We listened to our mobile readers recently, and you can see the difference on the blog today! We are using Thankful Thursday with Brian and his family to pass on a lesson we learned as pet bloggers.
With our move to the new look, and the news-y theme that displays a selection of posts for our readers, we assumed that everyone was happy and would be able to see what we were up to. After all, our theme is well coded, clean and easy to use.
All was not well however, and we did not find out until a reader spoke up……
It all began with a comment from our buddy Marv.
We listened when he and his mum said: ‘Your slider is not working at the top of the front page. We browse on our iPad each evening and it just doesn’t appear’.
Since his arrival from Persia, Marv has been a regular mobile reader of our blog. He is always welcome, so we valued his input and did some blogger troubleshooting. The WordPress theme was not displaying correctly and we needed to track down what was happening.Readers tell you something's wrong? Listen up!Click To Tweet
We looked at our blog’s front page. Could we improve it for those readers who browse on mobile devices? Here is where the slider issue tripped readers up, and as it happened for Marv, who else might have faced the confusing blank space? A blog needs to make a good and clear impression from the start. This means everyone needs to see you, who you are and what you do.
If someone can’t see your welcome mat, why the heck should they stick around to read anything else, right? As a blogger this taught us a lesson – we need to ensure all our readers can see us.
What We Did For Our Mobile Readers
We took action. The Crew wanted to have a post ‘preview’ on the front page, it fits with our current look and style. So we looked at different options in our WordPress theme. We focused on finding something that might be a good alternative to the slider. We have to balance what we love about our blog, with ensuring readers like Marv can actually see us!
- Several options didn’t work 100% so we kept trying, until……
Thanks to our blog audit by Jill Caren at 2Dogsmedia things that didn’t work before began to work this time around. Odd but we are thankful! We could change our front page at last, and access all of the display options.
So we began to experiment with the range of display options that our theme offers smaller slider, a variety of mosaic options using a number of posts, or a smaller focused selection of posts to display.
What happened for our Mobile Device Readers?
We knew we would have to make a change to be more accessible for electronic devices like iPads. Even with the limitations of mobile devices they are so popular that, in the end, the slider had to go. It has been replaced with a set of four spotlight posts neatly displayed in a row. We have also put a little red bar ‘stop press’ above this. This lets readers focus in recent news. We hope you like it and that you can see it here.
What can you do to ensure your readers get the best from your hard work, your reviews and your blog posts?
- Make sure your theme (if you use WordPress) is up to date and mobile friendly
- Blogger is Google based so may not have too many issues.
- See how many of your readers use mobile devices (Google Analytics can be useful)
- GA can also tell you which browsers people are using. Check if one browser has issues.
- Check your site on your own ‘phone and ask friends for their mobile impressions too.
- Ask readers if they have any issues.
- Yeah, we should have done that….. 😉
- Make your information gathering ‘interactive’ and do a fun survey
Mobile Users Matter
We are now much more visible to our iPhone users, and our Android and tablet readers. This is a huge relief to us! These readers should find navigating our front page easier, and they will be able to read more, and read it better with no evil broken sliders to get in the way. Thanks to Marv and his mum we have been able to adjust the blog and we hope, improve it.
The Lesson for You as Mobile Device Users?
Do not be afraid to speak up when something doesn’t work on a blog, or a page. Often it is the blog, but sometimes it might just be your device that needs adjustment. No-one is perfect, device or blogger, so we work to achieve harmony and balance.
At the moment many blogs are having comment issues, so we think some issues and resolutions are beyond our reach, for now. Readers will now, we hope, benefit from our new easy to read front page. Marv has given it the ‘paws up’ of approval, so we hope you can too when you visit us via the front door. Bloggers will be thankful every day they can reach the most important people – you.