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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    Bracknell, UK
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    8,656

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanB View Post
    Though I have modified some of the introductory pages, producing a mobile friendly version and increasing the text size, I have come to a decision, for the moment, that creating a mobile friendly version of the whole site just to appease Google is not worth the effort.

    There are many websites which were designed to be viewed on computer screens - this one - talkgraphics - being an example.

    If users of my site are interested enough they may be prepared to turn their mobiles through 90 degrees and even zoom in - or get out a decent sized tablet - or blow the cobwebs off their laptop.

    I've had enough of technological changes dictating what I should do. Now, where's that papyrus and quill?

    Ian
    Ian I respect your decision and I understand it would be a huge amount of work to do otherwise.

    It may be convenient to blame technology, but really this is about meeting the needs of your potential audience not bowing to machines.

    Google recognises the importance of the mobile platforms in todays world, not because there are a lot of mobile phones but because for most people the mobile phone is their first call when it comes to looking for something and often people will just use a mobile phone rather than anything bigger. This is the world today. The man in the pub beside the canal is going to be told about some website that has lots of info about canal songs - he won't be pulling out a laptop, he'll be reaching for his phone and saying "I can't read that" and forgetting about the whole thing.

    As a family if we have visitors around, if there is some subject we are discussing then phones are pulled out.

    Your aim was to boost your rankings with Google to get more visitors. I stand by my original suggestions.

    Technology is not dictating, it's simply how people live today.

    Again, I respect and understand your decision, and I think that your situation highlights for others the importance of the mobile platforms in web design and accommodating mobile at the very start of a project is crucial. This is why there is a dominant mobile-first movement in web design for several years now.

    Good luck with the project and mobile or not I'm glad to see your dedication and this information being available. In this niche subject I do think people will try a little harder to get past the frustrations of no mobile support.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Stockport, UK
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Quote Originally Posted by pauland View Post
    Ian I respect your decision and I understand it would be a huge amount of work to do otherwise.

    It may be convenient to blame technology, but really this is about meeting the needs of your potential audience not bowing to machines.

    Google recognises the importance of the mobile platforms in todays world, not because there are a lot of mobile phones but because for most people the mobile phone is their first call when it comes to looking for something and often people will just use a mobile phone rather than anything bigger. This is the world today. The man in the pub beside the canal is going to be told about some website that has lots of info about canal songs - he won't be pulling out a laptop, he'll be reaching for his phone and saying "I can't read that" and forgetting about the whole thing.

    As a family if we have visitors around, if there is some subject we are discussing then phones are pulled out.

    Your aim was to boost your rankings with Google to get more visitors. I stand by my original suggestions.

    Technology is not dictating, it's simply how people live today.

    Again, I respect and understand your decision, and I think that your situation highlights for others the importance of the mobile platforms in web design and accommodating mobile at the very start of a project is crucial. This is why there is a dominant mobile-first movement in web design for several years now.

    Good luck with the project and mobile or not I'm glad to see your dedication and this information being available. In this niche subject I do think people will try a little harder to get past the frustrations of no mobile support.
    I don't disagree with any of that. As a long retired teacher, latterly of Information Technology where the KISS principle was my mantra, I have to say that the relief when I no longer had to keep up with technology was palpable.

    Twenty years or more ago I created a modest website in basic HTML which I hoped would stand the test of time because of its simplicity. Technological changes related to videos necessitated the recent complete overhaul of what is now a much larger site and as I modify it I worry that the site, which I hope to pass on to someone to maintain when I can do it no more, has too many quirks involved in its production and is now completely dependent on Xara software. I've nothing against Xara software and was a fan and user of the original Computer Concepts Artworks many moons ago, but I wonder where they are going and hope sincerely they survive in this increasingly chaotic world. The ability to print out the majority of the website pages directly or with minimal editing is certainly a useful aspect of XDPro which I may have to utilise in future if I am to preserve the site's content. It was one of the factors which made me decide to use Xara rather than update my HTML knowledge (probably an impossible and definitely painful task).

    I agree that if I was starting to design the website from scratch I might look at designing a mobile version first. But not necessarily so. I spent a lot of lock-down creating a private family history website and spent some time thinking about page size. I can't remember what size I chose but the pages were designed (minus navigation buttons on a separate layer) so they could be printed on A3 paper (landscape format). This was so a paper copy could be handed to my family as the website will inevitably be transient in nature. The large size was necessary so family tree diagrams (albeit small portions thereof) could be accommodated. The site is perfectly legible on an 8" tablet held sideways but there is no way it could be viewed on a mobile phone.

    I think making the introductory pages of the waterway songs website mobile phone friendly is a sensible thing to do at the moment so I'll concentrate on that.

    Thanks again for taking the time to make your constructive comments.
    Ian

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,656

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Ian,

    I'd like to suggest an alternative approach to some of your projects.

    The problem with web design is that it is inherently transient because of shifting technology. I used to make my living building Flash-based websites and animation projects. web standards change and it's not really a suitable medium for long-term archival use.

    Any technology-based medium is transient - how many VHS videos do you have in your cupboard (or more importantly VHS players to play them)?

    So for longevity consider using PDF. If nothing else you will have access to a printed version. If you have an older demographic printable formats are also friendly for technology-agnostic people.

    If you put your core stuff on PDF, it will always give you access to a printable version and always keep your core material in a platform-independent form. I have some graphics in software-specific format thgat I no longer have access to. That time eventually comes to all forms of software that use a proprietary format and it will happen with Xara.

    Consider mixing a topical website - more bloggish - with a longer-term, more stable printable format viewable online and printable - PDF.

    Generally speaking large information projects store their data in databases that is about their content not presentation, so they are able to keep current across technology changes. I used to have a client that had a couple of shops and I developed a flash-based website for them. They simply switched to HTML and their product database didn't change.

    So essentially my message is that html (however generated) and proprietary storage formats are too transient for long-term survival. Be careful. I'll not mention the importance of backups, either.

    The physical photographs and hand-produced notes and diagrams of today and yesterday will outlast their digital equivalents in most cases.

    Paul

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Stockport, UK
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Paul

    Thanks for your detailed suggestion - very many useful points made - and taken. I shall certainly be converting pages into pdfs which can be offered as downloads.

    Ian

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Ian,

    I scrolled through the tread and there is IMO a sane and pragmatic approach to mobile. Personally, this is not about improving Google's view of your website; more about making the visitors experience more enjoyable.

    I modified my audio player template to allow songs to be easily selected by alphanumeric song groups (the same as your current site); your pages for intro, ref and updates would be easy to transition to a mobile portrait format and you could use your own buttons too. I would though suggest the start point is a structure that lends itself to mobile and one that could be easily maintained. My start point would be to create an entirely separate development URL (e.g. https://mydomain/test) - relatively easy thereafter to expand the test site to have a desktop variant that transitions from portrait to landscape. You only make a switch when everything is working.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	130296 https://initiostar.co.uk/demo/SongBook/

    There is a little bit of code in the Website HTML body, but I've stripped out the extras to keep it simple. I have assumed you have all your songs in a server-side directory; if true this template would work well - more labour intensive that technical. The links to the songs are easy in that you just change the source in the HTML code and insert your song titles in the links, page-by-page. Where the song has additional information, the structure allows one to place all this on a corresponding popup. This includes videos (which would benefit from some additional code) to ensure a video opens and closes correctly on a popup, per the Jukebox v5 code: https://initiostar.co.uk/demo/JukeBoxv5/ - Fairly straight-forward to add if and when required.

    Here is a demo: Jukebox-v6-mobile.xar - not fully tested as yet, but it would give you an idea. I have left the jQuery tag on the index page, though the striped-down version does not require it. There is probably a better way to manage the alphanumeric grid too, but I've not ventured that far.

    When you have time take a look - it takes about 4 mins to add and test a song, but best use Notepad++ or similar to create the list of links.

    Maybe some help for the future.

    Gary

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Stockport, UK
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Hi Gary

    Thanks so much for your work in providing me with a potential and probable way forward.

    Though I've been resisting change partly on the basis that a lot of tedious work may well be involved, your suggestion looks really exciting and I will, indeed, be experimenting with it. The resulting site could be very impressive.

    The need to present a good experience to mobile users is one I've been slow to appreciate but I certainly do now.

    I think I've got a good winter's worth of work ahead of me. Clearing the loft may have to wait.

    Thanks again to all who have offered their help and advice.

    Ian

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Stockport, UK
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Initiostar View Post
    Ian,

    I scrolled through the tread and there is IMO a sane and pragmatic approach to mobile. Personally, this is not about improving Google's view of your website; more about making the visitors experience more enjoyable.

    I modified my audio player template to allow songs to be easily selected by alphanumeric song groups (the same as your current site); your pages for intro, ref and updates would be easy to transition to a mobile portrait format and you could use your own buttons too. I would though suggest the start point is a structure that lends itself to mobile and one that could be easily maintained. My start point would be to create an entirely separate development URL (e.g. https://mydomain/test) - relatively easy thereafter to expand the test site to have a desktop variant that transitions from portrait to landscape. You only make a switch when everything is working.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20210802-155314.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	116.5 KB 
ID:	130295 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot_20210802-155301.png 
Views:	21 
Size:	103.3 KB 
ID:	130296 https://initiostar.co.uk/demo/SongBook/

    There is a little bit of code in the Website HTML body, but I've stripped out the extras to keep it simple. I have assumed you have all your songs in a server-side directory; if true this template would work well - more labour intensive that technical. The links to the songs are easy in that you just change the source in the HTML code and insert your song titles in the links, page-by-page. Where the song has additional information, the structure allows one to place all this on a corresponding popup. This includes videos (which would benefit from some additional code) to ensure a video opens and closes correctly on a popup, per the Jukebox v5 code: https://initiostar.co.uk/demo/JukeBoxv5/ - Fairly straight-forward to add if and when required.

    Here is a demo: Jukebox-v6-mobile.xar - not fully tested as yet, but it would give you an idea. I have left the jQuery tag on the index page, though the striped-down version does not require it. There is probably a better way to manage the alphanumeric grid too, but I've not ventured that far.

    When you have time take a look - it takes about 4 mins to add and test a song, but best use Notepad++ or similar to create the list of links.

    Maybe some help for the future.

    Gary
    Hi Gary

    I have started developing a mobile friendly version of the website based on your jukebox player.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Things are looking promising but I have a problem. It is to do with the two links from each song - the JavaScript code to play the song and the popup link to the information about the song. Currently it is possible to play one song while viewing the information about another. Or if you select the information about a song first then you can't play access the JavaScript button to play it. I can probably work around the latter by creating a duplicate JavaScript button but the site is in danger of having too many play buttons. With your detailed knowledge of the jukebox player, I wondered if you have a more sophisticated solution?

    Thanks in advance,
    Ian

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Ian,

    Fairly easy to have a single link that starts a song and opens up additional information (where it exists) about that song; this was a function of Jukebox v5 - select As for auto-show info. https://initiostar.co.uk/demo/JukeBoxv5/songgroupa.htm - select Bs for the separate info button.

    Here you can close the information and still listen to the song, or I could change it so that when you close the information, it stops the song and returns you to the song list. This is the more technical upgrade where I am not using standard popups, but have chosen to give all the objects corresponding to that song, a class name. Then all 'class' layers are published as being visible, but are all hidden with code until required. If you can describe what you want, I should be able to modify the template. There's a neat way of managing videos too with Jukebox 5.

    Gary

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Stockport, UK
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Thanks Gary

    That's helpful. If and when I know what I'm aiming for I may be back in touch.

    A bit of a variation from your jukebox has been needed as not all song files have audio files to go with them.

    Couldn't have done this without your help.

    Regards,
    Ian

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Can I trick Google into looking more favourably upon me?

    Ian,

    You could start with the info page as a popup and place the link to a song where one exists on that layer; I'd guess you're headed in that direction. A cleaner way would be to make the popups 'class' layers (at least that's what I call them). That way you can have a single return link that stops the song and closes the info layer (cleanly), even when a video is playing! Where a song is not available you simply omit the note symbol.

    Take a look here: https://initiostar.co.uk/demo/Waterways/index.htm || Jukebox-Waterways.xar

    Gary

 

 

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