If you maintain a blog, how many of your readers access it from a mobile device?
While your blog analytic software would indicate the number of visitors with browser resolutions less than 800×600, what about future visitors?
From “smart phones” like the iPhone and BlackBerry to the rise of netbook users, are you focusing as much on your blog design as your content? The blogs of Seth Godin, Chris Kieff, and Chris Brogan fail. Does yours?
Let’s take a look…
Seth Godin offers marketing advice every day at sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog. I clicked that link on my BlackBerry and I had to scroll through the entire left sidebar to reach the blog post. Very bad design.
Chris Kieff also has a left sidebar and reading his latest article at 1goodreason.com/blog is no better.
What’s the solution for bloggers insisting on left sidebar content? If you self-host a WordPress blog, you can emulate Randy Southerland who uses a mobile-friendly plugin from Alex King. Check out one of his blog posts with your device at southwrite.wordpress.com. (Note: I also use this plugin.)
The debate on left vs right sidebar content is not new, and is not unique to blogs. Other websites are no better. There are numerous thoughts on the issues, with Brandon Manbeck writing succinctly on the potential problem for online publishers:
I used to accept all of the horizontal scrolling and zooming in on text that was necessary to view websites while on the go, but that’s not the case anymore. If I end up on a website that is not optimized for mobile, I’ll just leave most of the time.
If you’ve identified your blog or website has left sidebar content (or a ton of widgets in the right sidebar), or other elements that can offset mobile friendliness, what can you do? For starters, head over to Louis Gray’s mobile advice that was written last year for you. From issues on load time to readability to solutions for different blog platforms, I’m sure you’ll click away with some ideas.
The Blogspot publishing platform, despite its lack of plugins like the WordPress community, may still offer hope for its authors. See Kneale Mann‘s blog, for instance, who has a left sidebar but his content comes up no differently than Randy’s.
It’s no different with other blogs that use the Disqus or IntenseDebate commenting systems.
What am I missing?