Google changes and mobile websites

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As many of you are already aware, Google has released an update to their rankings that will use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in mobile searches starting April 21, 2015. You can read more about the update here: 

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html

Q. How does this impact Homestead customers?

A. By default, our websites are not mobile friendly so mobile rankings could be impacted. The true impact of the change will not be known until Google applies the update on April 21st. We do partner with DudaMoblie who will create a mobile version of your site that will be considered mobile friendly. Through our partnership DudaMobile we offer a free option(with some ads) and a paid option, depending upon your needs. You can sign up for a DudaMobile account through your Homestead account. You can see how by clicking the link below.
https://community.homestead.com/homestead/topics/how_can_i_make_my_website_mobile_friendly

Q. Does my website need to be responsive?

A. No, Google has explicitly stated that the requirement is that the site be mobile friendly. Dudamobile fulfills this requirement and will maintain your ranking on mobile searches.

Q. Can I tell if the mobile site is setup correctly?

A. Yes, Google has a tool for testing if your site is mobile friendly. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ If your Dudamobile site does not show as mobile friendly, there may need to be something tweaked on the site. Dudamobile support will be able to assist you in this case.
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Drew N, Alum

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Posted 4 years ago

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Michael3967

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Dudamobile renders horrible mobile layouts.


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JoAnne2150

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Ok, I've been following what everyone has been posting about this problem of mobile sites. I finally went to my son who is a professional webmaster to ask his opinion about what I should do considering my limited abilities. The main question is if I should have a main large site for computers and another one with the basics which suggests the users to go to the computer site for more extensive study.
He basically said that it's NOT a good idea to have two different ones. Google looks for lots of content which pushes you up. So you need to have everything on your mobile site as well. Also, another point is that many young people nowadays only have their smartphones and no computer at home. I have several sites, but the one that I get the most activity on is coming from young persons. Getting close to half of my visitors are cellphone users. So that's the site I'm going to concentrate on first.
I tried out weebly.com and wix.com. They are both very good for people like us. You pay per site. I am going to use wix.com for this site: http://joanneleppo.wix.com/prce. just because I liked the templet for it. If I switch my others, I may use the other one, depending on which looks better for each site. I can't see the advantage of putting them all on the same host program financially. So that's going to be my solution for now. Thank you all for all your input. It has helped me a lot.
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Lynn

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Ian - I am in the process of revamping my entire site, and I have some new pages that I created with a width of 980.  To use your method then...after I get them all done, I need to make a copy of each and save them in my "mobile" folder. Thereafter, I change up each of those new pages to look appealing with a width of 320 px?  I don't know if I will be able to do it this way because my site is huge, but I can't see a better way without moving to a new server. Dudamobile is out of the question for this reason and more.  Thanks so much for your input on this. 
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WHC1666

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You are mis understanding the proposal JoAnne.

Building a separate site for mobile would of course be the wrong thing to do. What is suggested here is adding a mobile folder to your existing site and creating mobile pages within your existing site effectively making your existing site larger.

Your son is correct in that a separate site would not go down well with the search engines.

PS - I am also a professional webmaster since 2001. - trust me this is sensible solution for people entrenched in Hometead. I use other forms of site building but have always used Homestead for my clients that want to look after their own sites. I build for them then teach them to use Sitebuilder Desk top - not Sitebuilder Plus - it's rubish.

Ian
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JoAnne2150

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Ian, what is the difference between sitebuilder desk top and sitebuilder plus?
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WHC1666

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Sitebuilder desktop is the original sitebuilder software from Homestead.
Sitebuilder lite was introduced a few years ago for the absolute beginner who needed to build a site without any experience or understanding.
Sitebuilder lite evolved into sitebuilder plus which is meant to be a simple way to build your own site within preset parameters.
Desktop is more versatile but requires just a little more understanding and commitment it's well worth the effort.
Homestead prefer to push plus because it requires less support thus more profit for them. Homestead has been an adaption unlike Weebly and other site building products on the market. Many of the others started from scratch joinin the market late and when the internet had already evolved.
Homestead were one of the originals and are paying the price finding themselves in a bit of a straightjacket - Old story about pioneers. It is a great product first started I think in 1998 which was really early for this kind of product. A bit of a dinosaur, very difficult to adapt to new trends.

You can switch to desk top be just asking support to switch your account.
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themieleman, Champion

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Google is changing its platform?.

In an unprecedented announcement, Google provided details regarding a significant change to their ranking algorithm which will occur on April 21st. In three weeks, the mobile friendliness of a website will become a major factor in search rankings--especially for searches originating on mobile devices. This change by Google is to ensure a quality experience for their users since about 1/3rd of searches are now performed on a mobile device.
Is Homestead keeping pace with these changes?
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Lynn

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Making site mobile friendly.

To make the site mobile friendly, does this code have to go on every page or just the home page? And does it go above or below the favicon code?  <meta name=viewport content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">  Thanks.
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Drew N, Alum

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No, you would be able to make the site mobile friendly if you make changes based on Google's recommendations. There is nothing preventing it. I just don't know all the different things that may need to be done. You could code the site using CSS and HTML to make a responsive site if you know how, it's just that the templates are not mobile friendly as built.

I understand if you don't wish to use Dudamobile for your site, but that is our recommended solution. We can try to help you with doing it manually if you have specific things to add to the site, but we are not able to give you advice on what you would need to do.
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Lynn

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It seems like if the site could be set at width=100%, then the problem might be resolved.  Couldn't the style sheet be changed to give us that?  I think that since we have to choose a width in SB Plus such as 980 pixels, then that's what we're stuck with.  I tried removing the 980, but it won't let me.  Can't you guys override that and change the Style sheet or something? I think that the code setting the viewport is being ignored because the Style sheet has the site at 980 pixels. Thanks.  
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Drew N, Alum

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If you add CSS to the head section, that should override the pixel width in the settings. Sitebuilder is built with a fixed width and you can't remove the number altogether. If you use a style sheet, or place code in the head section, then it should function.
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William1899

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this is an unworkable fix for anyone who has more than 5 pages what are you going to do about it?

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Emily5008

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William1899, I too, have a lot more than 5 pages on my websites. I am simply frustrated.
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Homestead FAQ, Employee

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled How can I make my website mobile friendly?.

Is there a way to make my website mobile friendly on smart phones?
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Drew N, Alum

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We are consolidating topics to answer the question. Currently our solution is Dudamobile. The development staff is going to be meeting soon to set some priorities.
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ctcttest5415

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I am not a fan of Duda mobile they take what is created and change everything about it, including the color values.  If Homestead is not able to move into the 21st century, I will need to go to a different provider.  :(
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Drew N, Alum

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There should not be a change in color values, but some devices may look different based on the screen.
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Maurice2103

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So, responsive design is not an issue or at least, you won't be sure of that till the changes are made at google, correct? I find it ironic....... This very site.... right here..... has responsive design. Resize your browser window and see for yourself.

So responsive design was important to you and this site but we customers, shouldn't worry about it too much. Is that what you're telling us?
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George7467

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Great post, Maurice.  I couldn't agree with you more.  Responsive design may not be required, but just try running a business without it!

Here's an article about why it's vital for businesses to have a moblie-friendly website:

https://fortune.com/2015/04/21/google-mobilegeddon/

Until Homestead offers the ability to create professional-looking ad-free mobile-friendly websites, it has no business promoting itself as a business solution.
(Edited)
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George7467

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Homestead's unwillingness or inability to upgrade its features were long blamed on Intuit, but they can't blame Intuit any longer.  I'm just thankful that whoever is left at Homestead knows how to keep the server running.
(Edited)
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William1899

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oh god I am rolling on the floor now. I use www.monitor.us, and you should too, to keep track of how often the servers go down. It is too often compared to other sites I have on godaddy and lycos which NEVER go down. My traffic has not been the same since mid-December 14, along the same time HS's servers were blacklisted for some reason. I can only hope the search engines are working on forgiving them and will return to normal soon.

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susan2829, Champion

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William I use www.monitor.us as well and have yet to have an instance of the server being down.
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William1899

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since when? from Jan to now at least 10 times, though it has been better lately
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Emily5008

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Homestead, why did you close the thread - "How can I make my website mobile frien....

I would like to know why Homestead closed that thread to additional comments. This one "How can I make my website mobile friendly?"
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susan2829, Champion

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Emily I believe that was done to consolidate posts regarding the mobile friendly issue making it easier for all of us to find/read/post about mobile.
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Emily5008

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I see, Susan. Well, it would have been nice, if the message said - "Merged with", or something of that nature. To simply see it closed to additional comments was a surprise.
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JoAnne2150

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled How can I make my large webpage show in full on a cellphone?.
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Joe5415

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled MAJOR GOOGLE UPDATE REGARDING MOBILE.

I'm a little concerned some of my sites are not going to pass the Google new update test: https://www.google.com/webmasters/too...

i tried using Duda mobile but it failed the test so it appears I will lose my rankings on Google if I don't change all of them over like I did www.digitalassetsmarketing.com

HELP!
Duda mobile doesn't appear to help since Google will rank off of your normal URL not the m.yourwebsite.com

THX! for any help!
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Drew N, Alum

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Joe5415,

You can check with Dudamobile support as to why it failed and get some help in fixing it. Google has stated that the site has to be mobile friendly, but they will not be ranking responsive design any differently than using the m.domain convention.
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Lynn

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Ok, I'm thinking that Homestead ought to give us the necessary code to make our sites mobile friendly. Most of us are here using the SB program because we don't know enough HTML, CSS, etc. to create our sites from scratch.  Why are we here if Homestead can't help us to keep up with the times?  What good is a website that isn't mobile friendly especially if the page ranking drops?  I was in the Google forum to get help with this issue, and they basically advised me to go to Wordpress and redo one of my simple websites 'cause then it would be mobile friendly.  

Here's what was suggested:

"Theoretically, your site is easy to make mobile friendly because if you switch off the stylesheet, images, and javascript, it "degrades" into a much simpler but still usable site. So if you weren't using a CMS and you knew your way around code, this would be a piece of cake!

You have only five indexed pages (http://goo.gl/pZHlOf), they're fairly simple, and the URLs are all in a fairly straightforward static format. So it would relatively quick and easy to migrate to another CMS and put 301 redirects on those existing URLs to send users and search engines automatically from the old pages to the new.

If there really is no mobile-friendly version of your current CMS, that is most likely your best option. Wordpress is relatively simple, can be very mobile friendly, and there are lots of people who can help you with any issues you might encounter."

My favorite part is "there are lots of people who can help you with any issues you might encounter". 
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Drew N, Alum

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Hi Lynn, Unfortunately we don't provide this level of code, and support agents are not coders, so help would not be possible. I understand that you don't want to use Dudamobile, but, at least for now, that is the solution we provide.

There are discussions of other options, but nothing that can be implemented in the near future.
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Lynn

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I have way too many pages to use Dudamobile.  I couldn't imagine trying to get several hundred pages transferred to that platform.  Also, as I recall, the last time I used Dudamobile for my small site: http://www.palazzololaw.com, I only had a nice mobile website.  The desktop version was unacceptable.  I immediately reverted back to the desktop.  I used Dudamobile the other day and created a site for palazzololaw.  I will present it as an option, but I think I already know the answer that I'm going to get.  I'm simply out of luck for the other two sites unless I move to another server.
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Drew N, Alum

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I understand, unfortunately, at this time, it is the option we support. I will post here, in the community, if we are able to identify any other possible solutions.
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themieleman, Champion

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Homestead has partnered with DudaMobile. You can access from your website editor and implement it easily and it's free.
  1. Click Websites Manager in the left navigation menu. 
  2. On the right side of the screen, click Get Started next to the icon of the phone.


  3.  

  4. Follow the steps which include customizing the look and feel of your website for a mobile device.
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Joe5415

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Well I tried doing the Duda mobile thing by adding code to header in advanded options...didnt work....so I looking into moving my sites over to my other wordpress servers such as Digital Assets Marketing.com ...Anyone else interested can let me know.....THX! for trying....
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themieleman, Champion

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Duda worked for me.
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Drew N, Alum

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If you set up Dudamobile from within your Homestead account it should add the redirect code automatically to all pages, but it might take a bit of time for that to take place.

There is no limit to the number of pages that the paid version of Dudamobile can handle.
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JoAnne2150

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So if we connect through dudaobile through homestead, we'll have to pay them also??
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Drew N, Alum

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There is a free version and a paid version, depending on your needs.
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Lynn

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I see we only get 10 pages for free with ads; otherwise, we have to pay them as well.  I think we have to pay them more if we want a regular site too.  You get one or the other - not both.  I believe we get our sole domain name, but I'm not positive about that.  I would think so.  
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William1899

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duda is telling me I have to add the code to each of my 55 pages, it is NOT automatic, and, yes, they know I am a HS customer.

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themieleman, Champion

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I set up the account through Homestead. I selected the free version. Duda instructed to copy the HTML redirect code and paste it in the head tag on each page.
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Martin

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I have been working on a Duda mobile site for several days now. Paid the $98 I think it was? Tried several edits...my what you see what you get is not the same as everyone's smart phone. The previews are absolutely not the same as the real product.

Did a one hour redirect test...a dismal failure.

I am going to take my chances and see what happens.

To hell with Google and double hell to Duda.

http://www.customautosbytim.com


(Edited)
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William1899

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Duda took 3 days to get back to me and ignored my question as to why half my 53 pages don't show by giving me some form answer about Homestead and Duda

Google is ok, you cant blame them, 40 per cent of traffic is mobile these days. I would say the hell with you know who first.


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susan2829, Champion

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Martin email me (it's Susan from Homestead Connection Forum) - I might be able to help you with the Mobile.

William I am mobilizing a site that has over 100 pages and no way does it make sense to try and make that many pages mobile and some contain tables and pdf's that just aren't mobile material. So, I have taken the primary pages, revamped them to work in mobile and put a text box on them suggesting visitors check out the site on the desktop for complete, comprehensive information. Right or wrong, it's the only way I could figure out how to meet Google's demands and still present a decent mobile site.
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Lynn

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Did you have to pay to have both a mobile site and a desktop site?  May we have your web address too so that we can see what you've done exactly?  Thanks.  
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susan2829, Champion

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Hi Lynn,
Yes, I paid for the mobile as well as the desktop. The mobile didn't qualify for the freebie and I didn't want the ads. Here's the breakdown on their pricing:


This is a client's site and I'm not finished with it and there are some 'issues', but you're welcome to take a look to get an idea. It's www.techforag.com
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Lynn

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Thanks for the info. 
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susan2829, Champion

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You're welcome and hope it helps.  I'm still on the upside of the learning curve so can't say definitively that the program is a beast to work with, but it's certainly less than intuitive and seems a bit twitchy.
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William1899

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I think somewhere Duda says you get phone support if you upgrade, not true, they only have email support and currently its a 2 or 3 day lag time. Great.
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susan2829, Champion

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I believe it says unlimited tech support with the paid version - I don't recall anything about phone support.
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Lynn

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If you create a free mobile site, what happens to the desktop site?  Thanks.

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