Are You Prepared For This Web Shift?
It has been unfolding for years. But it took until November 2014 for it to happen.
This marks a true turning point for the Internet, perhaps the most significant development since the birth of the world wide web.
Mobile traffic at Google officially surpassed traffic from desktop.
If you are doing any business online, you need to adjust to this shift.
If you think you can wait another year or two, you need to understand that mobile web usage has already penetrated the business world even more significantly.
Just read these stats below. According to the IDG Global Mobile Survey 2014…
- 92 percent of executives own a smartphone used for business.
- 77 percent of executives use their smartphone to research a product or service for their business.
- 93 percent of executives will purchase that product via the Internet using a laptop or desktop.
- 86 percent of executives use their tablet to conduct research for products or services for their business.
- 72 percent of executives use their smartphone to conduct research for products or services for their business.
Even if you are not catering to executives, the numbers are very similar for web savvy decision makers who buy your products or services, no matter what you’re selling! They are going mobile, and it is happening fast.
Now I have a confession.
I had planned to publish this information about a month ago, but was embarrassed to do so. After all, my own site was not mobile friendly! So, I decided it was time to get onboard…
I finally made the adjustment myself, over the holiday break.
As you probably have noticed, BizWeb eGazette has experienced a major overhaul. It was about time for an update. Not only did this site need a refresh, it needed to get onboard with this shift to mobile. I put it off too long.
And as usual, what I thought would be a big undertaking, was actually very easy.
So in this issue of BizWeb eGazette, I’m sharing exactly how I was able to shift gears in a matter of a few days. Consider this your crash course on how to make your own sites mobile-friendly.
OK, so the first thing I did was convert my site over to WordPress. I’d been wanting to do that for a few years anyway, simply for the ease of use compared to the WYSIWYG design tools I had been using since 1996.
I already had other sites set up with WordPress, such as my ezWebBusinessBuilder2 course, so I was familiar with the platform. I also have been doing mobile-friendly sites for local businesses, so I knew all I needed was a fresh install of WordPress and responsive theme. A responsive theme adjusts to visitors’ browsers and displays your site effectively on computers, tablets and smart-phones.
But finding the right theme was tricky.
I started by visiting about a dozen online newsletter sites and viewing them from my laptop, smart-phone and tablet. After I found a handful I liked, I right-clicked on the page to view the source code. This let me see what theme they were using.
I finally settled on a premium theme called Design Blog from the developers at Magazine3.com. I went with a premium theme over a free theme because the feature set and support level are usually much better. I was lucky enough to get this particular theme on sale for just $42.
After purchase, I downloaded the theme and added it to my fresh install of WordPress. I then asked the developer to import the dummy data that was included in their demo and they were happy to oblige. This saved be a lot of setup work since it built my navigation menus and included a bunch of pages and posts. All I had to do was rename the categories to fit my needs and tweak the nav menus a bit.
From there it was a matter of copying content from my old web pages, and pasting it into the existing pages and posts. All in all, it took be about 5 hours of copying and pasting to get about 20 pages and relevant posts up. I contemplated migrating all 100+ issues to WordPress posts, but I have a life. So I simply added an archive link to my older issues.
Now I needed some fresh images. Not wanting to buy images every time I added a post, and obviously not wanting to use images illegally, I went searching for a free image solution for WordPress.
After about an hour I found and installed a really slick image plugin called Flickr Pick a Picture. This plugin installs in seconds and lets you click one button and search through Creative Commons pictures from Flickr. The image selection is expansive, with literally thousands of pictures to choose from in every category imaginable.
Once you find an image you want, you click ‘add to post’ or ‘use as featured image’ and you’re done. Best of all, the plugin properly credits the original Flickr author to keep peace with the CC Attribution License. (See the image at the top of this post for an example.)
Finally, all I needed was a new logo and header and my conversion would be complete. I headed over to Fiverr and $10 later I had that taken care of as well!
So, for a grand total of $52 I was able to transform my old non-mobile friendly site into a responsive site with a fresh new look.
If you’ve been considering updating your sites, now you have a plan you can follow.
If you have any questions or trouble in the planning process or implementation, I welcome you to comment below. I’ll do my best to help you.
In fact, take a second and let me know what you think of this new layout! It sure was a lot easier putting this new issue up today.