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Two Site Tweaks: Gift Cards, Phone CSS Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

23 November 2015

We've introduced two tweaks to the site this week worth a word of explanation. The first is our sponsored gift card links. The second is a work in progress that's progressing nicely enough to be useful already.


One painless way to support our efforts here has been to make a purchase at our affiliates through the sponsored links on the headline and support pages. When you use them to visit the site and make a new purchase, we get a small percentage of the sale at no extra charge to you.

What you might not appreciate about this arrangement is how significant your click is for us. On a site with hundreds of thousands of visitors, your click is a drop in the water. On our site, it's a tall glass of water on our way to the oasis.

Purchasing through these affiliate links helps us at no cost to you:


Can't decide what to give your photographer? How about a Gift Card!

But the trouble with this approach is that you either have to search for something (using our affiliate search links) or click on one of the pre-order links on the pages announcing a new product.

So we thought we'd make it a little more useful by linking it to two affiliates' gift cards. That way you can buy a present for someone else in a variety of amounts and let them pick the merchandise. They get a big something, you get a good-feeling something and we get a little something.

You can send one to yourself or to some other site you admire. And we all smile.


We prefer to test new features thoroughly before we release them on the site but this one is something we could not possible test thoroughly and whatever doesn't work has an immediate workaround. So we're letting it out of the lab.

We've found ourselves using our iPhone 6 Plus a lot more for visiting Web sites and reading blog entries and news stories. And we've found it easier to hold the phone in portrait orientation to do that -- as long as the Web site provides an alternate layout for that cramped column width.

We take more than a little pride in our CSS/HTML coding skills that our site as originally designed works well on all devices. But we concede we look the other way when it comes to portrait orientation on a phone.

Even when you enlarge the text to fill the width of the screen, it's small.

So we thought we'd add some CSS layout controls for portrait orientation. By adding code, we aren't affecting what's been working elsewhere all this time. The new code is working well for text at the moment on both the headline page and the individual stories.

Images are another matter. The big problem is that we specify the height and width of every image. But we're working on it.

The test for us is that we have started reading Photo Corners in portrait orientation on the phone. So it works (at least for us).

And when it doesn't work, all you have to do is turn your phone to landscape orientation to get the normal layout. And send us a screen shot of the problem.

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