I am declaring today Test it Tuesday in this month’s edition of How the Heck Do You Do That?!? Blogging Maintenance goes beyond updating your theme, plugins and writing posts. It is important to test links, plugins and more. Today we are going to look at how our blog displays on different browsers and gadgets.
What does my blog look like to visitors?
Sometimes we forget that not everyone is visiting our blog on a browser that looks like ours. Ever wonder what they see? Today we are going to use some tools to find out exactly that. With Google’s new ranking based on mobile compatibility it is more important than ever to know exactly how our theme/website functions.
So your thinking, “Well great Kimberly, but I don’t have a tablet, iPad, Android phone or laptop.” No worries, with a quick Google search I was able to locate tools to help you.
- Test your website on mobile devices and tablets: Responsinator You can actually play with these, open post, see gadgets etc.
- See screenshots of your website on different browsers including android phones using BrowserStack
Check to see if it easy to comment and share your posts via these formats. Look in your sidebar at the different widget you have. Do they work on all the gadgets and browsers we tested above? Are all those carousals and sliders you are using compatible with the different systems? If they aren’t displaying properly you may want to look for more user friendly widgets. Are your social share buttons and commenting systems appearing?
This test was interesting to me as I found on the iPad and some smaller tablets one of my menus wrapped back under the home button and while it functioned aesthetically it made me crazy. It forced me to relook at my menu and streamline them. For example I had a combined menu called Features & Events which had events/memes I host and also included Blogger Tips & Tricks, Confessions, Recipe & Recs. It suddenly dawned on me that those should be under archive. This allowed me to change the menu title to Events and voila my menu bar now fits correctly on all screens.
I have a responsive theme and what that means is that it automatically shrinks to fit any screen size. Here I will show you what I mean.
- Open my blog in another widow
- Minimize the screen a little
- Now shrink the screen slowly from right to left.
- Do you see how my design changes and adjusts to a smaller screen? This is what a responsive theme does automatically. I know some of you are saying, “Ooh but you coffee cup disappears.” Yep, most responsive themes will knock off your pretty blog image, but to me the most important thing is the ease in which a visitor can read, navigate and comment on my blog. If the person is a regular visitor from say their iPhone they are completely use to this occurring and most likely appreciate not having to scroll, enlarge and mess around with a website that isn’t mobile friendly.
If you don’t have a responsive theme there are plugins that can help. However I totally recommend that the next time you upgrade your theme that you go Responsive.