130+ WordPress Site Examples of Big Brands in 2018

As most of you know by now, WordPress is far more than a blogging platform. It is a full-blown content management system (CMS) that is capable of handling of being used for everything from large enterprise sites to high-traffic magazine publications. WordPress is now used by over 29.3% of all websites on the internet (up from 27% in last year) and shows no signs of slowing down. Most likely there will be a day when it passes that 50% mark.

Today we are going to share with you some examples that might surprise you of some of the best WordPress site examples and brands around the web in 2018.

WordPress Site Examples

62% of the top 100 fastest growing companies in the US (Inc. 5000) use WordPress. – Nelio Software

The best WordPress site examples below have been placed in different categories based on their content and purpose. Obviously, we can’t include every WordPress site so we wanted to share with you examples of bigger brands and higher quality sites.

We have found that typically sites with high domain authority and rankings are ones that showcase WordPress and its power to the fullest! There are of course thousands of smaller sites which might do a good job as well, but then we’d be here all day. 😉 So we used three different factors to choose whether or not a site should be included:

  • Ahrefs Domain Rating (50+)
  • Moz Domain Authority (40+)
  • Alexa Ranking (Within the top 1 million global sites)

This post will be frequently updated as new sites emerge and others migrate to different platforms. Lists within each category are in order of highest authority using factors above. Highest weights are placed on domain authority and domain rating as a lot of the Alexa data comes from their toolbar which in some categories and or niches can skew the data.

Category Index of WordPress Sites

Business and Enterprise WordPress Websites

WordPress has become a great fit for Enterprises and offers a lot of advantages such as:

  • Expandable, Flexible and Affordable
  • Supports Responsive Development
  • Scalable
  • SEO Friendly
  • Updated Frequently for New Features and Security Vulnerabilities
  • Supports Multisite and Multilingual Functionality
  • REST API and WP-CLI Make It Developer Friendly
  • User Friendly
  • Easy Roles with Granular Access

A number of factors are now converging that point to the enterprise being the next main driver in continued WordPress expansion. The platform has a solid run of exemplary recent releases behind it and an increasing number of satisfied enterprise users on board using both the commercial and community versions of the software. Specialized enterprise WordPress hostingis also now readily available.

Below are some big companies and enterprises that are powered by WordPress.

The White House – whitehouse.gov

The whitehouse.gov website keeps everyone up to date on the the latest news as it pertains to the President of the United States, economy, national security, budgets, immigration, and healthcare.

The White House runs WordPress

jQuery – jquery.com

jQuery is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries used around the web today.

jquery wordpress sites

plesk – plesk.com

Plesk is a tool designed to build, secure and run websites and applications in the Cloud.

plesk wordpress sites

The National Archives – nationalarchives.gov.uk

The National Archives is the UK government’s official archive. Their main duties are to preserve government records and to set standards in information management and re-use.

the national archives

Qualtrics – qualtrics.com

The Qualtrics Insight Platform makes sophisticated research simple and empowers users to capture customer market and employee insights in one place.

qualtrics wordpress sites

Dyn – dyn.com

Dyn is a cloud-based internet performance management company which helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure using a best-in-class anycast DNS network.

dyn wordpress sites

quantcast – quantcast.com

Quantcast Corporation is a digital marketing company that provides free audience demographics measurement and delivers real-time advertising.

quantcast wordpress sites

NGINX – nginx.com

NGINX is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server and reverse proxy. They accelerate content and application delivery, improve security, facilitates availability and scalability for the busiest web sites on the web. We use NGINX for all customers here at Kinsta, so we are big fans!

nginx wordpress sites

Tucows – tucows.com

Tucows offers internet services to thousands of business partners and millions of end users around the world. Most people probably know them through their domain registrar partners.

tucows wordpress sites

Sony Music – sonymusic.com

Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history.

Sony Music WordPress Sites

The New York Times – nytco.com

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. They use WordPress to power their corporate site.

The New York Times

The New York Times

Group Renault – group.renault.com

Groupe Renault is a French multinational automobile manufacturer which currently produces a range of cars and vans.

groupe renault wordpress sites

MaxCDN – maxcdn.com

MaxCDN is a global content delivery network which focuses on making your websites and apps faster, purge and provision content instantly, and get analytics in real time.

maxcdn wordpress sites

Tribune Media – tribunemedia.com

Tribune Media is home to a diverse portfolio of over 42 television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming.

tribune media wordpress sites

The Walt Disney Company – thewaltdisneycompany.com

The mission of the Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.

the walt disney company wordpress sites

MindTouch – mindtouch.com

MindTouch turns user manuals into a digital experience. This is a new category of software that doubles web traffic and increases customer engagement.

mindtouch wordpress sites

Company.com – company.com

Company.com is a trusted provider of enterprise quality operational resources to help start, run and grow your business. They rank #5 on the 2016 Inc. 5000 List as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States by Inc. Magazine.

company wordpress site

SiteMinder – siteminder.com

SiteMinder helps you increase hotel profitability and bookings. They help you attract, reach and convert more guest which furthering your global reach, lowering the cost of acquisition, and increasing margins.

siteminder wordpress sites

Marin Software – marinsoftware.com

Marin Software provides one of the leading paid search management platforms for advertisers and agencies worldwide.

marin software wordpress sites

Vivendi – vivendi.com

Vivendi SA  is a French multinational mass media company which is headquartered in Paris, France.

vivdendi wordpress sites

Boingo – boingo.com

Boingo makes it easy to access Wi-Fi on any device at more than 1 million hotspots worldwide, including airports, hotels, cafes, stadiums and more.

boingo wordpress sites

AdEspresso – adespresso.com

AdEspresso is one of the easiest online tools to manage and optimize your Facebook Advertising. Their focus is to decrease your spend while increasing conversions and engagement.

adespresso wordpress sites

Toyota – toyota.com.br

Toyota is one of the largest car manufacturer’s in the world. Their Brazil division uses WordPress to power their website.

toyota wordpress sites

Loggly – loggly.com

Loggly is a very popular cloud log management service that delivers application intelligence.

loggly wordpress sites

Wolverine Worldwide – wolverineworldwide.com

Wolverine Worldwide was founded on the simple desire to create good products for good people, whose own footprint can be found in approximately 200 countries and territories throughout the world.

wolverine worldwide wordpress sites

SparkPost – sparkpost.com

SparkPost provides email delivery services to apps and websites. Plans range from free 100K emails/month to high-volume enterprise services.

sparkpost wordpress sites

Foliovision – foliovision.com

Folivision creates a multitude of different plugins for WordPress. Their mission is to build the world’s most powerful and easiest to use video plugin.

foliovision wordpress sites

ExpressJet – expressjet.com

ExpressJet is a leading regional airline with 8,000+ aviation professionals and 1,600+ daily American Eagle, Delta Connection & United Express flights.

expressjet wordpress sites

MOD Pizza – modpizza.com

Serving individual artisan-style pizzas and salads super-fast since 2008. Any toppings, same price.

mod pizza wordpress sites

The Official Site of Sweden – sweden.se

The official source for facts about Sweden. It is publicly funded, with four organisations behind it: the Swedish Institute (SI), Business Sweden, VisitSweden and the Swedish Government Offices, including the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications.

The Official Site of Sweden

The Official Site of Sweden

News and Magazine WordPress Sites

Where would we be without our daily news? Here are some examples of large magazine and news sites using WordPress to reach their millions of readers every single day. For large sites like these, Kinsta’s HHVM feature comes in very handy.

Wired – wired.com

Wired.com provides in-depth coverage of current and future trends in technology, and how they are shaping business, entertainment, communications, science, politics, and culture.

wired wordpress sites

TechCrunch – techcrunch.com

TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.

techcrunch wordress sites

Fortune – fortune.com

Fortune is a multinational business magazine published and owned by Time Inc. The website has a great history of providing news and analysis critical to business people.

fortune wordpress sites

The New Yorker – newyorker.com

The New York provides reporting about daily news, cultural coverage, podcasts, videos, and cartoons.

the new yorker wordpress sites

Harvard Gazette – news.harvard.edu/gazette/

Official news from Harvard University covering innovation in teaching, learning, and research.

Harvard Gazette

Harvard Gazette

Variety – variety.com

Variety provides entertainment news, film reviews, awards, film festivals, box office, and info about entertainment industry conferences.

variety wordpress sites

The Sun – thesun.co.uk

The Sun magazine is a very popular place for news, sports, showbiz, and info about what’s happening with celebrities.

the sun WordPress sites

Chicago Sun Times – suntimes.com

The Chicago Sun Times provides new regarding Chicago, sports info, politics, and entertainment.

chicago sun times wordpress sites

The Next Web – thenextweb.com

The Next Web is one of the world’s largest online publications that delivers an international perspective on the latest news about Internet technology, business and culture.

the next web wordpress sites

Vogue – vogue.com

Vogue provides the latest fashion news, beauty coverage, celebrity style, fashion week updates, culture reviews, and videos.

vogue wordpress sites

Quartz – qz.com

Quartz is a guide to the new global economy for people in business who are excited by change. They cover a variety of topics including business, economics, markets, finance, technology, science, design, and fashion.

quartz wordpress sites

Boing Boing – boingboing.net

Boing Boing became an early weblog in 2000, and evolved into what they are today: an eclectic mix of linkblogging, original feature articles, podcasts, original video and curated picks from around the web, a place where they share and discover provocative finds with like-minded happy mutants. 

boing boing wordpress sites

Canada – canada.com

Canada.com is all about sharing Canada’s great, shareable stories.

canada wordpress sites

9To5Mac – 9to5mac.com

9To5Mac provides news and reviews for Apple products, apps, and rumors. They provide breaking coverage for the iPhone, iPad, and all things Mac.

9to5mac

Time Inc. – timeinc.com

Time Inc. is one of the largest branded media companies in the world reaching more than 120 million people each month across multiple platforms.

time inc wordpress sites

ValueWalk – valuewalk.com

ValueWalk news site is responsible for breaking the worldwide news on business, value investing, politics, technology and science.

valuewalk wordpress sites

Crack Magazine – crackmagazine.net

Crack Magazine is an independent platform for contemporary culture.

crack magazine wordpress sites

Educational WordPress Sites

Education is one of the most important fundamental aspects of sustainable economic growth. It improves people’s productivity, their ability to listen and think more effectively and to imagine things more creatively. Investment in human capital is essential for developing the economic well-being of a country, quality education would have to be indispensable consequently. All money spent on education will pay for itself many times in the future. Make sure to read our in-depth post on WordPress in the service of education.

Below are some examples of the top WordPress sites that are being used for higher education and learning.

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art – africa.si.edu

The National Museum of African Art (NMAfA) began as a private educational institution in 1964 to promote cross-cultural understanding in the social sciences and arts.

national museum of national art wordpress sites

University of Washington – washington.edu

The University of Washington is a very well respected research university based in Seattle, Washington, United States.

university of washington wordpress sites

Georgia State University – gsu.edu

Georgia State’s colleges and schools, centers of creativity and discovery, have a major impact on Atlanta, the nation and the world.

georgia state university wordpress sites

Sprott School of Business – sprott.carleton.ca

Sprott is a full-service business school in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – the nation’s capital.

sprott school of business wordpress sites

Cooper Hewitt – cooperhewitt.org

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is a design museum located in Manhattan, New York City.

cooper hewitt wordpress sites

RenWeb – renweb.com

RenWeb has created an unparalleled school information management system where every integrated piece works together to create seamless experience.

RenWeb wordpress sites

Lafayette College – lafayette.edu

Lafayette College is a private liberal arts college located in Easton, Pennsylvania, United States.

lafayette college wordpress sites

Wheaton College – wheatoncollege.edu

Wheaton College is a liberal arts college of 1,600 students where world-changing ideas flourish. They are located in Norton, MA., between Boston and Providence, RI.

wheaton college wordpress sites

Nicholls State University – nicholls.edu

Nicholls State University, located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, is a comprehensive, regional University serving south central Louisiana and beyond.

nicholls state university wordpress sites

Skillcrush – skillcrush.com

Skillcrush provides online classes in web design, coding, and other super marketable digital skills. Learn the skills that will get you hired, guaranteed.

skillcrush

Des Moines University – dmu.edu

Des Moines University offers nine graduate degrees including the second oldest osteopathic program in the country.

des moines university wordpress sites

International Gem Society – gemsociety.org

The International Gem Society provides information and educational services for everyone interested in gemstones. For gemologists, hobbyists, jewelers, lapidaries and everyone in between.

international gem society wordpress sites

Polk State College – polk.edu

Polk State College is a member of the Florida College System, a public state college located in Winter Haven, Florida, USA.

polk state college

College Choice – collegechoice.net

Choosing a college is one of those monumental life decisions that will determine your future in a variety of ways. College Choice offers numerous.

college choice wordpress sites

E-Commerce WordPress Sites

When it comes to WordPress sites, there are many different solutions for running an e-Commerce shop. Some of the most popular integrations are WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. Below are some examples of some top e-Commerce WordPress sites that are powered by WordPress.

aThemes – athemes.com

aThemes creates awesome WordPress themes, both free and premium. Their themes focus on simplicity (no bloat!), ease of use, and clean design. They are using Easy Digital Downloads.

athemes wordpress sites

GeneratePress – generatepress.com

GeneratePress is a responsive, easy to use WordPress theme available for free. It’s one of the most highly rated themes available on WordPress.org. They use Easy Digital Downloads for their premium addons.

generatepress wordpress sites

WPExplorer – wpexplorer.com

WPExplorer showcases some of the best WordPress Themes & WordPress Plugins available, and make high quality 100% GPL professional and blogging free WP templates.

wpexplorer wordpress sites

Ripley’s Believe it or Not! – ripleys.com

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is an online hub for strange news, stories, videos, photos, exhibits and so much more. They use WordPress to power their website and WooCommerce to power the store section.

ripley's believe it or not wordpress sites

S’well – swellbottle.com

Beautifully crafted stainless steel water bottles keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, while giving back to those in need. They use WooCommerce.

swell wordpress sites

Airstream – airstream.com

Airstream travel trailers and touring coaches inspire adventure and help people Live Riveted wherever they go.

airstream wordpress sites

Bata – bata.com

Bata is a well known brand reserved for quality-made and well-priced dress & casual shoes for men, women and kids.

bata wordpress sites

Protest – protest.eu

Protest is a design-led board-wear company from Holland founded in 1993. They are using WooCommerce.

protest wordpress sites

ETQ Amsterdam – etq-amsterdam.com

ETQ Amsterdam is a high-end footwear label based in Amsterdam. They are using WooCoomerce.

etq amsterdam wordpress sites

IZOD – izod.com

IZOD offers modern sportswear, high-tech golfwear, and performance wear with a clean, youthful aesthetic.

izod wordpress sites

Van Heusen – vanheusen.com

Van Heusen is known as one of the best-selling dress shirt brands in the world.

van heusen wordpress sites

FitBark – fitbark.com

FitBark monitors your dog’s everyday activity & sleep and turns it into actionable behavioral and medical insights. Fitness at both ends of the leash! They are using WooCommerce.

fitbark wordpress sites

Tinkering Monkey – tinkeringmonkey.com

Tinkering Monkey handcrafts wood and metal signs that are built to last. From modern to rustic, they build a sign your whole team will love.

tinkering monkey wordpress sites

Entertainment WordPress Sites

From television, to video games, and travel, WordPress is used to power all different types of exciting and dynamic sites!

AMC – amc.com

AMC is an American based television network owned by AMC networks. It is well known for shows such as The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Fear the Walking Dead, Humans, and Halt and Catch Fire.

AMC wordpress sites

MP3.com – mp3.com

MP3.com provides free mp3 downloads. Download songs and play radio; with lyrics, news, bios, photos, music videos, and playlists.

mp3 wordpress sites

this is Finland – finland.fi

this is Finland provides stores of its people–astonishing nature, inspirational arts and design, buzzing business, and strange customs.

this is finland WordPress Sites

BBC America – bbcamerica.com

BBC America is a digital cable network in the US which is jointly owned by BBC Worldwide and AMC Networks. It is popular for shows like Top Gear, Doctor Who, Luther, The Last Kingdom, and Orphan Black.

bbc america wordpress sites

Guild Wars 2 – guildwars2.com

Guild Wars 2 is a video game which defines the future of online roleplaying games with action-oriented combat, customized personal storylines, epic dynamic events, world-class PvP, and no subscription fees!

Guild Wars 2 WordPress Sites
Travel Portland – travelportland.com

Travel Portland is your resource for planning vacations and meetings in Portland, Oregon. Discover Portland events, restaurants, hotel deals and more.

travel portland wordpress sites
Official Website of Dallas Mavericks – mavs.com

Mavs.com is the official site of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks.

mavs wordpress sites
No Man’s Sky – no-mans-sky.com

Developed by Hello Games, No Man’s Sky is a science-fiction game without limits. If you see a mountain, you can trek there. If you see a planet hanging on the horizon, it’s a real place, with its own rich ecology.
no man's sky wordpress sites

The Penny Hoarder – thepennyhoarder.com

Millions of readers visit The Penny Hoarder every day for inspiring money stories and practical tips about how to earn and save.

the penny hoarder

Pluto – pluto.tv

Pluto TV is a free online television service broadcasting over 100 live channels full of the TV shows, movies and Internet videos you love, all on one dial.

pluto tv wordpress sites
Riverdance – riverdance.com

Riverdance is an international Irish dancing phenomenon. Riverdance has been seen live by over 25 million people with 11,000 performances in over 367 venues world wide, throughout 47 countries across 6 continents.

riverdance wordpress sites
Microsoft Studios – microsoftstudios.com

Microsoft Studios is the video game production wing for Microsoft, responsible for the development and publishing of games for the Xbox platforms, Steam, Windows Store, and Windows Phone platforms.

microsoft studios wordpress sites

Agency WordPress Sites

These are examples of agencies that are using WordPress to power their sites. Today there are even agencies that deal solely with WordPress clients.

Portent – portent.com

Portent pulls digital disciplines together, from SEO to PPC to content strategy, and make them work to build your brand, improve revenue, and meet your goals.

portent wordpress sites

Human Made – hmn.md

Human Made does enterprise grade WordPress development & consultancy for high-profile clients across the globe.

human made wordpress sites

Modern Tribe – tri.be

Modern Tribe pushes the design & development boundaries of WordPress with large-scale implementations (1 million + users), bespoke websites, & custom solutions.

modern tribe wordpress sites

10up – 10up.com

10up makes finely crafted websites and tools for content creators, helping clients like Microsoft, Time, ESPN, and Adobe create a better web.

10up wordpress sites

Design the Planet – designtheplanet.com

Design the Planet is a full-service New Orleans web design & development, brand strategy & marketing firm.

design the planet wordpress sites

Born Group – borngroup.com

BORN is a global digital agency connecting creative, content & commerce.

born group wordpress sites

wrk. – waaark.com

wrk is a French creative web studio which creates elegant and functional custom‑designed websites.

wrk wordpress sites

Open Source & Non-Profit WordPress Sites

Kinsta is a big fan of open source and non-profit WordPress sites. In fact, Kinsta has a 15% monthly recurring discount on all WordPress web hosting plans for charity’s, nonprofit organizations, and open source projects. Check out some of the top non-profit and open source sites below that are powered by WordPress.

Creative Commons – creativecommons.org

Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world & unlocking the full potential of the internet to drive a new era of development, growth and productivity.

creative common wordpress sites

Blender – blender.org

Blender is a cross-platform free and open source 3D creation suite.

blender wordpress sites

Economic Policy Institute – epi.org

The Economic Policy Institute is a non-profit American think tank based in Washington, D.C. They analyze the economic impact of policies.

economic policy institute wordpress sites

Kaiser Family Foundation – kff.org

The Kaiser Family Foundation provides in-depth information on key health policy issues including Medicaid, Medicare, health reform, global health, HIV/AIDS, health insurance, the uninsured and much more.

kaiser family foundation wordpress sites

Invisible Children – invisiblechildren.com

The Lord’s Resistance Army is a brutal rebel group of abducted soldiers. Invisible Children exists to stop them & bring every captive home.

invisible children wordpress sites

Cure – cure.org

CURE International brings healing to children with treatable conditions in under-served countries around the world through surgical care and the life-changing message of God’s love.

cure wordpress sites

National Archives Foundation – archivesfoundation.org

The National Archives Foundation is an independent nonprofit that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of America’s country’s heritage, and encourages citizen engagement in democracy.

national archives foundation wordpress sites

Platform – platformlondon.org

Platform combines arts, activism, education and research in projects that push for social & ecological justice, with a particular focus on the oil & gas sector.

platformlondon wordpress sites

Blog WordPress Sites

Thousands of companies and big brands are also using WordPress for the blog portions of their websites; along with thousands of full-time bloggers. See some of the top blogs powered by WordPress below.

Microsoft News – news.microsoft.com

Stories and news from Microsoft, including new features, events, and community blogs.

Microsoft News

Microsoft News

The Mozilla Blog – blog.mozilla.org

News, notes and ramblings from the Mozilla project, creator’s of the popular web browser Firefox.

Mozilla blog

Mozilla blog

cPanel Blog – blog.cpanel.com

cPanel is an online Linux-based web hosting control panel that provides a UI and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a website. The cPanel blog shares tips, tutorial, and news about the software.

cPanel Blog

cPanel Blog

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog – blogs.wsj.com/law/

A law section of the Wall Street Journal uses WordPress. WSJ on the cases, trends and personalities of interest to the business community.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog

TripAdvisor Blog – tripadvisor.com/blog/

TripAdvisor is a popular travel site which is best known for comparing prices on hotels. On their blog, they share travel guides, trip and destination inspiration, travel advice tips, and more.

TripAdvisor Blog

TripAdvisor Blog

Target Pulse Blog – pulse.target.com

The Pulse Blog was created to help Target candidates get a sneak peek into what it’s like to work at Target. Whether you’re interested in stores, distribution or headquarters, they help you get a feel for the Target culture and experience.

Target Pulse Blog

Target Pulse Blog

Staples Blog  – blog.staples.ca

The Canadian Staples blog with news about new products, technology, small businesses, and lifestyle.

Staples Blog

Staples Blog

Inside BlackBerry – blogs.blackberry.com

BlackBerry Software secures, manages, and connects the Enterprise of Things via BlackBerry Secure. Their Inside BlackBerry blog runs on WordPress.

Inside BlackBerry

Inside BlackBerry

Rackspace Blog – blog.rackspace.com

Product news, including support for AWS, Microsoft Azure and OpenStack; cloud and security insights, technical deep dives and press releases.

Rackspace Blog

Rackspace Blog

Bloomberg Professional – bloomberg.com/professional/blog

Financial services professionals rely on the best in data and analytics. Learn more about insights and product updates you can use to make informed decisions through the Bloomberg Professional blog.

bloomberg professional wordpress sites

Skype Blogs – blogs.skype.com

Product news, customer stories and updates from Skype can be found on the Skype blog; an application that provides video chat and voice call services.

skype blog wordpress sites

Reuters – blogs.reuters.com

Reuters brings you top news, photography, and videos from around the world.

reuters wordpress sites

Ted Blog – blog.ted.com

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

ted blog wordpress sites

SAP News Center – news.sap.com

SAP official site for latest news and information from SAP, including press releases and in-depth feature articles on business and technology trends.

SAP News Center

SAP News Center

Facebook Newsroom – newsroom.fb.com

View the latest news, announcements, and media resources from Facebook; one of the largest social networks on the web.

facebook newsroom wordpress sites

UPS Blog – longitudes.ups.com

A UPS blog discussing the macro forces shaping the global economy today and over the horizon. Popular topics include globalization, trade, sustainability, innovation, technology, healthcare and supply chain logistics.

ups blog wordpress sites

Evernote Blog – blog.evernote.com

Evernote is a popular tool used to collect, nurture, and share ideas across desktop and mobile platforms. View the latest stories and news on their blog.

evernote wordpress sites
Playstation Blog – blog.us.playstation.com

Official PlayStation blog for news and video updates on PS4, PS3, PSN, PS Vita, PSP.

playstation blog wordpress sites

Intuit Turbotax Blog – blog.turbotax.intuit.com

TurboTax is part of Intuit Inc., a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. View all sorts of tax tips and financial news on their blog.

intuit turbotax blog wordpress sites
Star Wars News – starwars.com/news

The official site for Star Wars, featuring the latest on Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and Star Wars Rebels, with daily news, games, and videos.

star wars wordpress sites

Mint Blog – blog.mint.com

Mint.com is a popular online financial planning tool and budget calculator. They use WordPress to power their blog. From the basics of finance management to creative frugal lifestyle choices, Mint’s experts explore how to live a full life frugally.

mint blog wordpress sites

Alaska Airlines Blog – blog.alaskaair.com/

The Alaska Airlines blog share news, travel tips and features about their company and employees.

alaskair blog wordpress sites

Flickr Blog – blog.flickr.net

This is the companion blog for Flickr, one of the best sites on the web for organizing, sharing and storing your photos.

flickr blog wordpress sites

ShoutMeLoud – shoutmeloud.com

ShoutMeLoud is an award-winning blog, which talks about living a boss free life through blogging. It’s a community of over 800,000 bloggers from around the globe.

shoutmeloud wordpress sites

Spotify News – news.spotify.com

Spotify is one of the world’s largest digital music services that gives you access to millions of songs. They share news, events, contents, and interviews on their blog.

spotify news wordpress sites

Personal WordPress Sites

WordPress is also used by all sorts of individuals, from authors, to celebrities, musicians, Olympians, movie stars, and popular bloggers. See some of the top personal WordPress sites below.

The 4-Hour Workweek fourhourworkweek.com

Tim Ferriss is well known for his #1 New York Times best seller, The 4 Hour Work Week; which teaches you how to escape the 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich.

the four hour work week wordpress sites
Beyoncé – beyonce.com

The official website of the popular singer Beyoncé offers a biography, hit list, videos, photographs, news and events calendar.

beyonce wordpress sites

The Rolling Stones – rollingstones.com

Official Website of the Rolling Stones. Contains the latest news about the band, upcoming concerts, films and a web-shop selling merchandise.

the rolling stones wordpress sites

Katy Perry – katyperry.com

Official site for the American singer and songwriter. Biography, news, videos, lyrics, ringtones, pictures and a show calendar.

katy perry wordpress sites
Usain Bolt – usainbolt.com

The Fastest Man in the World has the records for the 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19).

usain bolt wordpress sites
Snoop Dogg – snoopdogg.com

The official website for Snoop Dogg. Includes a collection of Snoop Dogg streaming audio and videos, and a forum.

snoop dogg wordpress sites
Sylvester Stallone – sylvesterstallone.com

The official website of actor, writer, director, Sylvester Stallone. Also known as “Rocky” or “Rambo.”

sylvester stallone wordpress sites

Matthew Barby – matthewbarby.com

Matthew Barby is an award winning digital marketing consultant that has worked with businesses across the world to drive traffic to their websites and build online communities.

matthew barby wordpress sites

Wil Wheaton – wilwheaton.net

Wil Wheaton is an actor known for his roles in Star Trek and the popular television show The Big Bang Theory.

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton

Summary

Again, we can’t include every website. But as you can see WordPress is paving the way for exciting new websites all over the world! It is being used by many big brands; everything from non-profits, enterprise, businesses, news and magazines, e-Commerce sites, celebrities, and even musicians. As time goes on you can expect to see more and more brands migrate to WordPress as it provides an easy to use, free, and scalable solution.


Credit: By  at kingsta.com

How to Optimize Images for Web and Performance

Trust us, you don’t want Google to hate your website. Fortunately, you can reduce your image’s file sizes to help improve your website’s performance. One problem with formatting them is that modifications often reduce their quality (which in turn might make the visitor hate your website). That’s not a bad thing as long as you don’t make them ugly. There are some tricks and techniques that let you reduce the image’s file size and still keep them pretty enough to proudly display them on your website. So let’s take a look at how to format your images without making them ugly, as well as how to optimise images for web and performance.

The Benefits of Formatting Your Images

First, why do you need to format your images? What are the benefits? There are numerous benefits of optimizing your images for performance. According to HTTP Archive, as of April 2017, images make up on average 66% of a total webpage’s weight. So when it comes to optimizing your WordPress site, images is by far the first place you should start! It’s more important than scripts and fonts. And ironically, a good image optimization workflow is one of the easiest things to implement, yet a lot of website owners overlook this.

average image size on web

Average bytes per page

Here is a look at the main benefits.

  • It will improve your page loading speed (see our case study below for how much it affects your speed).  If your page takes too long to load your visitors might get tired of waiting and move on to something else.
  • It improves your SEO. Your site will rank higher in search engine results. Large files slow down your site and search engines hate slow sites. Google will is also likely to crawl and index your images faster for Google image search. Curious about what percentage of your traffic comes from Google image search? You can use a Google Analytics segment to check Google image search traffic.
  • Creating backups will be faster.
  • Smaller image file sizes use less bandwidth. Networks and browsers will appreciate this.
  • Requires less storage space on your server (this depends upon how many thumbnails you optimize)
Images make up on average 66% of a webpage’s overall weight. ? Optimise them!CLICK TO TWEET

How To Optimize Images for Web and Performance

The primary goal of formatting your images is to find the balance between the lowest file size and an acceptable quality. There is more than one way to perform almost all of these optimizations. One of the most popular tools ways is to simply compress them before uploading to WordPress. Usually, this can be done in a tool like Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo. Some of these tasks can also be performed using plugins, which we will go into more below.

The two primary things to consider are the file format and type of compression you use. By choosing the right combination of file format and compression type you can reduce your image size by as much as 5 times. You’ll have to experiment with each image or file format to see what works best.

Choose the Right File Format

Before you start modifying your images, make sure you’ve chosen the best file type. There are several types of files you can use:

  • PNG – produces higher quality images, but also has a larger file size. It only uses lossless compression.
  • JPEG – uses lossy and lossless optimization. You can adjust the quality level for a good balance of quality and file size.
  • GIF – only uses 256 colors. It’s the best choice for animated images. It only uses lossless compression.

There are several others, such as JPEG XR and WebP, but they’re not universally supported by all browsers. Ideally, you should use JPEG (or JPG) for images with lots of color and PNG for simple images.

Compression Quality vs Size

Here is an example of what can happen you compress an image too much. The first is using a very low compression rate, which results in the highest quality (but larger file size). The second is using a very high compression rate, which results in a very low-quality image (but smaller file size). Note: The original image untouched is 2.06 MB.

low compression high quality jpg

Low compression (high quality) JPG – 590 KB

high compression low quality jpg

High compression (low quality) JPG – 68 KB

As you can see the first image above is 590 KB. That is pretty large for one photo! It is generally best if you can keep a webpage’s total weight under 1 or 2 MB in size. 590 KB would be a fourth of that already. The second image obviously looks horrible, but then it is only 68 KB. What you want to do is find a happy medium between your compression rate (quality) and the file size.

So we took the image again at a medium compression rate and as you can see below, the quality looks good now and the file size is 151 KB, which is acceptable for a high-resolution photo. This is almost 4x smaller than the original photo with low compression. Typically simpler images like PNGs should be under 100 KB or less for best performance.

medium compression medium quality jpg

Medium compression (great quality) JPG – 151 KB

Lossy vs Lossless Optimization

It is also important to understand that there are two types of compression you can use, lossy and lossless.

Lossy – this is a filter that eliminates some of the data. This will degrade the image, so you’ll have to be careful of how much to reduce the image. The file size can be reduced by a large amount. You can use tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo, or other image editors to adjust the quality settings of an image. The example we used above is using lossy compression.

Lossless – this is a filter that compresses the data. This doesn’t reduce the quality but it will require the images to be uncompressed before they can be rendered. You can perform a lossless compression on your desktop using tools such as Photoshop, FileOptimizer, or ImageOptim. Some plugins will apply Gzip compression to images (minify them).

It’s best to experiment with your compression techniques to see what works best for each image or format. If your tools have the option make sure you save the image for web. This is an option in many image editors and will give you the quality adjustments so you can perform optimal compression. You’ll lose some of the quality, so experiment to find the best balance you can without making the images ugly.

Image Optimization Tools and Programs

There are a lot of tools and programs out there, both premium and free, that you can use to optimize your images. Some give you the tools to perform your own optimizations and others do the work for you. We are personally big fans of Affinity Photo, as it is cheap and gives you almost identical features to that of Adobe Photoshop.

affinity photo

Compressing photo in Affinity Photo

Here are some additional tools and programs to check out:

Resizing Images to Scale

Another very important issue when it comes to image optimization is you should try and upload them to scale, and not let CSS resize them. This is not as important as compression, but it’s another tip that will ensure your images load as fast as possible across all devices. If you are using WordPress, by default, it resizes your images when uploading them to the media library. These settings can be found under “Settings > Media.” You will want to ensure that the max width is close to the width of your site. This way CSS is not trying to resize your image down to fit inside.

wordpress media settings

WordPress media settings

The WordPress media library creates thumbnails based on your settings. However, the original is still retained and untouched. If you want to resize your images and save disk space by not saving the original, you can use a free plugin like Imsanity.

Imsanity allows you to set a sanity limit so that all uploaded images will be constrained to a reasonable size which is still more than large enough for the needs of a typical website. Imsanity hooks into WordPress immediately after the image upload, but before WordPress processing occurs. So WordPress behaves exactly the same in all ways, except it will be as if the contributor had scaled their image to a reasonable size before uploading.

Image Optimization Plugins You Can Use

Thankfully, with WordPress, you don’t have to do all of the formatting or compression by hand. You can use plugins to do at least some of the work for you automatically. There are several plugins that will automatically optimize your image files as you upload them. They’ll even optimize images that you’ve already uploaded. This is a handy feature – especially if you already have a website filled with images. Here’s a look at some of the best plugins to format your images for better performance.

It is important though that you don’t solely rely on the plugins themselves. For example, you shouldn’t be uploading 2 MB images to your WordPress media library. This can result in eating up your web hosts disk space really fast. The best method is to quickly resize the image in a photo editing tool beforehand, and then upload it and use one of the following plugins to reduce it further.

Imagify Image Optimizer

imagify image optimizer

Imagify Image Optimizer plugin

Imagify is created by the same team who developed WP Rocket, which most of you are probably familiar with. It is WooCommerce, NextGen Gallery, and WP Retina compatible. It also has a bulk optimization feature and you can choose between three different levels of compression, normal, aggressive, and ultra. It has a restore feature as well, so if you are unhappy with the quality you can one-click restore and re-compress at a level which better suits your needs. There is a free and a premium version. You are limited to a quota of 25 MB of images per month with a free account.

Getting rid of the original image and resizing your larger images can also be done with this plugin.

Resize images in Imagify

Resize images in Imagify

ShortPixel Image Optimizer

shortpixel wordpress image optimization plugin

ShortPixel plugin

ShortPixel Image Optimizer is a free plugin that will compress 100 images per month and will compress multiple types of files including PNG, JPG, GIF, WebP, and even PDF files. It will do both lossy and lossless image compression. It will convert CMYK to RGB. It takes your images and thumbnails into the cloud for processing and then brings them back to your site to replace the originals. It creates a backup of the original files so you can manually restore them if you want. It will convert gallery files in bulk. There is no limit to the file size.

Optimus Image Optimizer

optimus image optimizer

Optimus Image Optimizer plugin

The Optimus WordPress Image Optimizer uses lossless compression to optimize your images. Lossless means you won’t see any quality loss. It supports WooCoomerce and multi-site and has a nice bulk optimization feature for those with already large existing media libraries. It also is compatible with the WP Retina WordPress plugin. There is a free and premium version. In the premium version you pay once annually and you can compress an unlimited amount of images. If you combine it with their Cache Enabler plugin you can also dive into WebP images, which is a new lightweight image format from Google.

WP Smush

wp smush plugin

WP Smush plugin

WP Smush has both a free and premium version. It will reduce the hidden information from images to reduce the size without reducing quality. It will scan images and reduce them as you upload them to your site. It will also scan images that you’ve already uploaded and reduce those too. It will bulk smush up to 50 files at once. You can also manually smush if you want. It will smush JPEG, GIF, and PNG image types. File sizes are limited to 1MB.

TinyPNG (also compressed JPGs)

tinypng

TinyPNG plugin

TinyPNG uses the TinyJPG and TinyPNG services (the free account lets you compress around 100 images per month) to optimize your JPG and PNG images. It will automatically compress new images and bulk compress your existing images. It will convert CMYK to RBG to save space. It will compress JPEG images up to 60% and PNG images up to 80% without a visible loss in image quality. It does not have a file size limit.

ImageRecycle

imagerecycle pdf image compression plugin

ImageRecycle – Image & PDF optimizer plugin

The ImageRecyle plugin is an automatic image and PDF optimizer. This plugin focuses on not only image compression but PDFs as well. One really handy feature is the ability to set the minimum file size for compression. For example, if you have images that are 80 KB in size, you can have it automatically exclude them from compression. This ensures images and files are never compressed too much. It also includes bulk optimization and auto image resizing. Note: They have a free 15-day trial, but this is a premium service, and images are uploaded and compressed using their servers. They don’t charge per month, but rather by the total number of images compressed, starting at $10 for 10,000.

Optimize Images for Web Case Study

We decided to do our own little case study and tests to show you just how much optimizing your images for the web can affect your WordPress site’s overall speed.

Uncompressed JPGs

We first uploaded 6 uncompressed JPGs, all of which were over 1 MB in size, to our test site. (See the original uncompressed JPGs). We then ran 5 tests through Pingdom and took the average. As you can see from the speed test below, our total load time was 1.55 seconds and the total page size was 14.7 MB.

speed test uncompressed jpg

Speed test with uncompressed JPGs

Compressed JPGs

We then compressed the JPGs using the Imagify WordPress plugin, using the “aggressive setting.” (See the new compressed JPGs, which still look just as beautiful). We then ran 5 tests through Pingdom and took the average. As you can see from the speed test below, our total load time was reduced to 476 ms and the total page size was reduced to 2.9 MB. Our total load times were decreased by 54.88% and page size was decreased by 80.27%.

speed test compressed jpg

Speed test with compressed JPGs

There is almost no other optimization you can make on your site that will get you over 50% decrease in load times. That is why image optimization is so important, the process above was all automated by the plugin. It’s a hands-off approach to a faster WordPress site. The only other dramatic optimization you could make would be changing up your WordPress hosts.

By optimizing your images, whether it is using a photo editing tool or a WordPress plugin, you can also fix the “Optimize images” warning you get in Google PageSpeed Insights (as shown below.)

pagespeed insights optimize images

PageSpeed Insights optimise images warning

Using SVGs

Another recommendation is to use SVGs alongside your other images. SVG is a scalable vector format which works great for logos, icons, text, and simple images. Here are a couple reasons why:

  • SVGs are automatically scalable in both browsers and photo editing tools. This makes for a web and graphic designers dream!
  • Google indexes SVGs, the same way it does PNGs and JPGs, so you don’t have to worry about SEO.
  • SVGs are traditionally (not always) smaller in file size than PNGs or JPGs. This can result in faster load times.

Genki wrote a great article where he compares the size of SVG vs PNG vs JPEG. Below are a few takeaways from his testing in which he compared the three different image types.

JPG (optimized size: 81.4 KB)

JPG size
JPG image

PNG (optimized size: 85.1 KB)

PNG size
PNG image

SVG (optimized size: 6.1 KB)

SVG size
SVG image

As you can see above, the SVG is a decrease in file size of 92.51% when compared to the JPG. And when compared to the PNG, 92.83%.

Best Practices

Here are some general best practices when it comes down to how to optimize images for web:

  • Use vector images whenever possible alongside your PNGs and JPGs
  • Use a CDN to serve up your images fast to visitors across the globe
  • Minify your images (JPG, PNG, SVG) with Gzip compression
  • Remove unnecessary image data
  • Crop the white space and recreate it by using CSS to provide the padding
  • Use CSS3 effects as much as possible
  • Save your images in the proper dimensions instead of letting HTML or CSS resize them
  • Use web fonts instead of placing text within images – they look better when scaled and take less space
  • Use raster images only for scenes with lots of shapes and details
  • Reduce the bit-depth to a smaller color palette
  • Use lossy compression where possible
  • Experiment to find the best settings for each format
  • Use GIF if you need animation (but compress your animated GIFs)
  • Use PNG if you need high detail and high resolutions
  • Use JPG for general photos and screenshots
  • Scale your images to their display size to reduce the number of pixels
  • Remove any unneeded image metadata
  • Automate the process as much as possible
  • In some cases, you might want to lazy load images for faster first-page render
  • Save images as “optimized for web” in tools such as Photoshop

Once you’ve formatted your images for better performance and followed best practices, your site will be better liked by search engines, browsers, and networks, and will load faster for your readers.


Credit: By  at kingsta.com

Virtual Reality, WordPress, & Web Design: What Does the Future Hold?

Virtual reality promises massive changes to the way we experience and interact with technology. Despite that, VR has failed to burst into the mainstream. At least so far…

But with cheap cardboard boxes that turn smartphones into virtual reality headsets and intrepid developers pushing for VR standards for web browsers, widespread virtual reality on the web is getting closer and closer.

In this post, I’ll dig into some of the implications of virtual reality on both WordPress and in web design in general.

What Virtual Reality Tech is Available Right Now?

Virtual reality sounds expensive, right? That’s what most people think. But VR tech can be surprisingly affordable, at least if you already have a smartphone. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most popular headset options:

Google Cardboard

  • Google Cardboard – Google Cardboard turns any compatible smartphone into a VR headset for the cost of a few cups of coffee. Yup, about $10-15 can get you your very own VR headset. For a quick overview of Google Cardboard, this YouTube video is a great start.
  • Oculus Rift – Best known for being snapped up by Facebook for a couple billion dollars, Oculus Rift creates quality, but expensive, headsets.
  • HTC Vive – HTC Vive isn’t cheap, but those willing to shell out ~$800 get what is, by all accounts, an amazing virtual experience.
  • Samsung Gear – Samsung Gear is one of the few headsets to rival Google Cardboard in terms of affordability. It costs around $100 but is limited to working with certain Samsung smartphones.

While not an exhaustive list, these are the virtual reality headsets which come up most commonly when discussing virtual reality and the web.

What About Website Support for Virtual Reality?

Getting headsets into the hands of the public isn’t the only problem with virtual reality. We also need libraries to support easy virtual reality implementation for websites. Thankfully, those are coming along well, too.

WebVR is a JavaScript library that offers access to Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR, or Google Cardboard in your web browser. Essentially, it aims to make virtual reality available in regular web browsers, rather than specialized apps.

It’s available in the nightly builds of both Firefox and Chrome and seems to be seeing increasing adoption.

How Do Virtual Reality and Web Design Intersect?

Imagine a site on the scale of Wikipedia with virtual reality. Instead of reading about famous locations, you could actually experience them through virtual reality. It may be a long way off, but that’s where I see the web going…eventually.

But there are other specific areas in which I already see VR being heavily pushed.

Virtual Reality for eCommerce Websites

I don’t know about you, but the only reason I go to physical stores nowadays is because I want to experience a product in person. Amazon might be cheaper and more convenient, but I can actually interact with the product at Target.

But virtual reality could change all that. Imagine being able to experience products on Amazon in virtual reality. You could see it from different angles, watch it in action. It would be incredible.

It’s not just a pipe dream, either. Some eCommerce sites have already moved to incorporate virtual reality into their shopping experiences. Take IKEA for example. Their Virtual Kitchen experience allows HTC Vive users to move through IKEA kitchen displays in virtual reality:

IKEA virtual reality

And companies like Prizmiq are already bringing detailed 3D imaging to product pictures. How long until they can offer compatibility with VR headsets for truly immersive product views?

Prizmiq

Virtual Tours for Real Estate or Travel Companies

Another major use for virtual reality is all types of tours. Whether for real estate or travel, virtual reality will let websites in these niches offer immersive experiences. Sotheby’s real estate already made waves by offering virtual reality tours for some of its property listings.

Sothebys

I think such uses will only expand as virtual reality gains traction.

Roadblocks to Widespread Implementation of VR and Web Design

Beyond the rather obvious roadblock of VR headset adoption, there are some other things standing in the way of virtual reality.

Responsive Design

How do you build a website that functions for both virtual reality headset wearers and regular users alike? That’s the major problem designers will need to cope with. Right now, most implementations involve a toggle to move between modes. But is that really the best virtual experience?

And how do you handle menus? Eye-tracking menus work great for wearable headsets but obviously not for desktop browsers.

I don’t have answers to these questions. But I do know that having to grab my headset and hit a toggle button isn’t a very immersive experience. And it probably would relegate virtual reality to “occasional treat” rather than “daily habit.” At least for me.

Bandwidth

We already know how massively important page speed is. Are visitors really going to be willing to wait for large 4K 360 degree videos to load? For special occasions, I think yes. But for everyday browsing? That’s a tougher question to answer.

Virtual Reality and WordPress – What’s There?

Let’s start with the big news, it was just announced that all WordPress.com sites will now support virtual reality images and videos. That means the 409 million visitors to WordPress.com blogs every month now have a chance to be exposed to virtual reality images. I only hope this pushes virtual reality more into the mainstream.

And it’s not just limited to WordPress.com – some developers are already making it possible to add virtual reality to self-hosted WordPress via plugins. I did some digging around the plugin repository and I found two promising plugins:

VR Views

VR Views helps you embed 360-degree mono-and-stereoscopic images and videos into your WordPress site. It uses Google’s VR Views library, which makes it fully compatible with Google Cardboard.

To handle issues with responsive design, i.e. users who don’t have Google Cardboard, the plugin defaults to a “magic window” that will work on any desktop or mobile browser, regardless of hardware. The “magic window” allows readers to move their screen around to view the image in 360 degrees of glory but lacks true virtual reality. Here’s a screencap of what it looks like on my web browser:

VR Views

To create your virtual reality content, you can use any device that is capable of capturing 360-degree videos or images. And once you have your content, implementing it is as easy as adding a shortcode to your WordPress site.

WP-VR-view

WP-VR-view is another plugin which lets you add Google Cardboard compatible virtual reality media to your WordPress site.

And just like VR Views, it degrades considerably for anyone who doesn’t have virtual reality hardware:

WP VR View

Smartphone users can easily move between regular mode and Google Cardboard mode to take advantage of their VR hardware.

Where Can Virtual Reality and WordPress Go From Here?

I would love to see virtual reality product views for WooCommerce. In fact, Michael Tieso has a post delving into this very topic. He’s even created some experimental implementations of virtual reality for WooCommerce. And while he cautions they aren’t to be used on production sites, savvy devs may want to delve into his GitHub to see what can be done.

I also hope that, with the inclusion of virtual reality for WordPress.com blogs, virtual reality images and videos make their way to self-hosted WordPress without the need for a plugin. It seems like the technology is there, we’re just waiting for it to be accessible to everyone!

Why responsive web design is important?

Broaden your audience, improve user experience and future proof your website.

I wonder what sort of device you’re reading this on? A laptop? Maybe you’re at your desk reading the words on a cinema-sized display. Or – perhaps even more likely – you’ve got a smartphone in your hand and you’re thumbing through on your way to another meeting.

When you look around at the incredible plethora of devices on the market these days it’s not surprising that current market research shows mobile internet usage is set to grow massively by 2015 with an increase of 16% from 2010. What is perhaps more interesting is that this means the number of mobile internet users will overtake that of desktop users during this time.

Undoubtedly this change in the way people are consuming online information and viewing websites means we need to be considering how we engage with them to offer the best online experience for our brands and services. So what can we do to make this happen?

Back in the day…

When mobile phones started to become internet enabled (remember WAP?) people wanted to access certain information on the move. Checking train times, the weather, or keeping up with the footy scores on a standard desktop site meant difficult navigation, large slow downloads, big bills and an all-around poor user experience.

Many businesses realised the need to cater for mobile users, and until fairly recently many opted for a separate “mobile” version of their website. You may have noticed a few yourself. You know, the ones starting with “m.somethingorother” instead of “www”.

These mobile sites are completely separate from their larger desktop siblings and have reduced functionality and content. This toned down version means users are only able to load and use the very basic of site content and functionality, and ultimately miss out on the information they may be expecting to find. Separate mobile sites come with logistical problems too – two sites equals two things to design, build and manage. That means ongoing cost and time implications and all for a less enjoyable experience for the user. Not a great solution is it?

Another issue with mobile sites is what mobile device do you build them for? There are too many different screen sizes and differing capabilities to do them all so which do you choose? How many would you need?

Well, with Responsive Web Design the answer is easy.

One.

What is responsive web design?

Responsive Web Design is a collection of techniques that allow a website to flex and adapt to the size of screen it’s being viewed on. Someone opening your site on a small smartphone will be shown the same site as the person opening it on their laptop but the site will have noticed the constraints and automatically reformatted to give the user an experience better suited to their device. No more loading a huge website and having to zoom in and out to find the content you’re looking for. Responsive web design takes into account interaction too and makes your site easier to use by acknowledging and integrating things like touch screens to aid navigation.

Why not go and have a look at some of your favourite sites using http://responsive.is/ to see if they’re using a responsive approach. I’ll wait for you to come back. Here’s one to get you started http://responsive.is/webstarsltd.com.

As the web continues to evolve it’s becoming ever more clear that the main driver to a website is not fancy-pants eye candy, but solid, valuable, and shareable content. Responsive design explores the implications of limited screen real estate and ease of access not only to structure but forces us to consider our messaging and content on-site by adopting a ‘mobile first’ strategy.

Mobile first

“There simply isn’t room in a 320 by 480 pixel screen for extraneous, unnecessary elements. You have to prioritize.” – Luke Wroblewski

Previously we designed for desktop users first, and a mobile version was either a far too minimal functional experience or we were trying to force too much of our desktop site into it unnecessarily. Deciding what is most important to a viewer on a mobile device with limited bandwidth, processing power and screen size means we get rid of anything diluting our main purpose or message and therefore, across all sizes of the site, we are focused and concise in offering a better experience to our customers.

“…when a team designs mobile first, the end result is an experience focused on the key tasks users want to accomplish… That’s good user experience and good for business.” – Luke Wroblewski

Benefits

So now (hopefully) you understand what responsive web design is, perhaps we should have a run down of the benefits.

  • Future proofing. Responsive sites work well across the multitude of existing devices on the market. It’s a safe bet it will for considerable time to come.

  • Better, faster, smarter user experience. Optimising your site no matter what the user chooses to view it on makes their life easier. Happier customers mean a happier business.

  • Cost Effective. Responsive sites take a little longer to put together, but they survive longer and the unified approach means management, support and upgrades only need be applied to one place. That saves time and money.

  • SEO optimised. Managing SEO for separate mobile and desktop sites is hard and doesn’t produce great results. Google actually recommends a responsive approach to combat these problems and a consolidated view of your results means more focus.

  • Improve conversion rates. An optimised and consistent site, no matter what platform it’s viewed on, provides a better experience for the user which is more likely to lead to them engaging with you than going elsewhere.

We ♥ responsive web design

Responsive web design isn’t a trend any more, it’s a must. Being able to offer consumers a beautifully optimised experience regardless of their choice of device means you’ll have expanded the reach of your service and the chances you have of engaging with individuals. The long lasting nature of this approach is incredibly valuable and the cost effectiveness is a clear advantage.

Here at My Webs we are passionate about responsive web design, we could bang on about it for ages if you’ll let us. If you fancy a chat about it get in touch. We’d love to help you stay ahead of the game.

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