Wednesday, June 25, 2014

jQuery Slider in Google Sites

How to embed an image slider in Google Sites

I found a simple little jQuery image slider that can be easily embedded into Google Sites.  It is fast loading and adapts well when rendering on mobile devices.  Here are the steps I use:
  1. Get Unslider: The jQuery slider that just slides. No fancy effects or unnecessary markup, and it’s less than 3kb.
  2. Upload .JS and .HTML files to a new folder in Google Drive
  3. Create your banner IMAGES and upload them to the same Drive folder
    • Tip - use a sequential naming convention... 01.JPG, 02.JPG, 03.JPG
  4. Modify the inline CSS contained in file unslider.html
  5. Modify the transition speed and image timing in file unslider.min.js
  6. Share the Google Drive folder and all of contents
  7. Copy the URL from share link
  8. Insert an iFrame gadget in Google Sites
  9. Configure the iFrame gadget settings
    1. Paste URL:
    2. Change the folder URL to match the share link generated from Google Drive in step 7
    3. Change the gadget width to 100% and experiment with the other settings until you get desired look
  10. Save the page in order to see your image slider in action
One issue that I have not been able to resolve is how to preserve the slider's aspect ration when viewed on a mobile device.  You will notice the images are pinched a bit.  However, it's still a cool solution and integrates nicely within the Google Sites framework.

Example of jQuery Unslider image slider hosted on Google Drive

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Google My Business Locations

Google My Business Locations

Changes to Google's bulk business location management tool


Google has launched a new local business management tool called "Google My Business Locations".  At first glance, this appears to be the long awaited replacement for "Google Places for Business".  In fact the old link redirects to a 500 error page.

Here is a quick overview of the new interface.

Google My Business Locations Landing Page

Note the message "We’re adding new features to Google My Business Locations, so please keep an eye out for improvements. Learn more about upcoming changes.


Managing Multiple Local Business Locations

For us SEO's, this tool is a great way to quickly diagnose local listing issues for multiple clients. On the screen below, we see that we have a few unverified business, as well as a data conflict and opening hours issue.


Resolving Data Conflict Issues

We can investigate and remedy issues by drilling down into the individual business data.


Editing a Location

A really nice new feature is direct linking to the business listing on Google Maps, as well as the associated GooglePlus page.  I also noticed a few stray html tags in the business descriptions field.  Probably from a copy and paste via the customer's website.  These are now easily identified and removed.  I don't recall this functionality in the old interface.


Google My Business Dashboard

Here we see that the most recent updates we made to the business data are pending review.

I am thrilled with the new interface.  I think Google has finally merged all of the old Google Local and Google Places data into Google Plus pages.  The new Google My Business management tool will certainly make life easier for folks who help manage multiple business locations.  Well done Google!

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Business Card Design for Sticky Leads

Even in the era of social, business cards are a staple of a professional's marketing toolkit

Business card design services by Patrick LaJuett
Here's a business card we designed with digital printing in mind.  The cost per card is more with digital printing, but file prep and turnaround time is much quicker. The option to print in smaller quantities (100) is also available, which means less business cards sitting around in boxes.

Here's a screen capture of the Online printing application

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