Sherrie Bakshi

Director of Marketing and Social Media

The Non-Techie Guide to Using Sitefinity

Over the last few years, we’ve implemented a number of websites in the Sitefinity content management system.  From a technology perspective, we love the system for its robust functionality, its ability to integrate with other systems, multiple widgets and its user-interface, but, why should you love it?

Whether it was posting a news item or updating the branding areas on the homepage, when it came to updating content on your website, you needed to have someone with coding skills do it for you. Not anymore!

While there are multiple content management systems out there for you to choose from (WordPress, Drupal are a few that come to mind), we wanted to share with you why we love Sitefinity.

computer-clipart-personal-computer

  • You don’t need to wait for someone to update and edit content. Once your website is launched, you can add content such as news items, blog posts, articles, and more without the help of a developer.
  • You can create dynamic mash-up pages using widgets. Let’s say, you’re posting a case study about a specific project. As part of that specific page, you may consider posting in a news widget that highlight news related, blog posts or events related to the project. You may even want to pull in video highlighting key accomplishments about the project.
  • It’s easy to manage title tags and metadata. In many cases, adding title tags and metadata requires help from a front end developer. Not in Sitefinity!  You can manage metadata and title tags for your pages by going to the page’s “Titles and Properties.” Once you’ve added them in the appropriate boxes, save it and go ahead and publish the page. Be mindful though that Sitefinity doesn’t allow you to use any symbols except a dash.

These are just a few things we like about Sitefinity. What about you?  What do you like about Sitefinity?

The Apple Watch Has Arrived

The Apple Watch has finally broken ground! With its release on April 24th, it has taken the world by storm.

Why do we love the Apple Watch? It is a landmark creation for the tech world. Apple is continuing to push the envelope with its new line of wearable tech.  The idea of having a mini-computer on your wrist is a phenomenon within itself. With three distinctive collections, the possibilities are limitless. The Apple Watch embodies innovation and allows its consumers to personify it too.  It has retained several functions that accompany the iPhone, along with some upgrades.

We already have some favorite functions, like:

  • A smarter way to look at fitness. Living in the health-crazed culture of the 21st IMG_3607century, we love how the Apple Watch has enhanced our well-being. It provides a complete illustration of your all-day activity. It motivates you to sit less, move more and get additional exercise. You simply cannot compete with that!
  • Communication is made effortless. With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we are always looking at ways to buy more time. The Apple Watch grants you that by making communication easier. It can predict what you want to say from the context of your text message and allow you to answer phone calls or transfer them to your iPhone.

Tell us what you love (and don’t love) about the Apple Watch!

Hassan Elhassan

Front End Web Developer

Three Things We Love About WordPress

Looking at one of today’s leading content management systems, WordPress, it currently powers 23% of the internet (WordPress). In 2003, it emerged as a strict blogging-only site. However, it presently hosts more than 74 million websites worldwide with clients including Best Buy, Sony Music, The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Xerox and more. An attractive aspect of WordPress is its open source platform. This platform allows individuals to freely use, change and share software.

In addition to its unique platform, here a few reasons why we love WordPress:

1. It is extremely user friendly. You don’t have to be a technical whiz to create a website because WordPress allows you to design your own with easy-to-create themes. These range from subtle designs to more complex ones, depending on the nature of the content. In addition, WordPress itself is incredibly simple to navigate.

2. Its on-site forum has developed a huge community. Its forums located directly on-site allow users to discuss, solve, and address issues ranging from everything including plugins, hacks and installations. This accessible support has fostered a community where users can communicate with each other in a matter of seconds.

3. You don’t have to create your own custom design. WordPress has provided the luxury of choosing ready-made, versatile designs for your website. In addition to the plethora of free designs available, you can also pay for a premium plan, which allows additional customization options. $99 a year will get you this, along with a custom domain, an extra 10GB of storage, the suspension of advertisements on your site and other additional goodies.

We’ve discussed a few traits we love about WordPress; what do you adore about the CMS?

Deborah Ben-Moshe

Project Manager

No Error Error Reporting

A month after arriving at college, I was writing my first ten-page paper on my brand new Dell desktop. Suddenly, and without warning, my paper was gone! And I hadn’t saved in almost an hour! What’s a college freshman to do? Woman at computer

In a panicked state, I frantically called the dorm IT “specialist.” Within minutes, my paper was back, although without the unsaved last hour of work (lesson number one learned). I asked, “What happened?? What did I do wrong??” He replied, “Nothing. Computers are just temperamental.”

Lesson number two learned was that computers are apparently not the simple machines I had at first suspected. They have a “temperament” and sometimes they break without reason. The same is true for all technologies, including your website. So when dealing with your website, what do you do when something breaks??

Reporting errors is a very important skill to learn when you’re working with a website, application or management system. When reporting errors, it’s a good idea to include and test out as much of the following as possible when sending a request for fixes to your web team:

  1. What browser am I using? Is the error the same in another browser? What version of the browser do I have?
  2. Can I replicate the issue? If so, what were the exact steps I took to create the issue?
    Is my internet connection ok?
  3. Is it possible internal security settings are creating issues on the site? Perhaps a firewall or a setting that disables JavaScript or plugins?
  4. Am I using a MAC or a PC?
  5. Did I include a link to the page the error is on? Can I take a screenshot to show exactly what’s happening?

Answer as many questions as possible to give your web team a good idea of what’s going on. The more information your web team has, the faster it can be fixed!

Sherrie Bakshi

Director of Marketing and Social Media

Google’s New Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Rolls Out Today

Google rolled out its NEW mobile-friendly algorithm today.

Why is Google doing this? The world is mobile. With an estimated 63% of American adults using their phones to go online (Pew Research Center), Google, the world’s largest search engine, wants companies to get serious about their mobile strategies. Internet search concept

What does this mean? When searching on your devices, Google will highlight mobile-friendly in the search engines. More importantly, mobile-friendly websites will rank higher in mobile searches.

How does this impact your organization’s web strategy? For one thing, if you don’t have a mobile strategy, it’s time to get serious about one. It’s also a good time for those with mobile strategies to assess them.

Here’s how:

  • Start with your own analytics. When reviewing your analytics, go to Audiences>Mobile>Overview. You can see from what type of device visitors are accessing your website. To gather a sense of whether or not traffic has climbed among mobile devices over a specific period, simply select the “compare to” in the calendar box (top right hand corner) and adjust dates. You can customize the dates based on specific periods.
  • Use the mobile-friendly test tool. This tool crawls individual pages on your website and lets you know if a page is not mobile-friendly and why.
  • Make your current website responsive. These days many content management systems, including Sitefinity and WordPress, offer responsive templates to help web developers convert desktop sites to responsive.

Finally, if you haven’t redesigned your website in a few years, make sure that you budget for a responsive website.