We’ve just launched a new blog called Crunchy Melon. We’ll be blogging about Apps, resources, & tips for web design business owners. Be sure to check it out.
We’ve just launched our redesigned site for Slice ‘n Dice with new pricing, new services, and live chat! If you’re in need of xhtml/css coding, check out Slice ‘n Dice.
Welcome to the first part in a series of posts about how we built Gooey Templates.
Our biggest goal when setting up the promotional site for Gooey Templates was to put something together we could launch quickly and inexpensively. Any time you’re building a website or application, you really have 3 options: custom built software, off the shelf software, or 3rd party services. We decided to go the route of 3rd party services. This made it much quicker and cheaper to launch our promotional site.
For hosting the static part of our site, we used Media Temple hosting, on their GridServer. This gives us plenty of bandwidth, great performance, and very good reliability. The only part of the site not hosted on Media Temple, is the shopping cart section.
For the shopping cart and file delivery, we decided upon a combination of Shopify and Fetch. We considered using Magento Commerce (a new open source ecommerce app that looks really nice). However, the Shopify/Fetch combo gave us several advantages over Magento.
With Shopify, they handle the setup and security of everything. This meant, we didn’t have to setup a database, install software, or purchase an SSL Certificate – which saved us many hours of work.
We also didn’t have to worry about how to deliver our digital files, since Fetch automatically syncs with Shopify to take care of any orders that come in. All we had to do was setup our Fetch account, provide our Shopify address, and upload our digital files to Fetch. Whenever an order comes in, Fetch automatically sends an email to our customer with a download link. Delivery of digital files just doesn’t get any easier than with Fetch. If you’re looking for an easy to use digital file delivery system, definitely check it out.
After considering several payment options, including Authorize.net, Google Checkout, and Paypal Pro, we finally settled on PayPal. It was easy to setup, but it also allowed us to seamlessly integrate credit card payments with Shopify. The other options didn’t allow us to do both of these things.
For our statistics needs, we originally decided to go with Google Analytics. It’s a full featured, free service that gives a lot of detail about traffic to your site. However, after a few hours, we quickly realized we wanted more up to date information. So, we opted to add Mint for our real-time stats addiction!
Finally for keeping customers up to date on news about Gooey Templates, we opted to use MailBuild. It’s simple to setup and there are no monthly fees (they only charge to send out emails), so that worked especially well.
Stay tuned for future posts in the “How we built Gooey Templates” series. Make sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed so you don’t miss it.
I just found a very cool desk called MILK. The fish tank is so very nice!
Yesterday we launched Gooey Templates which allow you to quickly build an interface for your web app. Each Gooey Template includes an xhtml/css layout, prebuilt forms, tables, buttons, and styles for most html elements.
The idea came from our frustration of building small web apps for clients and not having the budget to wrap it in a nice GUI (or Gooey :). It seemed like the GUI always got the short end of the stick, but that’s the first thing a client sees when they look at their app. A Gooey Template can give you a big head start in developing your app.
After several months of hard work, we’ve launched a new site for the Bluffton News-Banner. You can check it out at http://www.news-banner.com
In addition to redesigning the look of the site, we’ve also added several new features, including a forum. You can read more about all the new features, here: http://www.news-banner.com/index/news-app/story.4933
Let us know what you think!
During my web development work, I find myself writing plenty of HTML code (among other things). Often, much of the code is repetitive among different websites. One of the things I’ve found that really helps speed things up is using Snippets in my text editor of choice, skEdit
One of my favorite snippets takes a return separated list of words, like:
and turns it into a linked, unordered list, like the following (which works great for navigation bars):
<ul> <li><a href="">Home</a></li> <li><a href="">Products</a></li> <li><a href="">Contact</a></li> <li><a href="">About</a></li> </ul>
To get this to work in skEdit, you’ll first need to create a new snippet. Go under Snippets -> Edit Snippets, then click the little tool pop-up at the bottom of the window and select New File in Directory.
You can save it as whatever you’d like, UL Nav works for me. Then paste the following code into the document window:
<ul> [*<line>]<li><a href=""><strong>sel]</a></li>[</strong></line>] </ul>
Now, hit save, close the window, and then select Snippets -> Reload Snippets. Your new Snippets should now be ready to go.
If you have any snippets you like, email them to me at tyler at outloudcreative dot com.
I’ve been checking out Google Trends recently and am really enjoying it. It’s a service from Google that lets you enter a search term and view the search activity of that term over a month, year, or several year period. Even though it doesn’t give specific numbers, I really like it because it can tell you what times of the year searches are higher.
Take for example wedding favors
Now I’m interested in this because of our wedding favor store, FavorTakeout.com. If you look at the graph you can see that searches are highest during the months of July and August. You can also see that searches after August really drop off, until about mid-December. I can use that information to judge how many sales we might make throughout the rest of the year. We can also use this information to make decisions about how and when to market our store.
Regardless of what type of business you have, you can use Google Trends to get an idea of when there is the most interest in your product or service. This can be especially helpful if you have a product or service that is seasonal.
To checkout Google Trends, head over to: http://www.google.com/trends
Obviously if you’re reading this, then you know that we’ve just launched our new design for this site. We hope you like it. Let us know what you think!
Note: We’re still working on ironing out a couple things, so if you notice anything funny looking or missing, we’re likely working on it.