Archive for the ‘Misc Web Design’ Category

iPhone Needs Fingerprint Sensor

Monday, September 17th, 2018

First off, I’m an Apple fan from way back. I have an original Mac Plus that still works. The first versions that didn’t have a hard drive and you had to swap the floppies. You can’t really do anything productive on it, but it’s still cool to play with every now and then and just marvel at how far things have come. I also have the first white Macbook that was released and it works like a champ to this day.

 

I was really hoping the new line of iPhones would have the fingerprint sensor back as an option. After reading about the technologies that allows for the sensor to sit under the glass so the home button would no longer be needed, I thought for sure it was coming back.

 

The iPhone 8+ is what I use now and based on the new releases of iPhones, I won’t be upgrading anytime soon.

 

If the phone doesn’t have a finger print sensor on it, I’m not going to buy that phone. And, after using an iPhone since I first bought an iPhone 3, that’s a big change for me. I had used a first edition Galaxy droid prior to buying the iPhone, and once I got the iPhone I never looked back.

 

I have to have a finger print sensor. There are many times I need to steal a glance at my phone without making it obvious and having to position the phone to read my face is not going to work for me. It’s so convenient to just place your thumb and open the screen.

 

If by the next iPhone release cycle they have not re-introduced the finger print sensor, then I’m going to be trying some of the newer Droid phones that offer the sensor. I don’t want to buy a droid but if Apple is going to ignore my needs after having trained me to use that sensor for so many years, then they just lost a customer.

Building Your Social Media Following

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. in today’s day and age, Social Media has completely taken over the internet. If you want to have a successful business, social media is an easy way to grow your audience and boost your sales, but how exactly do you gain followers?

 

I’ll be honest, I’ve had my twitter for 9 years now, and it’s taken me that long to gain 4,000+ followers. My tumblr, which has been around for about 3 years now has gained a good 8,000 followers (one of those being Taylor Swift herself), and my Instagram has 500+.

 

One of the most important steps to building your social media is being active. Get on every day and post little things; if you’re a business, post links to blog posts you have or product links with reviews attached! Secondly, follow people! And I don’t mean people like Ellen DeGeneres or Taylor Swift (though they’re wonderful and you should follow them) but I mean people in your community, and even other people who have large followings on social media!

 

Pay attention to the location of people’s tweets if you’re a locally owned business, and reply to tweets in the area to gain attention and bring people to your social media. Look up keywords, usually in the form of hashtags (words that start with #) that relate to your business, or the products you sell. Like tweets, pictures, and even Facebook posts about them, maybe even reply to them and recommend yourself!

 

Tell your friends and family, and give them your usernames so they can follow you and get their friends and family to follow you. Networking is important, especially when growing your social media. Talk about popular products on the market and tag the companies they’re from; sometimes those companies will like, retweet, and even repost your photo (always attach a photo you took when reviewing a product) to their page; this is a great way to get your name out in the universe and to reel in followers!

 

Most importantly, try not to stress out and get angry at the lack of followers you have. It takes time and dedication getting started, so don’t expect thousands of followers in the first month. Give your business or brand time to thrive and gain the correct kind of attention, and you should be on the way to growing your social media!

New Social Media Intern

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Let’s face it, we have been so busy building websites and working with clients to position their sites and also get their social media presence noticed, we’ve not paid much attention to your own social media. I guess being to busy is a good position to be in, however it’s no excuse to not keep our presence up to date.

 

We’ve brought on a new member to our team that is very knowledgeable in social media and will be helping us keep ours up to date by posting informative articles about social media.

 

Effy Phillips is close to obtaining her Associates Degree in communications and will be focusing on Social Media as her career path so this is a good opportunity for her to join the business world and learn along the way.

 

Effy’s own social media account has already been noticed by some famous people such as Taylor Swift who has liked and re-blogged her Tumblr posts.

 

Keep a watch for our upcoming blog postings from Effy.

Over Priced Web Designers

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Over Priced Web Designers are giving the web design industry a bad name.

 

Recently, a potential customer called and asked for pricing on a very simple 2 page web site setup up in WordPress. I’m a firm believer of quoting sites based on a fair rate and not trying to make my whole year with one quote. Giving fair quotes has kept me pretty busy over the years. This potential client told me she had just called another design house here in Gilbert and was quoted $10,000 for a two page website.

 

My quote was much less than a quarter of that because after doing this now for 19 years, I’m extremely good at what I do and I can create full custom WordPress sites in a short period of time. I like to develop relationships that last by giving a fair price with outstanding service. The result is customers remain loyal and will refer other business to me. I’m all for making a living but when a Web Designer quotes a 2 page website at 10K, that is just highway robbery and making the industry look bad.

 

Those looking to create a website and want a custom site done need to call around and get several or more quotes. Look at the company’s website as well as their clients sites and make sure the sites are professional and not just a cookie cutter theme off the shelf or a site that was farmed out to an offshore company as so many are these days.

 

Having built over 500 custom WordPress sites to date, I can tell you a two page WordPress site under any circumstance would never be worth $10,000.

 

Do your research and make sure you get a fair quote.

 

Contact Us today and I’ll have your new site up and running in no time at all.

Having fun with IRS call scammers

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
I know all about the IRS scam calls going around and have received many of them. While I was driving I got the call on my cell and because I had a ways to go to my destination decided to have some fun.
 
I returned the call and somebody who announced themselves as IRS agent number 123 came on with a pretty heavy Indian accent. Before he could say anything, I yelled “Why is the IRS calling me again, I paid the 50k I owed them already”. That set up him good because I could hear his wheels turning over the phone. He was thinking that he had another soon to be victim on the line. I’m sure he was thinking about how much he was going to get me for.
 
After he tried unsuccessfully for 5 minutes to get my information while I pretended he kept getting cutting off and I was giving him bogus info, finally I just flat out said “Did your mother drop you as a baby?” He of course replied, what?  I then responded well something is wrong with you since you call people all day and try to steal their money. I then called him a few other things and hung up.
 
I guess I got under his skin because he called me back and told me to F off. So, I kept calling his number and laughing at him and calling him dumbass and he’d keep yelling and hanging up.
 
It felt good that for 20 minutes or so I kept him occupied he wasn’t ripping somebody off. I was laughing the whole time and it made the drive go by pretty quick. I know I ruined his day and couldn’t have been happier.
 
 
 

How the Internet Started

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

A lot of the younger generation today has no idea how the internet came into existence. They just know it’s there and they can’t remember a time without it.

 

Those of us that are older remember when we had to send an actual letter to somebody or pick up and dial a rotary phone if we wanted to talk with somebody.

 

Well, the times certainly changed and with that here is a brief history of how the thing that so many people use and love daily came into being.

 

The Internet got its start back in the 60’s with an agency called DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) which is a US Department of Defense organization.

 

They were tasked to develop a method of transferring packets of data over a network and this laid the ground work for the introduction of the TCP/IP framework which was introduced in 1982 from the Computer Science Network. It is from this setup of protocols everything you see today is possible.

 

In early 1980, the NSF created 5 super computer centers which were interlinked by 56Kbps connections with the goal being to allow these centers to communicate with each other electronically. It was during the 80’s that email and other future abilities of the Internet where theorized by Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee who is an English computer scientist. That’s right; email was just a theory back then.

 

Before the advent of a graphical browser that was easy to use called Netscape, your means of accessing the Internet were pretty much restricted to a text interface. Think the command prompt on a DOS screen. No pictures, nothing but text.

 

During the 80s and 90s the Internet and its infrastructure grew as technology and methods were developed and it wasn’t until the late 90s and early 2000 that the business community really became aware of the power of what the Internet offered in letting them market their products. Once business adopted it, then things really took off.

 

So there you have it, a very brief lesson on the Internet. There are a lot of things that could be written about during that time, but now you know the very basics of where this thing that is a part of your daily life came from.

Dreamweaver CC as a Web Development Tool

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Over the years, I’ve used many different development tools and have tried many others. While hand coding is gratifying, when developing sites that need to get done quickly I’ve settled on Dreamweaver CC.

 

In the early beginning of Dreamweaver, yes the code was messy and bloated and it was better just to hand code stuff primitive as it was. The newest versions out now will produce the exact same code you would if you hand coded it. I also like the way I can select my code colors to separate out the different types of coding on the page not to mention the ability to see the fluid layouts for responsive modes.

 

I know die hard hand coders hate programs like that, but when you’re in business charging rates that are very competitive, why hand code something that takes 5 minutes, when the EXACT same output can be produced with a few clicks. Over the course of the day, that can amount to a lot of billable time.

 

Granted, the ability to hand code is a necessity so you can go in and tweak the things you want to, and not knowing how to code will limit you on taking advantage of the full potential of what web sites can do today.

 

Of course, I still hand code the PHP, Java, etc, with the pages, but the ability to save snippets of code and apply that code with a click has really saved me a lot of time in developing sites and delivering them to clients quickly.

 

You’ll find forums all over the Internet talking about what is better than the other, but every programmer has their preferred tools and it boils down to what works best for them.

The pitfalls of a do it yourself website.

Friday, May 6th, 2016
With the advent of the do it yourself website tools like Wix and Weebly, many business owners have the ability to now create their own site without working with a design house.
 
 
In some cases, that might be all that business ever needs however the problems start when those businesses decide they need to add a feature that those services don’t provide or they want to change the look outside of the template versions provided. They quickly realize just how difficult those platforms can be to work with.
 
 
Lately, I’ve seen problems arise when a company that has used one of those services wants to move away from it and host with a different company. They don’t understand why you can’t just simply take the files with you and load them elsewhere without manipulating the code somewhat.
 
 
We believe a business owner should be spending their time working on their business and not messing around with trying to create a website. Once we have developed a client a great professional site on the WordPress platform, they can then go about blogging, adding items, etc. and doing the things that won’t tie up their time trying to figure out how to accomplish it. With WordPress, you can move it to any host you want to with simple migration plug-ins that make it a couple click process.
 
 
Need a custom WordPress site, give us a call!

 

Create Custom Home Page in WordPress

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

WordPress is a pretty versatile platform that can be used for many things other than just blogging.

 

One way to create a custom home page in PHP is to create a file in the template folder and name it home.php

 

You will need to include the header and footer in the page by using

 

<?php get_header(); ?> <?php get_footer(); ?>

Then, you include whatever hooks you need in between the two calls.

 

It’s that easy!

Detecting Current Page with PHP

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Sometimes, it is necessary to get the current page the visitor is on and then feed it through some other code so that it can produce a result based on the current page.

 

For this site, we gather what page is displayed, then based on that result, the output is put into the menu so that it displays the current page class in the <li> tag and then turns the current page text green in the nav menu.

 

<? function curPageURL() {
$pageURL = 'http';  if ($_SERVER["HTTPS"] == "on") {$pageURL .= "s";}  $pageURL .= "://";

if ($_SERVER["SERVER_PORT"] != "80") {   $pageURL .= $_SERVER["SERVER_NAME"].":".$_SERVER["SERVER_PORT"].$_SERVER["REQUEST_URI"];  }

else {   $pageURL .= $_SERVER["SERVER_NAME"].$_SERVER["REQUEST_URI"];  }

return $pageURL; }
?>

 

We then give the result a variable name so that we can call it further down the page.

 

<? function curPageName() {

return substr($_SERVER["SCRIPT_NAME"],strrpos($_SERVER["SCRIPT_NAME"],"/")+1); }

$page = curPageName(); ?>

 

Based on the result, we then serve up the correct class for the current page to turn the text green. In this case, it is looking for the home page and if present, setting the active class to home.

 

<?php if ($page == "index.html") {
echo" class=\"active home\"" ; 
} else echo "" ;?>