November 15, 2015

Cell phone solution

I am a webmaster since more than ten years, the next year I will be celebrating twenty years of my career. Right now, I'm a little bit exhausted. For a long period my main purpose was making money, as much as possible. There were other aspects that I liked, e.g, being in the first position on the search engines. That was a great satisfaction, confirming my skills or maybe, my fortune, who knows? However, I was making money. After putting aside a good earning, here they are, the though times came. So many young competitors, very creative and stimulated to do their best. My personal excuse was that I reached my goal and I decided to relax. I started to take it easy, without analyzing the market. Someone told once the knowledge is everything. In the last years I'm using the old bases, without any updates and new rules of this business.

Last spring, mister G send me an e-mail informing me that one of my websites wasn't optimazed for cell phones, the so-called, smartphones. I've heard, not a long time ago, that the number of Internet users was higher from mobiles than from PC's or notebooks. I had to do something for my business, hoping to improve my returns. I was advised to visit for checking the pages. It's enough to insert the URL of the web page you want to check and Google analyzes all the important aspects for a mobile user. The final response is a mark to the user experience, ranging from 1 to 100. If the mark is high, from 85 to 100, the green color appears. If the value is from 70 to 85 we are in the yellow area, which means, pay attention. If the mark is even lower, the red color will appear. In the case of yellow and red colors, Google will befall the score of the web page and backwards it on the search engines for those who use their App on the mobile phones.

All my web pages were in the red area and that was really a bad strategy for trying to make more money from smartphone users. Also the classic positioning was no good. In a few words, I was no longer existing for the net. I didn't care about this new technology, especially because I don't have a cell phone. Incredible but true. However, I realized the importance of being present in this new area. And so I did. There is a key sentence in the header of the page's code:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

This code tells to the cell phone to represent in the best possible way the web page by using the full width of the screen, maintaining the scale 1:1. Everything seemed very contradictory for me but in the end I figured it out. If you are working only by using texts and tables that are not fixed as width, and the font is big enough to be readable when the text is reduced, everything is ok. The probability of this happening is very low. If you have a fixed web page with a width superior of the cell phone, one part remains out of the screen and Google gives you the yellow or the red color. Another problem are the images and videos, they have a fix width and they don't fit in the viewport.

After I had analyzed all these things, I fixed three of my web sites. I applied variable tables by fixing the proportion between the columns as they were percentages, not pixels. Regarding photos and videos, I had to insert the javascript code to range the width in function to the screen where they were shown. This step was really a hard one, for me. I found quickly the code I needed but, the one I found was ok for Chrome, not ok for Internet Explorer 8, the old one I still use for the compatibility for all versions. After three days, finally, I found the solution: at the beginning of the page you have to insert <!doctype html> and your work will be fine for the both browsers. I put a lot of effort to understand all these new tips and tricks but I had no results. Probably, it's my fault. Other Google optimization are still missing.