Well, that’s one win

A client wants to see if we can make his site more mobile-friendly (and hence improve his Google page score) without actually changing the design (a very attractive job by Greg Buckingham). I’ve built the site on a well established mobile-friendly framework, so the question becomes one of whether I’ve done something to nullify that, or if the site content (much of which predates the mobile web) is messing things up.

I started looking into it and pretty quickly recalled that I’d set it to be a fixed rather than a responsive layout. So that’s an obvious place to start.

Rather than mess with a live client site, my next step was to set up a test site and start modifying it to match the appearance of the current site without affecting the mobile-friendliness. There’s a newer version of the Zen framework, so I went with that. And in raw form, as promised, it has a perfect mobile score.

Now to make some changes. OK, the new framework does away with direct editing of the CSS in favor of SASS, which is a good move, really. So I have to install some tools to work with that. The host where I have my test site doesn’t give me the ability to install these tools, so I fired up my virtual linux box. Re-created the test site (after doing a fairly big upgrade of the OS — it’s been a couple of months since I’d used it). And then installed the tools. For good measure, copied in the site logo for a start. And …

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Checked the selinux settings. Cleared up all the notices. Again.


Went into the server logs. SEGMENTATION FAULT.

What in the nine billion names of God? Installing the developer tools hoses the OS?

This sounds like a good opportunity to work on something else for a while. Like this blog. I’ve had an issue since I set it up that while the site was at www.guyjeansjapan.com, the admin pages were at guyjeansjapan.com (sans ‘www’). This has caused various issues. For example, previewing didn’t work. The site stats wouldn’t load. And every so often when I was trying to accomplish something, I’d get logged out and the browser wouldn’t remember my credentials to log me in again.

There’s a place in the control panel for these settings, but they were disabled. So I searched around until I found a config file hack that did the trick. Back in business now. Everything works as expected.

While I was at it I found a like/dislike button plug-in. This was a request from Nana. Also some sharing settings that I’m not sure how much use I’ll make of, since I keep facebook in a different browser and have it blocked from this one.

Pity the client’s not paying me to sort out my own blog. (On the other hand, the mobile friendly work is all speculation at this point, as I haven’t yet given him an estimate for the job.)

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