Adapting to changing (web) technology

   As technology moves forward, the manner in which we display our photography on the web has had to adapt. It was not long ago I was instructed that the largest screen size I could safely code for was around 800 pixels wide. At the time, 1280 pixel wide monitor resolutions were current technology, but many people were still using older monitors, and you had to have a website they could use too. As monitors became larger and larger, the size one could safely build a website for slowly increased. Then came the cell phones…

   I’ve enjoyed gradually being able to show my photos larger and larger on my website (though not fullscreen). My first website had larger images at only 480 pixels wide. Now it seems we are being pulled in two directions at once as we need to support both the larger personal computer screen resolutions (ie. retina displays) and cell phones simultaneously. Early in 2014 around 5-10% of my site users were on tablets and cell phones. Now that number is approaching 40-50% – and the current website here doesn’t play nice with smaller screens. Usable on a tablet but not very pleasant to use on a cell phone. Now that Google is changing their standards for search – those who do not have mobile compatible websites will often be left out of search results entirely.

   So with this development, and the percentage of mobile users that have been getting a poor experience on my sites, I’ll be learning how to convert to a responsive design that adapts to whatever platform is being used. I already have a prototype for my main site that doesn’t change the layout (for desktops) and works fine on a small cell phone. This blog will be more difficult to adapt, as will Photoshelter – if I don’t simply change both to a pre-existing mobile supported theme. So you may see some changes here and things won’t look like they did before, but I’ll likely work towards having all 3 of my site areas (site, blog and image library) looking as similar as possible – and mobile friendly!

   Stay tuned!

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