The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

New layout for CSH – testers wanted please

Photo of our Cottage Smallholder cottage from the air

Photo of our Cottage Smallholder cottage from the air

Danny here, everybody.

14% of our visitors use mobile devices, such as tablets, iPad, smart mobiles and so on. Interestingly, 85% of those are Apple.

So it makes sense to adjust the presentation to improve readability for this growing segment while ensuring that  users of normal computers and laptops remain unaffected.

The site looks very different since we made the switch at 07:30 this morning but the content remains the same.

We would very much welcome comments here on this article from mobile device users and “normal” computer users alike. Even if it’s just to say “looks fine on my xyzsuperwotsit” or “the buttons are way off the screen on my abcamazatron”.

Desktop and laptop users can partly simulate what it looks like on a smaller screen device by making your browser window smaller and resizing it by dragging the edges. If you don’t know how to do that then don’t worry. It is not necessary to try it.

Edit: Friday May 11

Some visitors have observed unusual manifestations!

Here are three screenshots – thank you very much,Celia -from a Mac laptop . .
These are intended to give you an idea about how the site should appear. If it looks different on your browser then plaease tell us. Obviously it will be different on small screen devices.

Screenshot 1 that shows the new homepage layout

Home page layout

Screenhot of an article

Screenhot of an article

Screen shot of our About Us page

Screen shot of our About Us page


Update Sat May 12: Well, I have to concede that this new theme/layout is simply not good enough, as many of you have pointed out.
It does not work on IE8 and looks horrible on a screen width of 1024 (thanks, Simon). Those two factors alone mean that over 20% of our visitors either cannot get onto the site or have a bad experience.
Thank you very much to everybody who took the time and trouble to test it out and leave a comment with feedback. A true community effort!

Today I will research better alternatives, so expect some more changes but then we stop changing, hopefully, for the next six years.

Update Mon May 14 2012
This theme/layout that we installed on Saturday is far better. It will take a few days to get it working and looking exactly as we want but so far so very good.

  Leave a reply


  1. PipneyJane

    I’d wondered where you disappeared to last week. Now I know why! Couldn’t access the site at all last week. (IE8 viewer. Sometimes IE6, when I have to delete IE8 to run a particular program.)

  2. Danny Carey

    Hi John – 48 hours ago we had no pics. At least now we have squashed Min Pins and other good stuff !!

    Seems that most web servers have a graphics component called GD Library installed but our VS was built without it. Our new WP theme needs that for the missing thumbnails. I have just recomplied PHP/Apache for the first time in my life (I was brought up on MS DOS and Ford Escorts 🙂 ). The world has not ended and the site has not fallen over . . . yet.

    Pics should be closer to normal tomorrow.
    We are lucky to be getting superb service from Vlad who works with our theme suppliers. It took expertise and experience and digging to find the root cause.

    So you too are enjoying the adrenaline rush of a WP makeover or upgrade. Keeps us young, doesn’t it?

  3. Hi there,

    I’m using an old firefox on a 15-year-old linux box (the computer, not the linux).

    In the home page, the picture of your cottage at the start of this article was squashed horizontally (but is correct when select to read the whole article). The article on the Min Pins had its photo squashed vertically.

    But then this is probably not a good test, as I’m also having grief with a WordPress upgrade for my own blog. Not the finished pages, but trying to write or edit entries.


  4. Mhairi

    Same comment as Michelle, pictures seem to have disappeared apart the aerial photo of the cottage and the direct line one.

    But I can now see the website on my computer at work with IE8 so thats been sorted…

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