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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Responsive site: boxes 360 or 480?

    Responsive didn't exist last time I played with building a site, so I've been reading around. If I understand correctly I should design the content to fit within some minimum width for phones, and 360 or 480 seem to be the choices. Which do you knowledgeable folks recommend?

    The site will be a business site, but not ecommerce to begin with, if ever. Mainly a brochure site, about 25 pages to start, adding 5-10 per month, so nothing huge. Aimed at clients, not consumers.

    I'm not interested in using frameworks [complex, mix content with presentation] or Twitter Bootstrap or similar, I want to keep this very simple so novices [even novicer than me] can update the pages and create new ones. Plan is DIV boxes as a kind of cut, copy and paste content template. Use a viewport tag, HTML5 doctype, resizable images, em and % measurements...

    Things I'm not clear on:
    01. Whether to use em or % measurements;
    02. How to exclude 'big' content from small viewports--is it simply a negative margin type trick, or...?
    03. Whether to have separate CSS files for both phones and tablets [eg up to 960-1080 width], or lump them together;
    04. Do I use 72dpi 16-bit mages, or are these big device resolutions more than hype?
    05. Are all browser default font sizes 16px? [for ems use];
    06. Should I max-size content/site width eg 960-1080 for better readability, or respect the surfer's preference? [I prefer latter];
    07. Since mobile devices do not have link hover states, is it better to change font or background color?
    08. Are the standard web-safe fonts also installed on phones and tablets?
    09. Is there a decent small-biz affordable site Search solution?
    10. Any changes to basics like robots.txt, favicon.ico, sitemap.xml, _htaccess etc--ie can they still be used same as a decade ago?
    11. SEO, do you think Google and Microsoft have turned ranking factors against SEO, so it's now counter-productive?
    12. Navigation on top, I assume, since width is the key constraint;
    13. I lean towards simplicity, clarity, speed, maintainability--'minalism lite' I guess. Seems to me this should be an advantage these days?

  2. #2
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    That's a lot of questions over there. If you haven't done responsive, you may want to look at one of the responsive css frameworks, that can give you a great head start and make your life a lot easier.

    Here is a link that lists some of them:

    http://designinstruct.com/roundups/html5-frameworks/

    Bootstrap and Foundation and probably two of the most popular.
    Rui
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    That's a lot of questions over there
    Yeah, I'm gilding the lily

    Only one Q holding me up for now--360 or 480.

    The rest I can figure out with more research I'm sure, or via 'try it and see'.

    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    responsive css frameworks
    I was very interested in those when I discovered them, but the shine came off when I delved in more. Here's my conclusion note from a few months ago:

    "Frameworks are more complex than they looked at first, and most seem overkill for what I want--simple to maintain and setup. The two which might be useful and relatively simple are Tacit and Skeleton. But I don't think I'll use frameworks, for one thing they apparently mix content with presentation, which goes against the whole principle of using CSS."

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    I can understand that, but being an user of Twitter Bootstrap, I would say they are not complex at all, once you use start to use them and they speed up development in quite a noticeable way.

    I won't conduct a philosophical discussion here, but true separation of concerns is a myth. I fully agree with the feelings conveyed here:

    http://tympanus.net/codrops/2013/01/...l-class-names/

    Good luck.
    Rui
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  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Good luck.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I fully agree with the feelings conveyed here
    Agreed, the semantic thought never made sense to me even for a small site like mine was and will be. Why would you want different naming just because one use was 'product name' and another was 'sub-headline' if they're both blue and 1.1 ems?

    Not being a designer, I most likely misunderstood the comment about mixing content with presentation.

    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I won't conduct a philosophical discussion here
    Good, you'd be on your own, I'm not qualified to debate an expert.

    Thanks for your time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Feury View Post
    Not being a designer, I most likely misunderstood the comment about mixing content with presentation.
    The mixing content with presentation discussion can probably be oversimplified to this idea: if your content is independent of presentation, simply changing your stylesheet would allow your content to be presented in a completely different way, without the need to change any HTML. The fact is, this rarely happens and if you refactor a site, in most situations you will change the HTML. Thus, the advice of not mixing content with presentation, although seemingly solid in terms of principles, has little practical impact.

    Many web developers seem to agree with this, considering the popularity of some css frameworks. There are ways to minimize the "mixing" when you use frameworks (and the mixing is a the presence of a few framework CSS classes in your HTML), if you want to use CSS pre-processors. Frankly, I don't really think it to be worth the effort.
    Rui
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