Thursday, June 13, 2013

Local Business "Pitchin" Clients with Google Sites

New Website: Fastball-U.com – Classes now in-session

Local business gets new Google Sites powered website

The Brief:

  • Use the website as a means of attracting new pitching students
  • Create a website that is easy to find via search
     

The Method:

  • Focus on optimization for search and responsive mobile device rendering
  • Light-weight and modern styling
  • Utilize Google Sites platform to enable content maintenance via a web browser
     

The Result:

   

Patrick LaJuett
Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency: + LaJuett.com, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy advisor.

Lessons Learned from a WordPress E-Commerce Project

Responsive WP e-commerce Project

WordPress Responsive E-Commerce Website
Responsive WordPress ecommerce website design for Valle Training Gloves

Launched a WordPress e-commerce website yesterday.  The project was a conversion of an existing DotNetNuke website.  Here are my takeaways from the development process:

The Good:
  1. Themes are inexpensive, plentiful, and super easy to install
  2. Plugins are copious, one-click activation makes life easy
  3. WooCommerce set-up is intuitive
  4. Dashboard navigation is straightforward
  5. Quality hosting providers are abundant

The Bad:
  1. Theme documentation is sparse
  2. WP forums can be slow or unresponsive, so you will be on your own when troubleshooting
  3. Small changes to CSS can cause issues in responsiveness "mobile" view
  4. Media (images) can be a pain to upload and replace
  5. Performance can be sluggish

In Summary:


The development process was fairly straight forward.  But like every other WP site I have developed, it seems like there are always issues with managing media files.  (Uploading, cropping, scaling, replacing, thumbnails).  Third party plugins can help alleviate some issues.

Theme customization is trial and error.  Deviating too far away from the original look and feel of the WP theme will almost always cause grief.  By comparison, customizing DotNetNuke skins is much easier.  I don't like the segregation of PHP code snippets, especially when and open and close tags span multiple files.

For a website where blogging is the "core" feature, WordPress is the way to go.  Coupled with WooCommerce, it's also a legitimate platform to quickly launch your next Online storefront.

Website URL:

http://valletraininggloves.com

Patrick LaJuett
Patrick LaJuett manages a website design agency: + LaJuett.com, where he supports clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy advisor.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Google Sites Gets Much Needed Update

More Customization of Google Sites Themes Now Possible!

Earlier this week, Google Sites added improved functionality to enable more theme customization.  The update removes previous limitations set on the sizing of text, specifically in the horizontal navigation interface.

To access the new Google Sites features:
  1. Manage Site - From the "More" menu, select "Manage site".
  2. Themes, Colors, and Fonts - From the "Manage Site" screen, select "Themes, Colors, and Fonts".
  3. Customization - Select "Horizontal navigation" to set font size, colors and backgrounds. When finished, Click the "Save" button.
  4. Result - Horizontal navigation font size is now customizable.  Previously the nav text size was locked at 10pt.


These new Google Sites features enable customization of elements which were previously unchangeable. This flexibility is a welcome UI improvement for Google Sites web designers, site owners, and visitors alike.

Next up?  We'd like to have the ability to center align horizontal navigation links.  Hopefully the engineers at "Team GS" have that in the works!

Patrick LaJuett
Patrick LaJuett operates a website design and marketing agency where he supports his clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy advisor.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Responsive website developed for "Navigate the Exchange"

Responsive website design with Google Sites cloud based CMS

The Brief:

  • Use the website as a means of educating consumers about the new healthcare exchanges
  • Create a website that is informative and easy to use
  • Integrate with Google Apps
     

The Method:

  • Strategy: The main function of this site is to educate and guide consumers through the new healthcare exchanges.
  • Web Design and Development: Navigate the Exchange wanted to be portrayed as professional and authoritative. The overall style for the website is contemporary and clean.
  • Technology: Built using Google Sites CMS platform.  The CMS allows for easy management and updates – from anywhere in the world.
     

The Result:

Patrick LaJuett
Patrick LaJuett operates a website design and marketing agency where he supports his clients as a Web technology consultant and search marketing strategy advisor.

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