Google has brought down the gavel on old websites that are either not mobile-responsive, or have a separate mobile site. If you have the first generation of websites that have separate HTML pages for mobile devices, or no mobile-friendly site then your site will likely be ranked lower than if you have a mobile-responsive website. This is according to multiple articles we have reviewed.

This is because more people now use their phones and tablets more than laptops and desktop computers to browse the web. We have looked at web traffic statistics for some of our clients’ website and confirmed mobile users now account for over 50% of all traffic.

So if you don’t have a mobile-responsive website, the time as come to put this on your marketing priorities list for 2018.

Is this a mobile-friendly ranking boost?
Yes. Google has previously said that content that’s not deemed mobile-friendly will not rank as well. That remains the case with this new index.

What is changing with the mobile-first index?
As more and more searches happen on mobile, Google wants its index and results to represent the majority of their users — who are mobile searchers. So if you have a mobile version of your website that is separate from your “full” version, Google will only crawl the mobile pages. If you have content on your full site that is not on your mobile pages, IT WILL NOT BE INDEXED!

This is a before and after example of a client’s website we recently redesigned. Note the old look of the mobile version and original website:

ENT old mobile and main site

As compared to the new mobile-responsive site, which shares the same code base and content:

ENT new site side by side

This new site for Ear, Nose and Throat Associates of San Mateo is John’s most recent website launch as of January 2018. All custom-coded for fast loading and great layouts–from the smallest iPhone to the largest computer display. Please contact John if you’re in need of a new website.



Welcome to our client list, Set the Occasion – Table Designs by Thena! We have loved working with such a talented and professional client. The web site looks great, and working on photoshoots with you in beautiful locations in Larkspur, Belvedere, and Corte Madera has been a highlight of our year.

Yes! is here! John coded this custom for Thena – beautifully responsive, deep linking portfolio pages, perfectly optimized photos, slideshows with several different progress options – well done, partner. I love the design – so simple and elegant and all about the photos.

Header to this blog post is a setting photo as we integrated it into a header graphic for the contact page.





Thena, we can’t wait to see where you take us next! We are grateful that you are taking us with you.


Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative

Congratulations to our favorite Hawaiian client, Hawaiian Island Energy Cooperative – the Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission has voted to reject NextEra’s offer to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries.  They’ve been working hard for a long time to achieve this result.

The Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative is a non-profit cooperative association formed by community and business leaders on Hawaii Island to explore the potential merits of a community-based, cooperative ownership structure for electric utility service on the Big Island. HIEC is also exploring how other energy sectors, such as transportation, can be transformed to be more sustainable and environmentally-friendly.



We’ve had a great experience working with Susan Graf and her brand designer, Marianne Mitten, on a new website for Susan Graf Limited.  Here it is!

John coded it to be device responsive, so the code will render to it’s best depending upon the device – from smartphone to desktop monitor – the visitor is using.  The navigation changes from full screen sized to hamburger on a smartphone.  The font changes to be most readable depending upon the device.

The best part – this is not a WordPress or other template site so the client is not boxed in and there’s no monthly security and maintenance fee.

Responsive Website Design

We were also hired to do the copy writing and to photograph both locations.

Besides the fabulous mens’ and womens’ departments and charming staff, Susan Graf Limited offers styling, techno pants, DRESS CODE by SUSAN GRAF, and Bespoke Uniforms for high-end hotels and resorts.  There’s a location on the plaza in Healdsburg and one in downtown Palo Alto.

Thank you, very much, Susan, for this project.  We’re looking forward to working with you (and of course, visiting both boutiques.)





HOA Website

Thank you, Tri-State Enterprises, Inc. for hiring us to make another homeowners association website.  We use the same template for each of these site, which has a small, simple public section, and a large functional, password-protected, area for HOA members.  Within the members section, residents can manage their property, communicate with management and other residents, and interact with a property calendar.

There’s more in our website portfolio and links to all our HOA site here.


South San Francisco

We enjoyed a trip to South San Francisco last week to photograph a property for our home-owners association management client, Tri-State Enterprises.  Some of the apartments had this view, which even in the rain, looked amazing.

These photos will be used on a new website, currently in production.  Thank you Tri-State!

One of the highlights of this property is the fabulous succulent garden:

Cactus and Succulents


Which Website?


Up until a few years ago, websites were static in that they displayed the same layout no matter the type of device upon which they were viewed. As you have all experienced, these sites do not work well on smartphones; the text is too small and screen pinching and side-scrolling is required.

Content Management Systems (CMS) sites allow for anyone with administration access to make basic edits. For example, putting in a new product photo or changing the business’ open hours. This always seems exciting to a business as they feel they will save money by managing the site internally, but all of our clients who have CMS sites pay us to work on them – work which costs more as edits are done in an interface, rather than using website coding software.

Mobile websites are coded completely differently from a business’ main site. It’s designed to render on smartphones in landscape or portrait modes and to feature information a mobile user is most likely to need. The main site continues to render on desktop and laptop computers and tablets. Mobile sites are “seen” as responsive by search engines.

A responsive website is designed to recognize the device the viewer is using and render the page’s content in the most attractive and readable manner by responding to the device’s screen size, platform, and orientation. This means the same website content will display at its best from desktop computer to laptop to tablet to smartphone.



We don’t push any particular type of site. We have experience and understanding of all types of website coding for businesses going back to 1999. As new technology is developed, we integrate it into our service offerings as soon as it is well–supported. (Many developers jump on selling new code too early, leading to websites that don’t function very well, have a short life, and cost too much.)

We clearly explain your options and by gaining an understanding of your needs, budget, and business goals, we can make a good recommendation. If we do code a responsive site for you, we use the well–supported codebase named Foundation, used by companies such as Yahoo! and National Geographic.



  • A user viewing a responsive site on a phone will see the exact same content as a user on a computer. Since phone users are generally visiting your site for different reasons than a user on a computer, you may wish to keep a separate mobile version of your site geared to smartphone users’ needs and behavior, instead of having a responsive site.
  • Responsive sites require more maintenance, testing, and security and Javascript upgrades since the technology and coding is newer and more complex. Whereas our non–responsive and mobile code can go months without needing attention.
  • Potentially slower page load time.
  • Generally a responsive web site is coded for smartphones first, so with computer users coming in second they may find the content over–simplified.
  • Coding and updating a responsive site is more expensive.



  • Users are now familiar with responsive websites and expect all businesses to have a site that functions well and looks attractive on all devices. Businesses with a responsive or mobile site are going to look current.
  • Search engines “grade” a site as being more worthy of higher organic search results if it is device-responsive.
  • Since the user will be viewing a site which performs perfectly on the device he is utilizing, they are more likely to move around your site, finding the information they are seeking.
  • We found the following info when we created a client’s website traffic report for October, 2015. It’s based upon visitors to one of their services pages, on a site without a mobile version. 67% of smartphone users — mostly iPhone and Android phones — bounced off the page without clicking a link to any other page versus a 43% bounce rate for visitors using a desktop computer, tablet, or laptop.
  • As of winter 2015, 30–35% of our clients’ website visitors are using a mobile device. Your numbers are probably similar. Since around one third of your site’s visitors are using a smartphone, a mobile version will give these visitors a better experience and therefore keep them on your site.
  • If you wish to link to a page and have a separate mobile website, you will need to note two links – one for mobile and one for regular.  For example, if you wish to link to your web page with your business hours, you’d need to call out the link for smartphone users and the link for non-smartphone device users.  With a responsive website, the same link will work for any device.