New Site Theme Made from Scratch | Target: 31 Jan 18
I’m building a new layout for the main domain using Adobe Muse. It feels stupendous and is kind of a breath of fresh air…I’ll sleep again when it’s finished….Well, nap. I’ll nap.
For the first year of mikewriting.com, I’ve been using a WordPress theme I really like. I like it so much I bought the full version and all. Buy every now and then (or really often) I have to tweak or fix something that goes weird — especially in mobile resolutions. Support is really weak in helping modify their code, and I’m not mad at them about that. It’s just really gotten old.
What the Numbers Suggest
Google Analytics gives a mountain of details about web traffic. Two stats I care about when re-building my site is device type and session duration.
The numbers tell me that 43 percent of visitors are on a mobile device. That’s kind of a big deal when I consider that things break, malfunction, or just look weird on my mobile layout most of all. It makes sense to build a mobile-friendly/mobile first web site. With being more active in social media, I expect this percentage to go up.
Session Duration gives me an idea of which devices types are reading versus listening to articles and also tells me who hangs out longer. Click Session Duration for the full definition. In short, a session is the length of time a user spends on a web site before the session expires by either inactivity or or is ended by exiting the web site.
The session durations on desktops is waaay longer. In fact, they’re almost 6 times as long as mobile users. My common sense tells me that mobile will be shorter, because visitors are going reading through the browser of social media. Also when we’re on desktops, it’s no problem to leave a tab open a site you might come back to at some point. Specifically, what I notice here is that mobile visiting is kind of sad. I could guess a bunch of reasons, but mostly likely, the mobile layout is painful for visitors to navigate.
Another note on device type is that the majority of readers are viewing on desktops — 53 percent. I presume this group is visiting from work place computers — which I think is awesome. That’s giving my content your Amazon or YouTube time, and that means a lot *sniff*. If you’re reading at work, I think you’re likely to read the article’s text versus listen to the recording, because you’d need headphones which means you’d have to block out co-workers which means you’ll lose your place in the article easier when interrupted which means you’ll likely look at the text to find out where you were last listening, re-read a few sentences then go back to listening. I used the session duration by device data to decide it’s best to reel in the word count of my posts to land somewhere between 500-700 words per post, so a reader can give that 3-5 minutes of engagement — bounce in and bounce out. Plus that’s how my favorite blogs and online magazines do it. Plus that.
New Layout — It’s Time
After a year of running live web sites and learning web development and web design, I think it’s time for that next level. I want ownership. I want to be my own tech support. I need to have tighter control of the user experience. It just feels better when your own hands built something. It’s definitely time.
I have the tools. I have the knowledge. I have the time. It’s happening.
The goal is 31 January 2018.