We’re asked quite often about mobile strategy, compatibility issues, its affect on SEO and more. We’ve been producing Responsive websites since 2013 but thought this article, written exclusively for JB Systems by Ivan Serrano, would bolster our approach and provide some clarity. We hope you enjoy – and thanks to Ivan for providing some third party, unbiased, insight:
Responsive Design – A Summary
The rise of smartphones and tablets has had a huge impact on the design and user experience of a site. Before mobile devices, brands only needed ensure that their site would work across different browsers. Smartphones and tablets, however, offer a completely different experience from a standard desktop. Not only is the screen smaller the mobile devices themselves generally are less powerful, have different resolutions, rely on touch control and generally do not support Flash. More importantly 75 percent of consumers expect brands to have mobile-friendly sites and have no problem navigating away if they cannot find what they are looking for quickly. With mobile Internet usage growing 73 percent from the previous year, it’s no exaggeration to say that mobile is the most important avenue for marketers. While there are several options to making your site mobile-friendly, the preferred method is to implement a responsive design.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
Simply put, responsive web design (RWD) means all content, images and structure of a site will adjust to fit every screen size. Unlike a mobile specific site, an RWD site is built on one domain and a single HTML codebase which is fluidly resized by CSS to adjust to any screen size. Since it is all built on one domain you don’t need to maintain different versions of the site (more…)
We’ve had a lot of clients in lately who come to us with an existing website, and we come to find out that its actually a WordPress site.
What is that, you ask? A WordPress site is merely a website built using a blogging platform (think of building a car using a kit that comes in a box). If you’re familiar with blogging, you know that it consists of really only a few basic elements (engine, doors, frame, wheels, tires, steering wheel)…not nearly what a website could consist of. (In fact, we use WordPress for this very blog!) Which is why businesses often find WordPress sites lacking after a while. They aren’t easily customized, and its like you’re working within a box.
So why are we seeing so many more of these types of sites lately?
Website developers who are just starting out, or want to become developers, are finding that they can simply use the WordPress platform, skin it (add a design), add some plugins (extra tools that allow for added functionality), and sell it as a custom website. For some businesses, this is ok. It’s usually a very cost-effective way to start out with a presence on the web. For many though, it’s becoming more of a nuisance than a success.
The reality is, many WordPress developers don’t have to know much PHP, a well known, widely used programming language. So, when they encounter a problem or their client wants them to do something different with the site (using the car analogy, you want the power windows to have special buttons, and you want the heated seats to only stay on for 20 minutes after you sit down), they are at a loss, or have to seek out other developers for help, and BOOM! They’ve overcommitted.
True website developers and programmers know how to build a website from the ground up. That means taking a blank text document and being able to write instructions for website browsers or computer operating systems to make your screen display what’s needed. Sure, we have bits and pieces that can be reused….like a contact form…processing that is pretty standard, so there’s no reason to re-invent the wheel. But what if a client requests an event calendar that can take reservations, but the events are recurring monthly, and the website can only accept 25 people at each event, and automatic email notifications need to go out, and you should be able to register multiple people at once and pay for them all in one checkout process…
…I think you get the idea. How do you find a plug in for WordPress that’s going to do all of that exactly the way the client expects? Truth is, you don’t. That is a custom created events calendar.
JB Systems’ website programmers are not just building pretty websites (although they do look pretty darn great)…they’re organizing data that you want to provide to your audiences, and presenting it in an easy-to-understand format for use on the web. If there is a problem you want to solve through the website, we’ll help get you there. That’s the beauty of truly custom programming. And it’s becoming harder and harder to find. Thankfully, you don’t have to look too far. Give us a call if you want our team to help solve your online challenges.
Written by Gerald Bauer, Owner of JB Systems, LLC
Impact Sports, a division of Genesco (the parent company of Hat World, Lids.com, Journeys, and Dockers Footwear), chose JB Systems to implement their proprietary Artwork Management System. After upgrading their company’s internal business management and invoicing software, Impact still had a need for their art department to manage their artwork files. Sounds like a pretty straightforward task, except the anticipated number of files to store was going to range between 60,000 and 100,000 pieces – all needing to be tagged, categorized, and more. To make matters even more interesting, the “Art Manager” (as it’s been code-named), needed to integrate with the databases (MSSQL) of their new management software.
Needs Of This Solution Included:
- Ability to store, categories, and search for all pieces of customer artwork
- Create a 4-step approval process for internal controls before artwork reaches the customer for approval
- Create an interface, online, for customers to approve or decline their pieces of artwork
- Provide documentation and re-approval if artwork is declined
- Store approvals in their internal business management software for company to use
- Create the application to be scalable – and expandable based upon future needs of the company
- Much more…
JB Systems (or the Labs) implemented a proprietary solution that accomplished all tasks – and housed in a secure server environment. The new application has streamlined their artwork approval process with clients, enhanced the quality control of their artwork, provided back-end integration with their management software, and more. We’re proud of the system we’ve created and excited to work with Nike’s largest North American distributor. This is a testament to the quality of programming and project management that the JB Labs (at JB Systems) can provide – from small companies to multi-million dollar ones.
More next time – and thanks for reading!
JB Systems is proud to announce our newest concept, JB Labs. From seminar websites to home builder websites, and from web applications used state-wide by over 50 individuals and custom apps used by 20+ million dollar companies – the programming team at JB Systems is a force to be reckoned with. With over 15 years of combined experience, there’s not a whole lot we can’t do. It is this department that has made
JB Systems the place to go when all developers say “We Can’t”.
Our newest concept, JB Labs, is open for suggestions. Do you have an idea for your website that others have said, “Nope – we can’t do that?” It is the mission of JB Labs to continually develop and push the bar forward for website technologies in the Chippewa Valley and surrounding areas. Stay tuned for updates on The JB Labs, as well as postings about new tools, experiments, and technology updates for our websites.
A detail often overlooked by many companies is DNS or Domain Name System – which typically is handled by your ISP (Internet Service Provided – ex. AT&T, Charter, etc). Sorry for all of the acronyms everyone!
The problem with DNS that is provided by ISPs is that they are slow, they do not update as regularly as others, and typically do not provide services such as web content filtering, anti-phishing, malware site protection, and other services.
As of 2009, JB Systems has recently adopted the use of OpenDNS – a FREE service provided by OpenDNS.com. With a couple of minor changes to your DNS settings (yes, even all you techno-phobes can change this too!) you can browse the web faster, safer, and more reliably.
For a list of features and reasons to consider OpenDNS – see the following link:
For steps on how to get started, see this link (use the link for OpenDNS Free):
Just another tip from JB Systems. Stay in touch.
If you’re looking for an E-commerce solution – look no further than JB Systems. Our state-of-the-art e-commerce solution integrates not only with over 30 merchant account providers, but we’ve recently unlocked the power of UPS Worldship – allowing “2 Click” integration. What does this mean? Simple – when your website takes in an order – you’re emailed a confirmation receipt (as well as the customer). That receipt has an invoice number. When it comes time to ship – simply open up UPS Worldship and enter the invoice number from the receipt. Our solution will “talk” directly with our database (housed on JB servers) and fill in ALL OF THE SHIPPING INFORMATION for you. Now that’s time saved!
For a good demonstration of one of our E-commerce stores in action – visit www.armynavywisconsin.com.
More to follow…