I got the email from Bluehost that I’ve been dreading. The email that says that I’m going to have to pony up for another year of hosting if I want RickGalan.com to stay up.
In a way it’s really a good thing though. It has springboarded an effort to get some value out of that money I’m spending. That effort has started with a quick retheming and redesign of the blog.
I have opted to go with a free theme called The Bootstrap. It’s a really clean and simple theme, which I think is necessary to remove barriers to writing. Low maintenance.
The other thing that is great about the theme, and one of the key reasons that I chose it was because it has what’s called a responsive layout. Responsive design  is a relatively recent design technique driven by the fact that there are a myriad devices and screen sizes people use to access the web. Content should be dynamic and respond to fit the different sizes and formats without having to load a completely different version of the site.
Want to see it in action? Visit the blog on your smartphone, tablet, or simply resize the window in Chrome or Firefox (pretty sure IE doesn’t do it). I still have a little work to do with the logo, but I think it’s slick. :)
Besides compatibility with mobile devices, another reason that I went to a responsive theme for the blog is because Google has flat out said that this is how they prefer websites to be designed in order to be crawled most efficiently for all devices. Pierre Far, a Webmaster Central Analyst for Google, mentioned this at SMX Advanced in June, and posted it on the Google Webmaster Central blog as well. I’ve found that when Google “strongly recommends” something, it’s worth looking into.
So there you have it. Renewed effort in blogging. At least this year’s hosting will have this post to show for it. :)


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