This year we have started creating a series of simple video clips for Craigdarroch Castle. They’re nothing fancy but we now have 20 and 30 second spots appearing in four airports and two ferry terminals and we have set the system up in such a way that we can upload new videos according to the promotional activities going on at Craigdarroch Castle… which I think is neat.
A little more about Responsive Design. There’s a lot of really good reasons to understand this… because it is going to affect everyone who has a website presence.
Responsive Design offers a better solution to the present day fragmentation (or explosion) of web devices. The central concept is to build a series of scalable designs options targeted for specific groups of devices by using flexible grids and scaling images.
When you access a website on a Web browser, on whatever platform, they then provide information to the website on the maximum pixel width they support using a CSS element known as a media query. Using this value, we can then make assumptions about the target device because the maximum width will be approximately the size of the device screen. So, rather than creating separate sites with different content, user interfaces and creative elements tailored for each device, a responsive site will adapt and scale the presentation layer to work best within the available screen real estate.
So, just what is a breakpoint ?
A breakpoint is the media query values that will mark the transition to a new class of devices.
Essentially, we then create fluid designs that will scale within a set media query range. These ranges will equate to different device classes, such as a smartphone, tablet and desktop/laptop. Once this breakpoint threshold is crossed, a different set of CSS code will be activated that will build / send the web page using the appropriate fluid layout, navigation design, images and text formatting targeted for these devices.
Because the concept of Responsive Design is fairly new to the industry, there is no universal set of breakpoints or best practices, however, based on the Responsive Design work we have done for clients to date and our own internal research, we have chosen to use four design scenarios with three breakpoints (see illustration).
The first range would capture mobile phones in a portrait orientation, and the second would be designed for mobile phones in landscape orientation. The third would target tablets in portrait orientation, and the final range would cover tablets in landscape orientation as well as laptops and desktop monitors. It’s important to mention that these ranges are general classifications and there will be overlap. There are smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note, with screens so large that they will align with our tablet class.
This isn’t a problem because Responsive Design will simply scale to the device screen seamlessly. For example, responsively designed sites built months ago will adapt to the new screen parameters of the recently released iPad without requiring code updates. This creates a solution designed to work for as yet unreleased devices, such as the next version of the iPhone or the next generation of the Kindle Fire.
Does that sound like serious tech-speak to you? It’s not. Not if you are in business and have a website today. These are things someone in your company should know, or at least be talking to the people who design your company website to about.
Should you have any questions regarding Responsive Design, please contact us.
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A contemporary website must work effectively on all desktop browsers as well as the myriad of mobile devices available today. Responsive Design is the art of creating an architecture that works across all browsers and devices. Responsive Design tailors the implementation to provide the best quality online browsing experience – whether on a computer, smartphone, tablet, netbook or e-reader, and regardless of the operating system.
People who browse while on-the-go have very different needs than those sitting at a desk. Responsive web sites re-organize themselves automatically according to the device viewing them, so that the same website provides a great experience everywhere. Desktops get a full-blown interface with videos, large images and animations. Smartphones get a simplified website that runs fast without the bells and whistles. Tablets and netbooks get something in between.
Delivering an App-Like Experience.
Mobile environments require simpler navigation, focused content and fast page loads. If a website has a responsive design, the user does not have to manipulate the site using “pinch and zoom,” and the flow of content is more appropriate for a smaller screen. The site may reduce the amount of content presented to the mobile visitor, so it has less clutter and is easier to use.
Think of responsive design as a toolkit for web designers to ensure that the sites offer a more app-like experience in their clients’ websites when viewed on a mobile or tablet device, all without having to build an app version.
Responsive design is a forward-thinking technology, as it makes sites that will work on next year’s devices. One of the major challenges in providing excellent websites for the mobile user is the vast number of devices emerging in the market place. In 2012, more than 40 new Andriod based mobile devices were released and this doesn’t include devices running on other platforms like iOS, or windows mobile. It’s no longer possible to test your website on every one of these new devices. Responsive Design does that for you.
Different Screen Sizes
The website automatically adjusts according to the device’s screen size, and orientation. Large or small – landscape or portrait; responsive sites switches between these on-the-fly.
The layout of a responsive website can change to accommodate the device viewing it. On a desktop a large menu bar is easy to read and use, but on a smartphone that same menu shrinks to a dropdown menu, simplifying the layout for the smaller screen.
Responsive design works by grouping similar devices by screen size together to establish the target size “break points” your site is designed for. So you’re not designing the “iPhone” version of a site; you’re designing the version intended for all smartphones. The website is flexible and responds to the exact size of the screen viewing it. When a new device comes out that’s a little larger or smaller than your target, it’s going to work well on it too.
Responsive Web Design Features
By essentially giving a custom solution for each mobile platform, responsive website design makes for a better user experience on a wider range of devices.
Pick & Choose Content For Different Devices
Responsive web design controls the amount of content presented to the visitor. On smartphones, responsive design pages shows the 4 newest blog posts on the home page. On larger screens you see 8 blog posts with small thumbnail image, and a short summary of the post.
Search Engine Friendly
The structure of a responsive website also makes it easy for search engines to read. Without responsive design you may be accidentally duplicating content in a mobile and non-mobile website, which dilutes your content’s rankings in the search engines and may even result in a ranking penalty.
Responsive Design is a great, efficient way to increase the marketability of a website. With responsive design, the website is built only once and is viewable on any digital gizmo you can get your hands on. This also presents the opportunity to create a more functional (and, in turn, profitable) website.
As you look at your company’s long-term strategic plans for the web, responsive design must be a consideration. This is rapidly becoming the new standard for our industry. For some companies, it must be a significant factor in their next site redesign. For others it may make more sense to use an upcoming campaign micro site as a beta test.
“Does responsive design make sense for us?” is not the question that we face. The question is “When does responsive design make sense?”
If you are interested in finding out how The Steve Roper Group can help you integrate you existing website into a Responsive Design website, contact us.
Our first stop on the trip is Norman Island, where we will anchor for the night at The Bight.
Norman Island is famed for its tales of buried treasure, but the caves off Treasure Point offer a different type of booty for snorkelers. Norman Island has been made famous from the 1883 classic story “Treasure Island” which was written by Robert Louis Stevenson.
A short ride from the Bight, we plan to pick up a National Parks mooring in the morning and snorkel our way over to The Caves.
This is a spectacular snorkeling adventure, with thousands of orange cup coral and red sponge covering the cave walls. The island is equipped with three caves – two large ones and a small one.
Schools of friendly yellow tails, blue tangs and sergeant majors will follow you into the caves
On the entrance into the larger cave in the cent photo above, the walls are covered with cup corals and sea urchins abound just below…
A few years ago, we entered the second of the caves you see above to discover we could swim right through it and come out just about where you see that sandy beach by the yacht at the top of the photo. Bring a flashlight to truly experience the Caves, which shimmer with a pastel coating of orange cup coral and red covering sponge.
A fun way to spend a couple of hours.
The Indians are four unique shaped rocky pinnacles in the British Virgin Islands right next to Norman Island. These easy to spot rocky pinnacles rise about sixty feet above the water surface. This unique rock formation has one of the BVI’s best snorkeling and diving with an abundance of coral gardens and many fish. If you look very, very, very close with much imagination the picture of The Indians sorta looks like feathers in an Indians headdress. This is how the cays got their name.
About half a mile north of Norman Island, this location has shallow and deep areas that satisfies both the novice or expert. When the seas are calm, snorkeling is best on the eastern side of The Indians, while the western side features 50 foot drops with elkhorn and brain coral. The BVI National Parks Trust has placed many moorings at The Indians for use.
These rocky formations are quite spectacular when viewed from the 50 foot sandy bottom. The beautiful colors of the lavish corals and sponges contrast with the rocky ledges and steep walls that rise to the surface. The bright sun streaks its rays across the swell and creates some spectacular photo opportunities.
On our previous visit, we anchored where the yacht above is anchored and swam to the left of the yacht and in behind The Indians. This first fifteen minutes of the dive brought us through certainly one of the most lush underwater gardens we had seen in a while. Lots of soft corals. As we swan around the backside of The Indians, the scenery changes as the water got shallower and the coral appeared far more vivid. Halfway around the backside, we came to the rocky formation you see above that looks like an underwater bridge – which is exactly what it is and you can swim through it. It’s a cool little part of the dive experience here.
The you can see the water becomes considerably shallower with lots of little holes to poke around in and at this depth, the dive can last as long as you can make your air last.
We ended our dive by crossing back over through the break between the last two Indians and making our way back to the anchor line of our boat. A great dive or snorkeling experience.
Tucked into the northern corner of the bay on the western side of Great Dog, The Chimney is really two sites in one.
Directly below the moorings, in 30 to 40 feet of calm protected water, are several massive coral heads rising up from a sand and rubble bottom. This is called the Fish Bowl, so named because of the many friendly fishes abiding here. The yellowtails, sergeant majors, parrotfishes and other fishes have been fed by so many divers that they are conditioned to the sound of Velcro. Open a BC pocket, and zoom, you’ll be surrounded by a mass of finny mouths all looking for a handout.
To find the Chimney we pass through the Fish Bowl and head towards the northern shore of the bay. On this dive make sure to take the time to explore the several canyons and ridges that run parallel to shore. Work your way around the point.
At a depth of around 45 feet or so, cut back and follow a canyon back towards shore. This should lead you under a large beautifully encrusted archway encrusted with cup corals and brightly colored sponges. Once through the arch you’ll enter a steep-walled narrow corridor which ends with two huge rocks almost touching. The narrow slot between these two boulders is The Chimney, so named because of its resemblance to a rock-climbing formation of the same name. Before exiting through the slot take the time to look around at all the marine life on the walls. A dive light will reveal all the brilliant hues and hidden creatures-little shrimp, spotted rock lobster, anemones and a rainbow of sponges. The unusual white sponges adorning the walls resemble wads of chewing gum. If The Chimney slot looks too narrow for you, it is possible to swim out over the top of it. Once through the Chimney there are a couple of canyons along the cliff face worth exploring as you work your way back through the Fish Bowl to your mooring.
There are lots of less visited canyons and rock formations also hidden here. You can also explore the base of the cliff further back into the bay. The bottom is covered with stones rubbed round and smooth from years of rolling in the winter surge. Among these stones is a wealth of tiny marine creatures such as brittle stars, baby flame scallops and an occasional Scorpionfish. This is also an excellent place to snorkel.
Search Engine Optimization Analysis
How well have your competitor’s web pages been optimized for search engine rankings?
We review their home page and other major pages in their web site to determine what they may have done correctly to assist their success or lack of success for areas you can capitalize upon.
Off Page SEO
Off-Page SEO includes all the things your competition does to promote their website outside the design of the website itself, such as getting more inbound links to a site, registering with directories relevant to an industry, and getting more pages into the search engine indexes.
Link Popularity Analysis
How the number of links pointing to your competitor’s website(s) may or may not have contributed to their ranking success. In addition, we will provide additional commentary should something of particular interest arise.
Backlinks are links that are directed towards your websites, also knows as Inbound links. The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.
We evaluate the quality of the links you have received to date according to your historical link building records, compare that to the expense and prepare recommendations for ongoing strategy. Additional link building strategies or tweaks to the current campaign(s) may be recommended.
Web Site Architecture / Structure
How search engine friendly is the structure of your competitor’s web site? Have the search engines found a large percentage of the pages that actually exist on their website(s)? If so, it could be that their web site structure is helping them win online.
What keywords are your competitor’s focusing their marketing on? Using a variety of analytical and statistical methods we will put together a comprehensive list of the keywords which your competitors are working with to focus advertising dollars.
The findings for each competitor will be revealed in this section, from which we will be able to set relevant strategy for your web site.
The competitive analysis we provide will include summary recommendations for your website based on the effective tactics discovered.
From there, we begin planning an annual online marketing strategy for your web site.
Johns Island is a beautiful gem of nature located in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, one of more than fifty sea islands along the South Carolina and Georgia coast. Johns Island has been inhabited for thousands of years by Native Americans and, even before that, by numerous species of wildlife. Europeans first began to settle the sea islands in the late sixteenth century. By the eighteenth century thousands of Europeans had settled on the islands drawn here by their beauty and productivity.
Johns Island is located southwest of Charleston, SC on the way to the resort communities of Seabrook and Kiawah Islands. Charleston has been recognized by Fodor’s as the TOP mainland American tourist destination for 2012. Kiawah and Seabrook are beautiful, mostly private, resort islands with a large population of part time residents and seasonal visitors. Travelers to these two islands must drive 15 miles thru John’s Island to get to their destinations.
Johns Island is the fourth largest island on the US East Coast (after Long Island NY, Mt Desert Island ME and Martha’s Vineyard MA). Johns Island is 84 square mile in size with a population of 14,000 people and scores of wildlife species including deer, alligators, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, otters and wild hogs. The rivers and marshes that make this an island abound with fish and shellfish, esp. oysters, and the ever popular local dolphins. The numbers of bird species are in the hundreds. They include bald eagles, osprey, wild turkeys, owls, hawks, herons, egrets and ducks. The flora is also abundant with many native and importance species as well as agricultural crops.
Because of our natural assets and proximity to Charleston and the resort communities, Johns Island has been, and will continue to be, developed for residential, recreational and commercial purposes. A dedicated conservancy effort is needed to ensure that development on Johns Island is both ecologically responsible as well as economically sensible.
The Broken Islands Group is a group of small islands and islets in the middle of Barkley Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The group is protected as the Broken Islands Group Unit of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which includes Long Beach, between Ucluelet and Tofino to Barkley Sound’s northwest, and the West Coast Trail between Port Renfrew and Bamfield, which is to the southeast.
We visited a while back and took a zodiac through the Broken Islands from Ucluelet and were thrilled to come face-to-face with a large group of Stellar Sea Lions (Twice).
The male, or bull, Stellar Sea Lion is a huge animal, growing up to three metres in length and weighing up to 900 kilograms.
In contrast, the females are only about a third as large, and give birth to one pup after a gestation period of one year.
There are three Stellar Sea Lion breeding rookeries in British Columbia, and many haul-out sites located throughout coastal B.C. A prominent local haul-out site is at Race Rocks, off the Western Communities of Greater Victoria.
The Steller sea lion, also known as the northern sea lion, is a threatened species of in the northern Pacific. It is the sole member of the genus Eumetopias and the largest of the eared Seal (Otariidae). Among Pinnipeds, it is inferior in size only to the Walrus and the two Elephant Seals. The Steller sea lion has attracted considerable attention in recent decades due to significant, unexplained declines in their numbers over a large portion of their range.
It is a thrill to get up close to these incredible mammals so comfortable in and around the water.