NJN Network Goes Mobile First

NJN Network Mobile first format
Our new format is faster and easier to read on smartphones and tablets because the future is mobile and it’s here now

By Stephen Pate – We just updated our site to WordPress 4.1 and the Twenty-Fifteen theme to make it easier and faster for you to read and get stories on your phone or tablet.

The new format is also plainer. All the fancy formatting makes sites slower which is wasted on smartphones with their tiny screens.

Our site is even faster on your desktop. The new format went live today and we expect to tweak the last 10% over the holidays with no reader distraction.

More than 50% of web traffic was from mobile devices – phones and tablets – about May 2013. Web site developers have tried a number of tricks to make their sites work on your phone. From apps to diverting traffic to special “mobile” friendly websites, all of those tricks have been expensive and not very helpful.

Apps are great but they are expensive to develop and you need to be on at least Apple and Android with perhaps Windows as well.  The maintenance costs on an app are beyond the budget of all but the largest companies.

WordPress has championed responsive code that adapts to the browser. That helps but if your website is burdened with fancy formats, front page carousels and scripted advertising, readers are going to be frustrated by the technology.

Computerworld - what's new - story sliders, department segments, ads and banners
Computerworld – what’s new – story sliders, department segments, ads and banners


This year ComputerWorld changed to a new “mobile” format that emphasizes a story slider, intrusive advertising, top news banners and various sections for stories. The site has become impossible to navigate in a hurry. Most people just want to read the news meaning new stories.

Keep it simple

The Verge mobile site - the top of page advertisement gets in the way
The Verge mobile site – the top of page advertisement gets in the way

Everyone needs to monetize their site to pay the rent and mobile is making that harder. Banner ads are being ignored by readers so advertisers are resorting to pop ups. It’s not much use to fill up a site with ads that distract or annoy readers.

This morning I linked from Twitter to The Verge on my phone and the annoying top of page advertisement followed me down the story page as I read and then snapped me to the top of the page.

Wow was that frustrating. I didn’t finish the story or read another.

How NJN Network is funded

We try to keep the ads to a minimum. However, we have to pay the rent so advertising is important. Stories about music, movies and other gear will have links to places where you can buy product if you want. We work hard to find the best prices and service, which often means Amazon.com but includes iTunes, Microsoft and other vendors.

If you click-through a link and buy something, we get a tiny commission, although we have no idea who is buying what.

If it suits you, thanks for using our advertisers. The fees we earn pay the way to keep NJN Network since 2007 alive and publishing.

Thanks too for reading the stories and coming back again. Readers are everything and we appreciate your time. You can create a Favicon on your desktop or phone now. If you read NJN regularly, try a free subscription and you get every new story in the mail.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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