Challenging Underlying Design Beliefs

Ever had one of those things that you "just know" is better? Ever turn out you were wrong. I hate that! Yet it happens to be periodically. This is why I like to test things. I'll come up with a good design for a website, show some people, and sometimes walk away with changes based upon some thoughtful insights (and sometimes I walk away knowing everything was just right). Over the last couple of years, I've made a habit of checking out ideas with tools like Google's Web Optimizer which lets … [Read more...]

WordPress Wins CMS Awards

People continue to ask why I look to Wordpress to build even non blog websites. For various reasons of course, including ease of creating content, ease of changing layouts, and ease of adding modules (plug-ins). All of those factors and more led Wordpress to win the "Hall of Fame CMS" from Pakt Publishing. Pakt Publishing sponsored the Open Source CMS contest, and Wordpress won against other strong contenders like Drupal and Joomla. While it's nice to use "award winning" software, the more … [Read more...]

Updates to WordPress

I use Wordpress, and have been using it for a couple of years now. Some clients have been asking, why I recommend using Wordpress, even if they are not going to have a blog (i.e. using it as a Content Management System or CMS). One of the things I like about Wordpress is they are very responsive to fixing bugs, but more importantly to fixing security problems. Some wonder how software, which is offered for free, could offer maintenance in a timely fashion. The answer is in the volunteers … [Read more...]

How to Gain Facebook Fans – Showcases To Go

I started working with Showcases To Go almost 10 years ago, helping develop the second version of their website. The first version didn't offer any type of on-line purchasing. However, in April of 2001, we released their new website, and I've been doing updates and revisions for them ever since, and not more than 70% of their business comes from their website. Showcases To Go is the second company I want to introduce to you in this two part process of how to gain fans on Facebook. Earlier … [Read more...]

How to Gain Facebook Fans – T-Shirt Joe

I know Joe. Actually, Joe knows a lot of people, and he meets hundreds more each week.  You see, Joe is an artist that makes air brushed t-shirts. And hundreds of people walk by his stand each and every day out at a popular theme park near where we live. Joe is the first person I want to introduce to you in this two part process of how to gain fans on Facebook. When Joe wanted to start his Facebook Page, he wanted to know how to gain lots of users. Easy I told him. Because of the type of … [Read more...]

Increasing your Facebook Fans

Recently I've helped two clients of mine increase traffic to their Facebook pages, and thus increase the number of likes they receive. The reason for showcasing the two, is that the two companies approached the process in two completely different ways. I will share the two different methods, and why it worked for each of them in the next two posts. I wanted to share both because so many times you will read there is "the" way to make something work, but that is not always the case. Of … [Read more...]

How important is a good designer?

I've taught at design schools, and it is interesting to see what comes out of young minds. I like looking at design blogs, to get ideas, both good and bad, and to be amazed at what some people create. However, just because someone thinks that putting a flashy design on something makes it better, doesn't make it better. Consider the traffic light. We see them every where (and I always seem to catch them red, so drive in front of me if you have some place to be). Some feel that they are boring, … [Read more...]

Your Business Email Address

I can't believe how often I see people using a free email address for their business on-line. Imagine if you would, going to buy a new car, maybe a Jaguar. You meet with the owner of the dealership, and on his business card is "expensive_cars@yahoo.com". What is your perception? When people get "my_biz@gmail.com", or any other similar type account, it will tend to lessen the perceived value of your business. While it may not be a deal breaker, it cannot help you sell yourself, your product, … [Read more...]

“Who could do that to a Jag?”

My wife and I were at a red light when we saw the nice Jaguar covered in ads for a Realtor. "Who could do that to a Jag?" Yes who. No one would make that comment about a truck with a sign on it for a construction company, or a van with a sign for a lock-smith. So why the problem with the Jaguar? Obviously, the owner of the car was a Realtor, and they were just wanting to get their name out, however in doing so they lessened the perceived value of their (expensive) car. As individuals, we … [Read more...]

New Website Live

Just released another client website into the wild - In Focus Family Law. The site was developed using WordPress as a Content Management System. While WordPress is normally used for blogging, recent versions have allowed it to be used for normal websites even easier. The front end interface was designed by a former student of mine, and I converted her designs into the WordPress template. We choose WordPress because: The number of plug-ins readily available to help develop the site … [Read more...]