What Do Your Readers Really SEE?

Image of a blogging bookSimple facts from the stats — for my personal blog Mobile Technology in TAFE.

The Facts

  1. Approx. 50 people visit my blog site each day.
  2. Main web browsers used for viewing my blog are FireFox (52.93 % ), Internet Explorer (39.93 %) and Safari (4.87 %).
  3. Approx. 750 people subscribe to my blog and read my posts using a Feed Reader.
  4. Main feed readers used by my readers are Google Reader (68 %) and Bloglines (7 %).
  5. Approx. 35 people prefer to read my posts via email (Feedburner email subscription).

What The Facts Mean

Even with great content people are less likely to subscribe or continuing subscribing to your blog if your posts are hard to read. It’s important to ensure your posts look nice and are easy to read on your blog, when read in feed readers and by email.

You check this by:

  1. Regularly examining the appearance of your blog using a few web browsers! (Read more here)
  2. Subscribing to your blog in a Feed Reader!
  3. Subscribing to your email subscription!

Here’s how to set up:

  1. Google Analytics for obtaining statistics on visitors to your blog (here an intro on how to use use of Google Analytics).
  2. Feedburner for obtaining statistics on subscribers to your blog
  3. Email subscription using Feedburner
  4. Your feed so it redirects to Feedburner to get accurate subscriber statistics
  5. A Google Reader Account and subscribe to blogs


So how did you go:

  1. Notice any problems that you need to rectify when you viewed your blog in different web browsers?
  2. What are your posts like when read in a feed reader like Google Reader? Have any of the embeds you’ve added been removed?

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10 thoughts on “What Do Your Readers Really SEE?

  1. @Ken Unfortunately I made the mistake of updating my home PCs to IE 7 however my work computer runs IE6.

    Have you tried the link Christy bookmarked — test your site in numerous web browsers? Obviously won’t help with areas like mouse-overs, animations, scripted html effects and links but does show appearance of pages.

    Viewing in RSS feed for me is the must and I make sure that I trouble shoot plus preview well before hitting that dreaded Publish Button as it often grabs the feed faster than you can make the changes.

  2. Kia ora Sue!

    Thanks for these reminders! I learnt the hard way about viewing pages in different browsers.

    That was in 2000 – 2001. I was writing a lot of code for elearning material that was Internet based. At that time Netscape was also to the fore – superceded by Mozilla browsers. I was luck though. I had the opportunity to examine material I’d scripted on Macs as well as PCs with all the different browsers that were available at the time.

    Even the different versions of IE showed a nightmare of differentials when the same pages were viewed. The worst was when things simply didn’t appear at all on some versions! Some other things didn’t work properly on others, such as mouse-overs, animations, scripted html effects and even some links didn’t work, often if so-called dynamic html was used. I stopped using some effects altogether because of that.

    I run an old version of IE and up-to-date Firefox on my home PC and have a laptop at work with a different platform (XP) running up-to-date IE and an out of date Firefox. In recent years, I haven’t had the same opportunity of viewing stuff on a Mac – I shudder at the thought!

    My old version of IE is excellent for picking up bad code. I usually view a post on that browser as soon as it’s been published just to check. I also view my new posts in the RSS Reader ever since you pointed out to me that some things simply don’t show, such as video embeds – thanks for that tip.

    Other minor things I notice from browser to browser and machine to machine is formatting – the line breaks and line spacings and image positions. Fortunately these differences are often not worth bothering about.

    Ka kite

  3. Thanks Larry — I was going to say this in the post but then decided I wanted to keep it short and sweet. But I totally agree partial feeds absolutely annoy me and I unsubscribe if people don’t change them as I just don’t have time to follow the links.

  4. Sue,

    As usual, an excellent post.

    You might want to also add an important suggestion you included in a previous piece — the importance of including the entire post in a feed, and not just have a few lines and then force people to go directly to your blog to read the rest.

    How annoying!


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