Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • #4553

    I’m sure many of you will be aware that with effect from April 21st this year Google started amending their search rankings by including a “mobile friendly” check for all web sites.

    I have seen on some other family history software sites a lot of concern, and a mistaken belief that any site deemed not to be mobile friendly would immediately be dropped from Google search results.

    Please understand that is NOT the case.

    But this does not mean we can or should ignore the issue. Google WILL adjust search results negatively for sites that appear as not mobile friendly when searched from a mobile device. Given the huge recent growth in the number of people accessing the internet via smart devices (phones, tablets, etc) this was starting to happen anyway. There is even a significant and growing number of people who ONLY access the internet through such devices, so it is not something to be ignored. All that Google have really done is to help web site owners by highlighting the issues, and helping to guide them towards improvements.

    So, once I have released version 3.1 (in about 10 days) making kiwitrees more mobile friendly will be my main priority. You will see in 3.1 that for some pages this work has already started, by adopting simpler layouts. But the task is neither small, nor easy. Many pages will require a completely different presentation and some features will never work so will need to be removed (but only for mobile devices). It is not likely to be a change that will happen quickly. It is more likely to be spread over a few releases, and take many months to complete.

    To understand more about this issue I strongly urge you to read this Google article:

    I found it describes the issues extremely well. It also includes this link to their mobile friendly test facility. That will tell you just how bad things are ๐Ÿ™

    Most kiwitrees sites, even my own running much of the version 3.1 code, will fail with these errors:

    • Text too small to read
    • Mobile viewport not set
    • Links too close together
    • Content wider than screen

    These are not hard to fix in themselves, but looking at their impact across the entire system is a little more daunting!
    For example, on a mobile phone an individual page looks like this: mobile1

    On this page I suspect the right-sidebar will need to be removed completely.

    My personal kiwitrees site is
  • #4555


    The move to a more mobile friendly kiwitrees is probably necessary. I just hope all the hard work you have done does not get destroyed in the process. I have seen several commercial sites that have gone down this road with disastrous results.

    Many of the conversions that I have seen resulted in a big user mess. Simple navigation clicks turning into multiple clicks to accomplish the same thing. Content that should be entirely on a single screen requiring several screens. As often as not, even the intended results were not accomplished. In most cases two distinct sites driven by a single content database would have resulted in a better solution.

    While I use a tablet and a IPOD Touch, I cannot think of a single reason for my using them as my primary genealogy tool. I might use them to show a casual contact some genealogy data but the power of the current kiwitrees is not necessary for that.



    Apache 2.4.27ย  PHP 7.19 MariaDB 10.2.8

  • #4556

    Roy, I completely agree with you. My hope (and belief) is that the necessary changes can be achieved for mobile-only use and not impact significantly on the more practical desktop operations.

    But that said, there is a lot still about the desktop displays that can be improved both in terms of the looks and their underlying structures.

    My personal kiwitrees site is
  • #4567

    My main page looks good in the test. I allready have a mobile theme (but a spec. theme which open if you use cell/tablet) But I did noticed one ressource issue in the robot.txt file. And that one is used from the mobile theme – But nothing that change the result.

    So perhabs a solution could be a sep. mobile theme instead? I am also afraid that it will ruin something for this compromise ๐Ÿ™

    Regards, Jamie Jaconelli

    admin and owner of a user customized version of kiwitrees (contain 3 family trees)

  • #4570

    My main page looks good in the test.

    Thanks Jamie

    My main page looks good in the test.

    Not when I test it, it fails on the usual four things “Text too small to read / Links too close together / Mobile viewport not set / Uses incompatible plugins”:
    But you must remember that the Google “Mobile-Friendly Test” has two important limitations:

    1. It is a test of only one page, not a whole web site. Different pages have different results.
    2. It hows the result as “How Googlebot sees this page” not as how a real visitor sees it. The difference can be important.

    For your site, I think you might need to read about “Dynamic Serving” to help Google understand you use “a spec. theme which open if you use cell/tablet

    I did look at a separate theme, but it really is not the best solution, and in real terms it is not much different to simply having mobile-only css for an existing theme. Also, it does not help prevent your site getting lower search engine results.

    In fact the BEST solution is a completely separate mobile application. This is the solution the uses. I would love to do that, but I have neither the expertise, the time, not the money to achieve that.

    Apart from simple things like menus and the Home page, the real issue is the old-fashioned layout of many pages in kiwitrees (many now nearly 15 years old). They rely very much on rigid fixed-size tables, so cannot adjust for different window sizes below that of a small laptop (1000 px wide).

    Therefore my aim is to fix the major issues with mobile-only css, while very slowly reviewing and improving the underlying structure of each page to allow them to adjust better to screen sizes. Where that is not possible, then on mobile devices only some features might need to be removed.

    I do not intend to compromise the desktop use of the system, because I still believe, like Roy, that the desktop is still the primary place to use complex software like this.

    My personal kiwitrees site is
  • #4590

    Haha strange! When I run it it says its looks good! Language makes the different? I have no idea and I do not care – my main page is made for me and my family/friends!

    I know Carmen and Greg also works with this! It is not easy to make pages anymore – So many things to be covered now. A year ago it was only browser and monitorsize /laugh

    Regards, Jamie Jaconelli

    admin and owner of a user customized version of kiwitrees (contain 3 family trees)

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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