The Dark Fortress

Responsive site launch

21 April 2015 | 7th Edition

At long last after months of code tinkering and a degree of anguish, a responsive version of the site was launched early last week on Tuesday 14th.

Without doubt it has been the big elephant in the room for well over a year now. But I thought it was now a good time to finally push it over the line and coinciding with Google's deadline for optimising websites falling today 21 April 2015 (although in most aspects already compliant), everything finally fell serendipitously into place.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

'Mobile-friendliness' of course does not just mean the layout responding to the size of the screen it is being viewed on, there is a bit more to it. But outwardly the design change is the most noticeable manifestation.

Although fully thought through it is still not perfect in some areas. It does however function on screen sizes other than just desktop monitors thus ensuring a better experience for visitors on phones and tablets which was the main objective. There are still a few areas that need design finessing — some might never be resolved to my satisfaction — this is all part of the challenge of working with a legacy site built and developed over many years.

One of the biggest single headaches was integrating a newer version of jQuery required to handle mobile navigation functionality, as it broke older design element modules running on older versions. This neccessitated a new image lightbox system being incorporated to solve the issue. Other layout concerns regarded the use of background images: in the end easily resolved by simply no longer using any background images. Change becomes easy if you're prepared to step back and consider problems from a different perspective.

Design tweaks and improvemnts will continue quietly in the background as time goes on. There will be a fuller account of the creation of the responsive version at a later date, for those that might be interested.

But in the meantime any issues feel free to email or comment below.