an update.
“Why update?” some of you might be asking. “Does it really matter?”
While it might be true that readers have the option of switching from mobile view to web view, why should they have to? It’s my responsibility to make sure my website is in tip-top shape for all my readers, regardless of how they choose to view it. And since most readers who are a bit (ahem) younger than I am do most of their web-browsing on a mobile device, wouldn’t it be a good idea to make my site as mobile friendly as possible?
The answer is absolutely!
So, despite the fact that I am currently suffering from an acute case of plague/upper respiratory infection, I embarked upon a mission to revamp my website. Now, for those who might be frantically trying to view your blog or website on the nearest mobile device, don’t panic yet!
There are a couple of quick things I should mention before I continue:
- My WordPress blog (this one that you are viewing right now) was A-okay.
- The messed-up looking mobile website is actually with Weebly
- If you use WordPress, your site is probably okay because I *think* they stay on top of things in terms of updates and technology. (But shouldn’t you check just to make certain?)
My point in writing this post is to remind everyone that you should regularly check your blog and/or website. Give it an update if necessary. Ages ago, I blogged about the necessity of creating a reader-friendly blog. (You can read that post HERE if you want.) When I wrote that post, I never considered the need to make sure your blog or website was user-friendly for all those cell phones, iPads, and tablets out there.
If your blog and/or website looks as spiffy on your mobile device as it does on your laptop, pat yourself on the back. If it does not, you might want to consider using a new template or making some other tweaks to your site.
In addition to checking your website for mobile compatibility, here are a few things to consider when doing your regular website/blog checkup:
- General readability – Are you using a good-size, readable font like 12pt Times or something similar?
- Symmetry – Does everything (text, images, columns) line up neatly, or do you have badges and blinkies tossed everywhere at random?
- Links and pages – Do all your links and pages work, or do you have broken links that lead to nowhere?
- Book links – Do your book sale links go directly to your product page on Amazon, or are you dropping the reader on Amazon’s front page and expecting them to search for your book?
- More stuff about links – Are your links streamlined, or are they the length of three sentences with all sorts of numbers and characters that are completely unnecessary?
- Social Media – Are there easy-to-find links so readers can find you and follow you on social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc)
- Author Bio – When’s the last time you updated your author bio? Is everything current? Have you won any major awards you would like your readers to know about?
- New Publications – Have you published anything new? If so, make sure readers who visit your blog or website can easily find out about it.
So, for those of you who are in need of a website or blog update, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a link in the comment section so I can see your new and improved website. Or, if you have a suggestion about website maintenance, please share.
5 thoughts on “Does Your Website Need an Update?”
That’s what I need – a longer to do list. I thought you were advertising a service! I know, I know – one of these days. Meanwhile, if anything catches you eye if you visit – I take suggestions. But I’m slow.
And I really don’t want anyone else’s hands anywhere on it – tried that once and it was a disaster.
Oh, I’m sorry! I hate to add to your to-do list. I’m usually the person writing blog posts encouraging authors to write when they want to write and not to beat themselves up if they can’t publish 12 books in a year or be active on every social media site known to mankind.
And, trust me. I’m the last person you want working on your website. I only work on my own. I agree with you that it’s best to handle your own. I’ve heard some horror stories from people who couldn’t get their web designer to update things or return their emails. They had a hard time hiring someone else because the original designer had all the passwords.
If you want, I’m happy to go through your blog and check links. I can see how it looks on my mobile. It really doesn’t take too long to go through the little checklist I have above. Revamping does take some time, though. I worked on mine yesterday when I was home sick in a feverish haze, so I should probably go over it again today. Oh well. It’s back to the day job right now, so one thing at a time!
Thanks for the kind offer, but I’ll pass for now. It will get done when it gets done, as everything else does! Most things can wait.
With one book, I don’t need to be as agile as those with more – that can wait, and be done later if necessary.
Meanwhile, I think WordPress does a reasonable job of making their templates mobile-friendly – I HOPE that’s true!
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Thanks, Tricia. My websites are with Weebly, so I am now in panic mode. But as I never, ever, go online with my mobile, I have no idea how to see if the sites look good bad or indifferent. Ah well…
Don’t panic! I was in the same boat. I use my mobile for the internet, but I don’t usually go on websites because it’s too hard on my old eyes. I prefer my laptop for web-browsing, so I never really thought about it. If you have free time, you could switch your theme to one of the new ones. All the new themes are compatible with Weebly.
From what I could tell during a quick peek, your website looks fine on my mobile. The Events page wasn’t lined up perfectly, but it wasn’t horrid. I should think you can leave things as they are for a bit and put website re-design on the back-burner until you have some time.