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Archive for the ‘Web Development’ Category

My Favorite Web App of 2012 (so far)

Written by Sam Bishop | June 21st, 2012 | Business, Clients, Products, Web Design, Web Development | Comments

The app that has easily proved most useful in 2012 (so far) has been join.me.  It makes screen-sharing, and sharing control of said screen, dirt simple.  There are countless times that I need to discuss things that I am building or testing on screen and instead of trying to explain what I am looking at or doing, I can easily copy/paste a link and I am sharing my screen in seconds.  No software for them to download, it just works.

To share your screen, you do have to download the software, but for a free product it’s more than worth the time it takes to install.  It’s by no means bloatware or resource heavy.

One of the great features is that it allows you to easily share control of your screen with your viewers.  This is something that I do not believe Skype offers.  While Skype makes it easy …

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Responsive Design Roundup

Written by Sam Bishop | December 1st, 2011 | Web Design, Web Development | Comments

You have all probably seen responsive web design and not even realized it.  Responsive web designs are coded in a way that scales the content to the size of the web browser.  An easy way to see if a website is responsive is to grab the browser window and drag to make it larger/smaller.  As you hit certain widths, styles will change based on media queries in the CSS.  This is a very simple way to create mobile/tablet versions of your website without needing to create a separate mobile site.  These media queries are often used to hide or rearrange content for best consumption depending on the size of the device.

Take a look at the following list for some inspiration.  Look at them on your machine or mobile device and try different browser widths or switch between portrait and landscape to see differences.

Examples of Responsive Websites

CSS Tricks

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The Real Cost of Building a Website

Written by Sam Bishop | October 6th, 2011 | Business, Web Design, Web Development | Comments

Sand timer over dollarsMany people ask how much it costs to build a website and unfortunately there is no simple, quick answer.  It depends on a variety of things including, but not limited to; how many pages, layouts, complexity of features, and a  lot more which will be for another post.

What I will do is briefly outline the steps from the initial meeting through a full launch from one of our previous projects that is simply a brochure site for a small business.  I will outline the hours as well to give you an idea of the man hours involved.

Initial Meetings & Communication (Proposals/Agreements)

The initial meeting can take place over the phone but is preferably done in person.  It is mainly a question and answer to understand the client’s needs and goals of the site.  We have a basic set of questions that help steer the discussion but this is …

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LeadSHIFT Launches – Simple Lead & Referral Tracking

Written by Sam Bishop | June 4th, 2011 | Business, Products, Web Development | Comments

LeadSHIFT launches! - logo

After seeing an article on Freelance Switch, Prospect to Client Tracking Spreadsheet, I figured rather than using just a document, why not build a simple web app to solve the same problem?  The article/document was the sole inspiration for LeadSHIFT.

I loved the idea of tracking the time from initial contact to signing a contract.  I also wanted to track things like which types of contact (email, face-to-face, phone, etc) and which types of project types (web design, app dev, consulting, etc) had the highest conversion rates.  If you know that you convert 75% of leads on the phone vs 45% with email why would you not get the lead on the phone?

Another great piece of trackable information would be referrals.  I thought wouldn’t it be great to see which contact referrals generated the most revenue or had the highest conversion rates.  Then when the time …

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Using Frameworks for Web Apps

Written by Sam Bishop | October 28th, 2010 | Products, Tech, Web Development | Comments

After building applications (on and off the web) for the last 10 years, I’ve come to respect frameworks and learned how to harness their power.  I am a firm believer of understanding the underlying language but it seems these framework creators are making their frameworks easier and easier to use.

For our latest app, LeadSHIFT,  we researched quite a few frameworks before choosing one for the backend and plan on porting the app to another to become familiar with its features.  I’ll give a brief overview of the ones we used below.

PHP Frameworks

After spending some time seeing which PHP framework I wanted to use, I finally decided on CakePHP.  I liked the fact that it had been around for quite a while with frequent updates and a strong community behind it.  When choosing a framework, a strong community is incredibly helpful when you run into trouble.  …

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