Author Topic: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme  (Read 411 times)

Recusant

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Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
« on: January 27, 2020, 03:27:09 PM »
With GDPR compliance in place, the next adjustment to the site is changing the default theme (the way the forum appears on your screen) to what is called a "responsive" theme. This will take effect one week from today, on February 3, 2020. The new theme isn't bad at all. I'll explain why this is happening, but if you don't care to read my nattering on and wish to get to the practical side of things, scroll down to the next section, below the asterisks.

Whether you use the Google search engine or not it's still by far the most popular, with over three times as many users as the second most used search engine. As such it has a lot of influence over how people find things on the internet, and therefore it's worth paying attention when it changes policy, if you want people to be able to find you.

Google has decided that it wants to cater to users of smart phones (and, I assume, tablets) by grading its search results on how "mobile friendly" websites are. A few years ago it began a "Mobile First" protocol, and has been including more and more websites in that protocol. HAF was added to the "Mobile First" protocol a while back.

A regular theme like the one we're currently using will appear with its full page on the smart phone, text very very small and needing to be enlarged for the visitor to even begin to try to read it, and navigation through the site is tiresome. Responsive themes for forums like HAF change the way their display is arranged, depending on what sort of device is being used. A responsive theme will recognise that the visitor is using a smart phone or tablet, and will make itself easily readable on that device as well as making navigation in the site using the mobile device relatively smooth.

If we want to keep getting a new member once in a while, it helps if our site is as high as possible in search results. Google will continue to drop us lower in the results as long as our "Mobile First" score is poor, which it is right now. It's easy to comply with their protocol by switching our default theme, so we're planning to try it for at least a while.

The prospective default theme is called "Reseller." There are some changes in the interface that may take some getting used to if you decide to try it out, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have in that regard. If you don't want to bother though, it's easy to change back to what is our current default theme, called "Curve."

* * *

I'll show how to change the theme you're using, giving images from both the current default theme "Curve" and from the coming default theme "Reseller." Depending how you have your profile preferences set, what you see may be slightly different from the images below but I think you'll have no trouble following along.

In "Curve," click "Profile," which gets a little dropdown menu. Choose "Summary":



In "Reseller", it's very similar, though the menu is at the very top of the page.



In the resulting page, hovering over "Modify Profile" gets another dropdown menu. Choose "Look and Layout."



In "Reseller," again, very similar.



Now you're on the page which will take you to the list of themes available. Click "(change)" in the "Current Theme" section.



In "Reseller," the same.



You will see the choices of theme currently available. Find the theme you'd like to use, and click "Use this theme."



Again, in "Reseller" it's the same.



Please feel free to comment on this, and ask any questions you may have.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 07:44:54 PM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
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Tank

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Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 08:27:25 PM »
Sound fine to me. Thanks for all the effort you have been putting in. It is much appretiated.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 09:28:24 PM »
Sound fine to me. Thanks for all the effort you have been putting in. It is much appretiated.

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Recusant

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Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 03:11:42 AM »
My pleasure.  :computerwave:
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Recusant

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Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2020, 08:49:08 PM »
*Bump*
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Recusant

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Re: Playing Nice With Search Engines -- New Default Theme
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2020, 09:46:59 PM »
I'm not sure whether the new theme had anything to do with the recent downtime for the site. Will be consulting with Asmodean regarding this.
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken