FamousBirthdays.com : An overview

Evan Britton is the CEO of the Famous Birthdays website and was recently in touch with us to let us know he just launched a responsive site.

I love it when people get in touch with me with things like that so I replied with a few questions about how he found the whole process. You can see the answers below.

I’d love to know more about your journey from static to responsive.

Q: What the driving ideas were behind the switch

A: The driving idea behind the switch was the fact that when I looked at our traffic growth, I was surprised to see that Mobile traffic was growing faster than desktop traffic. Especially considering that we didn’t have a mobile optimized experience. So I figured, if Mobile is growing fast without us worrying about the mobile user – maybe mobile traffic would grow even faster if we focused on abetter mobile experience.

Plus, Google endorsed Responsive Design

This made the decision easy for us, as we now knew what Google wanted websites to do in terms of handling mobile traffic, so we knew exactly what we needed to do.

Q: Did you find the conversions improved for non desktop visitors?

A: we have indeed enjoyed a boost in metrics associated with non desktop visitors. Our bounce rate has declined on mobile devices, and our page views per visit has increased. This is proof that our responsive efforts are working, since people can navigate and enjoy our site more easily – they are experiencing more pages per visit and when they enter our site, they are more likely to visit another page since the experience is tailored to their needs. We haven’t noticed an improvement in time on site – the reason for this I imagine is that since we are making it easier and quicker for our users to find what they want to know – they end up spending less time on our site because they spend less time trying to figure out how they can get the information that they are looking for

Q: How did you tackle the entire process and what pain points you experienced?

A: The pain points involved browser issues. Most notably IE. IE made it difficult on the sizes of our images and old versions of IE were not cooperating with our Responsive Design at the get go. Other pain points involved certain screen resolutions. The major screen resolutions we handled – but as we tested our site by resizing our screen sizes – we noticed a few instances where the site didn’t perform as we had intended. So we had to Q and A several screen resolutions and fix the issues that we uncovered

Q:I’m probably most interested around your thoughts about approaching your online advertising, what issues you had and how you would prefer to see ads offered for responsive sites.

A: Ads have certainly caused issues. For one, when you resize the browser in mid visit – the ads don’t refresh. So, if you view the page on a desktop, you’ll get the 728 x 90 ad. But if you resize the browser down in mid visit – it will continue to show the desktop ad. So that is frustrating for us – because we expect that some users are resizing their browser in mid-visit; and when they do – the page won’t function as we want.

Also, another issue has involved some of the Ad networks that we are in contact with. Certain ad networks aren’t optimized for Responsive, so getting their ads to view on the screen resolutions that they are suppose to is still a bit ahead of it’s time. As more publishers go responsive, the Ad Networks will have experience and documentation for publishers on what to do. For now, it is a little early, and we are asking questions to Ad Networks which I don’t think they have yet tested or fully thought through…

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