One-Page Parallax

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014

One-Page Parallax

One-page websites place all the content in a single, vertical page.  At first this may seem like a bad idea, but it makes sense.  So many visitors to your site are using smart phones and tablets now and those devices typically have smaller screens.  Navigation that was easy to use with a mouse becomes difficult with a thumb on a small screen. One page designs allow your users to access all of your content by simply scrolling with their thumb. View Live Site In addition, longer pages allow for some interesting techniques with background images, which move at a different speed than the page text, creating a three dimensional effect. Bridge Management who’s clients include many high-profile professional athletes and this site helps the company present itself at the leading edge of design...

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Website Makeover

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013

Website Makeover

It surprises me how many people forget that websites need to stay current so they don’t make you look silly.Attorney Rick Meier, from Kewaunee, WI, spent a good deal of time getting his first site completed. Once that was done, he could focus on other things. Or so he thought… Today, almost a half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices.  Attorney Meier’s old site didn’t look right on smart phones & tablets. The entire website was microscopic and using it was next to impossible. A website makeover not only provided a dramatically new look and feel, but it automatically reformats for smartphones and tablets. Those in the web business call this “responsive design”.  I’m not so sure it requires such a formal title for something so forehead slappingly important. See for your self: Before: After: Take a look at Rick’s live site...

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Should I Have an App?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2013

Should I Have an App?

There’s an invisible force field pressuring companies into thinking they need to have an app in Apple’s App Store and the Android Marketplace. This invisible force creates the sense that, unless these companies are properly represented in these new marketplaces, they’re missing the boat. The response to this invisible force has been a proliferation of “apps” that pretend to provide some sort of usefulness. This is actually nonsense in most cases. Although applications exist for mobile devices that we use every day and find indispensable, the largest majority of those can function and appear identical as a web page. In fact, when properly programmed, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. This is important to understand for several reasons. First – you can probably build your application right into your website. Mobile devices can save web links as applications, so, if you configure things properly, you can give your users a unique app by just adding code to your site that saves a link as an app icon to their mobile device. I am annoyed when I visit a website and am strongly encouraged to download their new, super-coll, neat-o mobile app. I usually get swept up by the excitement and go to the iTunes or Android store, search for, download and install the super cool app and then launch it only to be presented with content virtually identical to what I was just looking at on the website. Why in the world did I just go through all of those back flips to get back to where I already was? Now I’m angry at the company. Now I want to get rid of that app. But I’m too lazy so I just feel vague irritation every time I see that icon on my phone. I doubt the provider wanted that result, but that’s how it feels to me and I don’t think I’m alone. Yes, there’s a marketing case for having an application, but it should probably depend on whether anything you or your company does actually functions better as a stand alone mobile application, or can it function just as well in a web page? If the answer is web page, then do it that way, make sure the site uses responsive design to format on mobile devices perfectly, and add code to allow users to save your page as an icon on the mobile device. You get the best of three worlds; you only program your site once, it works on all mobile devices without requiring all sorts of steps be taken by users, and you still get all the marketing bang of having your logo on your users’ mobile devices. Here’s where I need to coin a new term to describe what I’m talking about: adaptlication. An adaptlication is a web application that performs some function. Let’s say we want to  provide pet...

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Why WordPress?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2013

Why WordPress?

WordPress started out life as a simple piece of software freely available on the internet and specifically designed for blogging sites. It allowed people to create online diaries that could contain text, images and media files all organized into dated posts. Sites and individual posts could be easily shared and viewers could leave comments back and forth with the owner of the blog. Posts could also be categorized. WordPress allows an unlimited number of categories and posts can belong to more than one. It didn’t take long for people to figure out that a post could be more than just an entry in a diary. It could be a piece of furniture, a downloadable software project or an entire church picnic schedule. In other words, the underlying structure of WordPress was sound and robust enough that it could serve virtually unlimited purposes. And each time someone created some new or unique function for WordPress – perhaps a widget displaying the current weather – they could package their work into a plugin. There are over 24 thousand of these plugins now and they continue to multiply. It’s important for several reasons for web developers to understand and use this as a resource. If I build a website from scratch, I’ll create the design, the pages, the CSS, connect those pages to a database that I’ll create and then tweak and adjust things until it looks good. Now you will probably need some way of changing what’s in that new site. You call me and I start building a second website; the one that allows you to manage the content in your public site. Not only have I just rebuilt a fraction of what’s already in WordPress but you now own a unique piece of my code. If Microsoft upgrades Internet Explorer and some of your site no longer seems to look right, I am probably the person you have to call. On the other hand, if I use WordPress, I can start out with the underlying structure, database and content management interfaces already built. I can choose from an immense library of website themes and then I can customize from there. It saves a tremendous amount of time and, since many, many minds have gone into the programming of all the code I’m using, it’s infinitely more reliable, secure and bullet proof than any one, single developer could possibly achieve. On top of that, those 24k+ plugins probably include a completely functioning version of any idea you may ever have for your own site. I specialize in putting that vast resource to work for you quickly and efficiently. I’m Patrick McCormick. Call me at (920)...

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What is Responsive Design?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2013

What is Responsive Design?

It seems to be the latest buzzword and when I hear new buzzwords my brain shuts off. I think it’s because so many new terms are just a spiffy new term for something logical folks have been doing all along. That’s not quite the case with responsive design. It is an important part of your site design that can save you a lot of money and without it, you may well be frustrating your users. Responsive design is simply the ability for the content of a website to automatically reposition and resize to look good on any size screen. It doesn’t require a special address, any javascript, or any page reloading. You can see for yourself if any website uses responsive design by simply shrinking the size of the browser window (if you’re on a full sized screen). As the window shrinks, the content will adjust to properly fill the space. That’s responsive design. It’s actually a technique used when programming the Cascading Style Sheet(s) (CSS) for a website. Properly written, CSS will cause your website to behave in this manner. That’s all there is to it! I was driving home a few months ago and decided to surprise my wife by picking up carry out from a restaurant on the way home. I figured I’d really impress the missus with my ninja skills by getting the timing perfect so I grabbed my iPhone and Googled the name of the restaurant. Their site was at the top of the results and I clicked on it. What I got next was all microscopic print and images completely laden with buttons such that any attempts to zoom linked me to all sorts of different pages. I cursed, linked and swerved all over the place. Had that site been responsive, the restaurant name and phone number would have been the most prominent things on a screen properly fitted to my iPhone and tapping the phone number would have called the place. Doesn’t it seem stupid that anything else happens? Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of websites work the way they should on smaller screens. Today, web traffic is coming from those smaller screens many time more than it was even a year ago. If you even have a customer trying to reach you using a smartphone, you will frustrate them unless you address this issue. Call me at (920) 540-5604. I can...

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