Monday, July 29, 2013

Making the Cut - Karl Driesel's New Google Sites Website


The Brief:
  • Create a website that is easy to find via keyword search
  • Site will attract new customers and sell products

The Method:
  • Design wood grain theme using Adobe Fireworks CS3
  • Utilize Google Apps platform: Google Sites, Gmail, Google Docs
  • Implement E-Commerce: JotForm with secure PayPal backend
  • Search optimization: Keyword rich page titles and descriptions, micro-blogging gadget, XML sitemap, Webmaster Tools, Analytics.

The Result:
  • Website features custom UI which ties into the client's wood crafting theme
  • E-Commerce enables client an inexpensive method of reaching and selling to national client base
Visit the Karl Driesel Inc. website: http://www.karldrieselinc.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.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summertime Logos

Here are a few summertime logos designed for clients.
  1. Folk Foto - Sports Photographer
    • Usage: Facebook page, photo proof watermark
    • Software: CorelDraw X6
    • Fonts: Highway Gothic
  1. American Legion Baseball Team - Hiscock Fishbaugh
    • Usage: Uniform logo
    • Software: CorelDraw X6
    • Fonts: Marketing Script
  1. ProMuscle Nutrition - Supplements, diet books and custom nutrition plans
    • Usage: Brand marketing
    • Software: CorelDraw X6
    • Fonts: Masque
  1. Team Valle - 14U Travel Baseball
    • Usage: Baseball uniform, signage
    • Software: Adobe Fireworks CS3
    • Fonts: MLB Tuscan


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.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Valle Gets a Responsive WordPress E-Commerce Site

 

Responsive website design with WordPress and WooCommerce


The Brief:
  • Create an ecommerce site that is visually appealing, stable and easy to use
  • Integrate with social media

 The Method:
  • Strategy: Main function of site is to showcase and sell the Valle Training Glove line.
  • Web Design and Development: Valle wanted to be portrayed as an innovative industry leader. The overall style for the website is "sporty" and fresh.  High-end photography is key.
  • Technology: Built using WordPress CMS platform.
    • Plugins: WooCommerce, WordPress SEO, WP Smush.it
    • Theme: pk2012 Sold!
    • Widgets: MailChimp, Twitter

The Result:

The Valle Training Glove website is responsive, easy to navigate, and matches the existing brand.


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.

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.

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