Mobile computing has changed a lot since Liliputing started in April, 2008. Netbooks are out. Tablets, ultrabooks, and smartphones are in. And more than 12,000 articles and 67 million page views later, I decided it was about time to give the website a fresh coat of paint.
If you’ve visited Liliputing recently, you may have noticed a few changes. I hope most are for the better. The site should now load more quickly — especially on mobile devices. It’s designed with smartphones and tablets in mind, but it should be at least as easy to navigate on a desktop or notebook as ever.
And I think it looks a bit nicer too.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the site is now “responsive.” If you resize your browser window, the site will respond by wrapping text or even moving the sidebar to make sure that articles are front and center.
This also means that if you visit the site on a smartphone, you shouldn’t need to pinch to zoom in order to read the text anymore. All the important items are still there though, whether you’re on a phone, tablet, or desktop. You can still access the main site navigation, return to the home page by tapping our logo, or search the site using the search box (near the bottom of the page on smartphones now) no matter what device you’re using.
We’ve also put a little more emphasis on the latest post, giving it a place of honor at the top of the page. Below that featured article, you’ll find all the latest stories in either a single-column or dual-column view, depending on the size of your browser screen.
I know some folks hate change, but I don’t think this was change just for the sake of change. Around a quarter of our visitors are using mobile devices, and the mobile experience really wasn’t up to snuff. And to be honest, neither was the desktop view.
I didn’t know much about web design when I whipped up the first version of Liliputing, and I’ve been gradually hacking away at the site theme for about 5 years. It was kind of a monstrosity behind the scenes.
To give credit where it’s due, Liliputing’s new theme is based on the Eleven40 theme from StudioPress and uses the Genesis framework for WordPress. I’d also like to thank Randall Bennett who helped me solve a few issues that had been driving me up a wall, and Brad Dalton’s WP Sites website is a great resource for folks looking for tips on customizing WordPress sites that use the Genesis Framework.
I’m still not done tweaking — but I think the site is about 99 percent of where I want it to be right now. So while I normally don’t like to talk too much about myself or what’s going on behind the scenes on the main page of Liliputing, I wanted to take a moment to show off, let you throw rotten tomatoes at me, and let me know if I missed or broke anything?