Test It Tuesday- What does my blog look like to visitors?

June 9th, 2015 Kimberly Blogger Tips and Tricks 41 Comments

9th Jun

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.

Blogger tips and tricks

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.

Mobile Plugins:

 

Happy Testing!

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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41 Responses to “Test It Tuesday- What does my blog look like to visitors?”

  1. Melliane

    I know mine isn’t the best for these screens but I don’t really know why… they don’t like my format.

  2. Lover Of Romance

    Great tip you have here!! I always try to check through my phone, nook tablet and laptop how things look, since I mostly do blog work on my desktop…but I will have to check Browserstack out.

  3. Tanya

    I use a plugin that goes with my theme, and it looks really good, but none of the side widgets display. I don’t think that really bothers me though as I want my reader focused on the content of that particular post, but sometimes those sidebar gadgets can engage readers too.

  4. Red Iza

    I’ve never really given a thought about how my blog can be seen on a phone – I guess, it’s because I use my phone… for texting and phone calls only 😉 But it’s a good idea, I’ll check, thanks Kim !

  5. Pat

    Those are great links! Thanks for sharing them. I bookmarked this page for future reference. I am always playing with different themes.

  6. Anna

    I’ve always loved the look of your book. Thanks for the links. I used to use different browsers to check my blog’s look when I first start to blog. Now there are tablets, phones, etc to consider. No wonder it is so awesome. The extra care shows.

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  7. Jenny

    Great tips Kim, thanks so much for sharing! I definitely try and test my blog out with different devices just to make sure it looks the same as it does for me on my main computer screen, because you just never know!

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    Oh, that’s awesome there are tools to test out different devices. Thanks for sharing. There are all these things you just don’t think about sometimes!

  9. Nicole

    Great advice! It’s easy to forget to check out your blog like a visitor once in a while.

  10. Sophia Rose

    I don’t give it much thought, but this is great advice. Thanks for digging up the tools to test this.

  11. Candace

    I recently visited a site on my phone that was so NOT user friendly. It wasn’t aesthetically pleasing but also was impossible to figure out how to navigate. I have always thought mine was good because it’s good on my iphone and kindle. But I didn’t realize there were other ways to look. I’m definitely going to look!

  12. RO

    Kim, I can’t tell you how helpful this is and it makes so much sense to do. This reminds me that I need to do some type of maintenance at least once a week or month to see what in the heck is going on, and to not put it off. HUGE Hugs…

  13. Heidi

    Some interesting stuff here. I looked at my blog on many of the different platforms, and for the most part it looked the same on all of them except on Galaxy. Thanks for putting this together.

  14. Trish

    They are very handy tools and I’ll be making full use of them at the weekend to do a little testing.

  15. Emma

    Some great tips here. I will definitely be using them as I find blog layout quite daunting.

  16. Ramona

    Well, I’m bookmarking this post and will hopefully use it as a how-to manual this Sunday. You write the most interesting posts, Kimba, thank you!

  17. Lanie

    Awesome reminder! I sometimes forget to check after I’ve made changes to my blog. It can be a real pain to realize a font looks like one thing on a computer but a whole nother story on a phone or kindle.

  18. Lindy

    Thanks for this how to guide! I need to see how my blog looks on different browsers as well as devices. I’m going to check it out 🙂 I appreciate these posts that you develop to help other bloggers!

  19. Kathy

    This is a really good idea, and I had no idea those tools for testing were available. Thank you!

  20. Braine Talk Supe

    Awesome tip. Some plugins don’t run well on mobile like shareaholic and there are some codes that crash mobile browsers.

  21. Angela Adams

    I often go to other computers (the library, my sister’s) and see how my blog looks — then I subtract those visits from my “reach total.” Thanks for the post.

  22. Angie

    Hummm…. I keep trying use that website but it won’t show me any screenshots. Keeps saying this ” URL requires HTTP Basic Auth. Enter the URL in the format – http://username:password@www.xyz.com” though I keep putting in my website correctly. Not sure what is going on!

  23. Berls

    Oh these are some great resources Kimba! I try to monitor my sight by subscribing to it in multiple mediums, but I hadn’t thought much about the difference between like an iPhone and an android phone! I have a responsive theme too, so hopefully I’m good, but I’ll check these out. Thanks!

  24. Lexxie

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Kim! I didn’t know there was a way to check how my site looks with android phones and tablets, as I’m an Apple girl myself 😉
    It’s a good thing to be able to check them all, and I just might have a few small adjustments to make, too.

  25. Sarah

    You know, this is so dumb, but I never think to wonder what OTHER people are seeing when they stop by my blog. I didn’t even know my theme was responsive until you said to check it out! BTW I had a lot of fun just dabbling with the screen size. It gave me some ideas on things I need to tweak, but for the most part it seems to do okay with different screen sizes and devices. Thanks for this, because I needed a little bit of “duh” dose of reality 😀

  26. Cynthia

    Thanks for the post. I have seen my blog in different browser windows on the computer, but I have never thought to see how my blog looks on the phone or whatever.

  27. Elizabeth

    I thought my theme wasn’t responsive, but your little tests showed me it is. Thanks. I find it annoying on the iPad that everything in the sidebar appears at the top of the blog, but everything works. I would prefer it if everything went UNDER the posts. I think it’s because my sidebar is on the left. My theme is Tweek Me 2. Is yours?

    • kimbacaffeinate

      My sidebar goes under. It may be something you can tweak. I am sure if it bothers you enough Ashley can write a little code to make it appear last. I have an idea of how to do it but not the code needed.

      • Elizabeth

        It was easier than either of us thought. I just moved my sidebar to the right! I had it on the left because I wanted to be different from others and most have it on the right, but oh, well. It’s better to be functional than be different and I’m sure most people don’t even notice.

  28. Naomi

    Great advice Kimberly. I think we all forget how much technology keeps changing and that people may look differently at our blogs.

  29. Preethi

    This is a great post, Kimberly! I don’t always think about how my blog looks on systems I don’t have, so this was a nice reminder. I tried using the Responsinator site though and my blog looks different on that than it does on my iPhone, which is kind of weird. Still a handy site though!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I took a look at your site. Currently your blog is not responsive or mobile ready. Since you are on Blogger you can easily make it so on your dashboard.