We are at a turning point in history … no … maybe it’s better to say “are we at a turning point in history?”.

For the first time, during the past week, the Google Chrome browser has surpassed all other browsers for overall circulation (source: StatCounter Global Stats), with the use of Internet Explorer dropping and Mozilla Firefox more or less stable.
This small web revolution shows how the simplicity of the product developed by Sergey Brin & Co proves rewarding in terms of users willing to adopt it as their primary browser for their online businesses.
The excessive “Microsoftization” (i.e.: allergy to standards) of Internet Explorer has begun to penalize Microsoft. Firefox has always been a better choice in terms of web compliance, as it was the browser that most adhered to the html and xml standard, but it has now been overtake (only just) by Chrome.

But the war is not over!

Many users have Chrome, but it takes up so much memory space and has a silent update system that is not appreciated by many users who do not want to risk having their privacy violated by a company like Google, who have made navigation preferences and searches by users their daily bread.

On a technical note, however: when navigating with a single-tab Internet Explorer is by far the browser that takes up less memory (46 Mb) followed by Safari and Opera. Chrome and Firefox close the rankings with 63 and 89 Mb respectively.

Whereas if we consider serious surfing, with 40 tabs open at once, the winner is Safari with 724 Mb followed by Firefox with 910. Bringing up the rear in this case is Internet Explorer with 1778 Mb.

From the point of view of websites and web solution developers: please, please come to some kind of agreement and give us a single standard! We are tired of having to fiddle for hours with CSS to obtain maximum compatibility.


In recent weeks many network users will have heard about the switch from IPv4 to IPv6 website addresses. But what do IPv4 and IPv6 mean?

First of all: What is an IP address?

Without going into too much detail, an IP address is the identification of a physical machine on the network.
All websites have their own IP address in the classical form (IPv4) xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, four blocks of 3 digits each. Most sites with shared hosting share the same IP address.

Your computer also gets an IP address from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) when you connect to the Internet. This is usually a dynamic address which is then assigned multiple times to multiple users (but never two or more simultaneously) to uniquely identify your computer within the web.

What does IPv4 mean?

As already mentioned, an IPv4 address consists of 4 blocks of 3 digits. Each block takes on decimal values ranging from 0 to 255 (so 256 values in total), 256 is equal to 28.

The total possible combinations are then given by the product of the maximum number of unique addresses that each block can hold, so 28*28*28*28 = 232, technically we could say that IPv4 uses 32 bits for addressing.

This figure is approximately 4.3*109 = 4,300,000,000. However, this number of unique identifiers starts to be too limited given the exponential growth of devices that are accessing the internet.

And IPv6?

So to solve this problem a new protocol called IPv6 has been created. This protocol uses 128 bits, so in practice we no longer have 232 addresses but 2128 which corresponds to approximately 3.4*1038 useful addresses (try to write 34 followed by 37 zeros to get a sense of the proportion involved!). This obviously makes it possible to handle a much larger number of unique addresses.

What does an IPv6 address look like?
8 blocks of 4 hexadecimal digits each, separated by colons, for example: 3ffe:1900:4545:0003:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf is a valid IPv6 address.

What changes for users?

Not a lot. The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is virtually invisible to most users (it’s already begun!). Only those who have rather antiquated devices may have to download additional software that allows the conversion of addresses. But, taking into account the short lifetime of technology today, we certainly won’t be seeing any dramatic “millennium bug” type scenes.


Although not a brand new invention, until recently, creating an adaptive site (or responsive design if you prefer) was considered something to be left to large companies, so of little interest to small businesses seeking their own small space on the web.

If you have been using the web for at least 7-8 years you will have seen websites that are fixed or variable (which see the contents “explode” onto large screens), sites that are too small for your screen or too big for your screen, sites that were fine with 1024 × 780, 640 × 480 (ok, I’m showing my age here!)….sites that, if navigated with your smartphone would hardly allow you to see a quarter of a photo or an eighth of the main menu, forcing you to slide from right-left (already detestable on a PC) ….. or, if you have your own website, maybe you’ve been forced to create a parallel mobile version of your site that is smaller and more agile. Inflexible choices in website design, in practice, dictated the device that had to be used to view the site, but not anymore.

Thanks to responsive design, a website can adjust automatically to the size of the screen on the device that receives it, while maintaining pretty good graphics.

The new HTML 5 standard, with its graphic flexibility, is contributing significantly to the spread of responsive sites (or adaptive if you prefer!) but it is smartphones, and the lowering costs of connecting to the Internet via mobile phone, that have accelerated the evolution of this programming technique/design, bringing it to the masses.

Nowadays users who are connecting to social networks are doing so mainly via smartphones, and having a site that is able to respond to this trend can certainly give you the edge on your competitors.

So, when you put your next site online…. be flexible!


Is it better to have a responsive-adaptive design or to have a website dedicated to mobile devices (such as tablets and smartphones)?

If we consider the final result, a site created with an adaptive-responsive design and one designed for mobile navigation do not differ. In both cases we are trying to intercept the traffic of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, by making it easy to navigate on a “small” screen.
In the first case we use a unique dynamic design which adapts in real time to the various dimensions of the screens used to view the site. In the latter we use an ad hoc design which is automatically proposed as an alternative to the standard design of the site, when the screen detected by the browser is less than a certain size.

From a SEO/SEM perspective however, a responsive-adaptive approach is more suitable, because all the traffic reaching the website is seen by Google as being addressed to a single site while, using a dedicated mobile website version, the traffic can be seen as reaching different websites.
This is due to the fact that while responsive-adaptive websites have their URL in a normal form, such as www.domainname.com, most dedicated sites have their URL as m.domainname.com, which can be seen by Google’s bots as a different site from www.domainname.com, thus splitting the traffic.

From a usability point of view, a dedicated mobile site can have its strengths:

  • easy to design, technologically less complex ;
  • low risk of introducing random behaviour when the size of the screen is reduced and different browsers are used;
  • bandwidth saving, thanks to some simple techniques  such as, for example, removing the multimedia content and using resized photos.


But a responsive-adaptive design also has some advantages:

  • SEO advantages (we have already talked about these);
  • easy to manage because there is just one site to update and you do not need, for example, different versions of the same picture and so on;
  • more flexibility, as it can adapt dynamically to each and every mobile device currently available;
  • better look & feel.


So which one should you choose?

We always suggest a responsive-adaptive approach, unless the site is going to offer a lot of multimedia content, which would noticeably slow the website down. In fact, apart from aesthetics and easy management, we must always consider the cost factor (few providers offer flat mobile internet plans at an affordable price) and time factor (in some places mobile internet coverage is minimal and loading time increases), to be able to provide the best experience to every user.

So as a guideline:

multimedia rich website = dedicated mobile design

site with average or low amount of multimedia content = responsive-adaptive design