Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Mobile vs Desktop

Here is an interesting fact, 2015 has seen mobile devices surpass desk top usage when it comes to accessing the internet – check out this article by Search Engine watch.

Google Responds

So it come to no real surprise that search engine giant Google will be tweaking its mighty algorithm to favor those sites that offer the best experience for mobile users. Effective April 21st mobile users will  receive search results that are relevant and optimized for their device essentially increasing the ranking of any site that is mobile friendly. Google claims these weighted results are only applicable to their mobile search results, but mobile friendliness clearly carries some clout.

Ahead of this announcement Google developed a handy online tool that will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.

You can test your site HERE

Time for  Mobile Friendly Website

If your site passes and gets the “Awesome! This page is mobile friendly message” then all is well. But if you get the dreaded “Not mobile-friendly” result , then your site will be penalized in Google mobiles search engine results.

As a small business owner if search engine traffic is an important part of your marketing plan then now is the time to act and get your web site mobile friendly. Contact us today to find out how

Examples

We have done just this for two of our long standing clients, both original site failed the Google test, but now they both get the coveted “Awesome” notice.

The Rockwood is a St Louis senior living Community.

responsive-web-design-google-algorithm-change-rockwood

therockwood-mobile-friendly
Burns Recovered Support Group offers support to burns survivors
responsive-web-design-google-algorithm-change

burns-mobile-freindly-website

If you are interested in making your site mobile friendly contact us today

 

New Website for Chicago Consulting Company

Launched today is a new website for Lighthouse Consulting, a Chicago based business consulting firm.
Lighthouse consulting Chicago business consultant
We designed a clean look and feel incorporating a slide show on the home page which was inspired by guiding light sources and drives users to inner sections of the site that are applicable to their particular challenges.

The architecture of the site was designed specifically around the challenges business owners face.

Lighthouse consulting: business challenges facing Chicago business owners

The site is responsively coded and powered by WordPress.

New WordPress Site for Chicago Interior Designer

Last week we launched is a brand new wordpress web site for Chicago interior designer, Suzanne Falk.
wordpress website interior designer chicago
Suzanne works with a wide range of clients, from  homeowners, to  businesses and she is also currently focusing on a project for the DIY/HGTV network.

The websites launches her new product “Kitchens 2 Go“, a shopping list to DIY your own designer kitchen. She is offering complete shopping lists for traditional, transitional and urban chic styles, in both warm and cool color palettes.

It also features a selection of her TV work, including episodes of HGTV’s Kitchen Crashers’s

wordpress website interior designer chicago

Many of her stunning interior design projects are showcased in a large portfolio.

wordpress website interior designer chicago

New Responsive Website for Ultra Marathon Runner

You have to admire anyone who can run a marathon, but I take my hat off to client Susie Perkowitz who takes her running to the extreme. This week she is taking part in the TransRockies Run, a 6 day, 120 mile adventure with 20,000 feet of gain. Susie was diagnosed with diabetes shortly after completing the race last year but it has not deterred her from running again. This year’s race kicks off her fundraising campaign: Go! For Diabetes., her new website was launched on Monday.

gosusiego responsive website

Responsive Look

gosusiego-responsive-website

The site is very simple but simplicity is often the best approach. >>Read more about her story and donate to diabetic research and awareness

Rebranding for The Chicago Web Designer

It was time.

Our previous brand image has served us well but we have been wanting to shake things up and redesign it for over a year now. Finding time has been difficult but we have finally rolled out a new brand image for The Chicago Web Designer, Indigo Image.

Lets start at the beginning with the first thing we tackled … an update of our logo.

Logo Redesign

Chicago web designer logo

We have dropped our rectangular icon replacing it with a circle but the “pathway” shape remains the same, the color indigo is now complimented with a fresh blue. We also updated the typeface to a less boxy font. While the logo is not a million miles away from where we started it is definitely fresher. The circular icon is nicely compatible with the size and shape restrictions for many social media profile icons ( see what we mean by checking out our Google + page)

Website Re-design

One of the main drivers behind the redesign of our website is the fact there has been a huge surge in traffic from mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. The growth is so massive it is actually predicted  web traffic from these devices is set to pass traffic from desktop computers this summer. While we had coded our previous design to react responsively ( see this blog post), time constraints meant that we didn’t redesign …just recoded. It was a good stop gap but needed fixing!

Both the design and the code has now been optimized for viewing on any device.

responsive design chicago web designer

The re design gave us the opportunity for some content re-organization. The main area we reworked was the portfolio section. It is now split into four categories

We used chunky tiles to navigate portfolio items and finger friendly navigation buttons to switch between portfolio galleries.

chicago web designer portfolio

Social Media

Our re-branding has been carried through to our social media profiles

Here is our Facebook page

facebook branding

and our Goggle + page

Google plus branding

and a new look for our Twitter profile

Twitter branding

A Responsive Website for a Chicago Wedding Officiant

The website for a Chicago wedding officiant I gave a sneak peak to a few days ago is now live.

re designed website for chicago wedding officiant

 

This was a re-design project of an original site that had been created on Wix…an easy to use website creator but lacking in functionality and true  internet marketing (SEO) capabilities. Here is a quick snap shot of the site prior to redesign, note the mobile version looks completely different from the desktop version.

website wedding officiant chicago redeisgn

Client, Toni Maddi , was very keen to keep the ability to update the website herself but really wanted a site where she could have full control of SEO. WordPress was the natural answer and it was this platform we used to build a fully responsive website for her wedding officiant business.

We created a very clean looking template design and updated the color palette a little. Toni had lots of fabulous photographs of wedding ceremonies she had conducted and these were used liberally throughout the site. All the pages were optimized for the search engines and we built specific landing pages for the locations and areas she serves.

The template was coded to respond to whatever device was being used to view it giving the visitor a consistent experience regardless of device they were using.

Here it is on an ipad

responsive design chicago wedding minister

and again on an iphone

responsive design Chicago wedding minister
The site has been live for less than 24hrs but I have just heard from Toni that she has already received an inquiry through it!

Read more about this wedding officiant web site on our website design portfolio

New Website in Progress for Chicago Wedding Officiant

I am currently working with Chicago Wedding Officiant, Toni Maddi, on the creation of a new website for her business Personalized Ceremonies.

wedding officiant web site

Toni is looking for a responsive website that will improve her rankings in the search engines. I am building on the WordPress platform..the site will be launched in the next few weeks.

New Website for Heinzen Smith Properties

Client Margaret Smith, of  Heinzen Smith Properties, has a 150 year family history of building homes just north of Chicago. Each house is custom designed and blends beautifully with existing homes in the Wilmette area.

Margaret contacted us with lots of ideas for her web site and we have been able to translate those ideas into a site that perfectly captures what she wanted to achieve.

Home builder wilmette IL Chicago

After developing a color palette inspired by a slate roof with weathered copper gutters, we designed a home page which gives site visitor a quick glimpse of some of their most eye catching homes and focuses attention to New Homes for Sale.  We were spoiled for choice when it came time to select  photographs as the client provided so many stunning homes to pick from. Not wanting waste an opportunity to showcase them further, we carried them through to the inner pages of the site and cropped them to center on doors as a “welcoming” gesture.

chicago home builder website

The site was also designed and coded as one that is fully responsive – see here for an explanation of responsive web design

Here it is on a desktop

responsive web design chicago
On an ipad in portrait and landscape orientations
reponsive web design chicago
And finally an iphone
responsive web design chicago

You can visit the site at heinzensmith.com

Three questions to consider for mobile friendly websites

How much traffic is my website getting from devices like ipads and smart phones?

While you may not know the answer, I can guarantee it is more than you were getting a few years ago.  A quick look at the statistics for our own web site shows a 100% increase in the amount of traffic we are getting from mobile devices in just the last 12 months. A personal site I write, creativeinchicago.com, derives 40% of it’s 35k monthly traffic from mobile devices. Numbers like these are difficult to ignore and there is no doubt that mobile access  is a growing trend that is here to stay.

What does my site look like on mobile devices?

There are quite a few online tools that have popped up that emulate how a site will look on a particular device and while they can’t guarantee how you site will behave on any given device they do provide a quick snap shot. You can test your site on a simple emulator HERE . It will show you what your site looks like in different window widths, which is a simple but effective simulation technique –  to see which window size corresponds to which device click on the device sizes button.

A responsive website will adjust itself depending on the size of the window (or type of device) as shown with our site. This means that the site will be easy to use and offer the user an optimum experience regardless of what type of device they are using to visit from.

reponsive web desig in chicago.

 

A site which is not responsive will not adjust as illustrated in the site below. The simulator will display horizontal scroll bars in this case.

unpresonsive website

Most tablets and smart phones will actually shrink the website down to fit their screen instead of making the user scroll horizontally so the simple simulator used above is not accurate in that respect.

A more rigorous  simulator to try is Mobile phone simulator .

Here are the same two websites plugged in.

responsive and unresponsive web sites

The responsive site has adjusted to offer the user and optimum viewing experience but the unresponsive site offers tiny text and  unreadable navigation. These can be magnified  of course but the site makes the user really have to work to see it.

Can my website be converted to a responsive web site?

To behave responsively a website needs to be coded in a unique way. In many cases the existing design can be used, as in the case of a recent responsive conversion we carried out for ruthellenhasser.com. We made almost no changes to the overall design of the site but completely revamped the code powering it

RESPONSIVE DESIGN CHICAGO responsive_design_chicago_2 responsive_design_chicago_3

I am ready to move forward with a mobile friendly website

If you are looking to move forward either building a new website that is mobile friendly or converting an existing web site to behave responsively we are here to help. Call 847 607 8679 to get started today.

Chicago Web Design Company and Responsive Web Design

We have been offering Responsive Web Design services for quite a while now, so we really should take a rap on the knuckles for the fact that our own website did not behave responsively.

That is until now.

Client work always takes precedent over any other work, so that is our excuse for the tardy conversion of our site to a fully responsive website.

Our site is a great showcase of how an existing web design can be converted so that it behaves responsively – optimizing the users experience no matter what they are using to view the site, desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. We made no changes to the design or look and feel of the site but all the work was done on the code which powers the site – under the hood so to speak.

This is how it looks on a desk top,

responsive web design Chicago indigo image
here it is on a tablet,
responsive web design on ipad

 

and here it is viewed on a smart phone

responsive design on an uphone

You can experience this yourself just by re-sizing your browser window ( Firefox and Chrome work well for this).

Looking to convert your website into one that is responsive?

This type of coding conversion can be readily achieved on most websites. If you are looking to convert your web site into a responsive web site we offer a free review service. Contact us today or call 847 607 8679 to get started.