Even the name is soothing.
The technology is even better.
No more building multiple websites for web and mobile.
No more having to put on your reading glasses to view a website on a phone.
A solution for the masses.
Following is an example of a site we recently completed that has a wonderful responsive design.
Here is how the website is viewed in a standard browser:
And here is the exact same page as viewed on a mobile device:
Interested in converting your site to a responsive design? Contact us today.
A professional, high-end website? Check.
An e-commerce platform? Check.
A members only section with chat rooms and live webinars? Check.
A site with multiple language translations? Check.
The Institute for Global Student Success has recently hired Altera Web, a Philadephia-based web design company, to build the ideal solution for their new venture.
We couldn’t be more excited. We love being part of start-ups and get totally revved up by being a part of their success.
We take it as a personal victory as well and even do a victory dance around our office.
We will be adding functionality to the site as the summer months go on.
Feel free to check out our progress at https://globalstudentsuccess.com.
There is only one reason why we haven’t blogged in six months. Holy moly, have we been busy!
We have been working on such an interesting range of products. From an inventory management system, to an event management system, to a plethora of websites, we have been cranking out work in 2014. Yes, we love being busy.
Today, I’d like to introduce a site we’ve been working on for several months. It’s a full ecommerce site, based in WordPress, utilizing a fully customized WooCommerce plugin. Jennifer’s Way Bakery is a small, amazing retail bakery in New York City. But they are going big time by opening a 13,000 square food facility so they can ship their goodies nationwide.
And they called on Altera Web to create their online presence.
They have been wonderful to work with and I wish them all of the success in the world.
JennifersWayBakery.com…check it out.
In 2014, we landed a very exciting project. The company was one of the largest food packaging companies in the world and they needed their website rebuilt.
As part of the rebuild, they requested a very interesting feature. They wanted their customers to be able to come online, search through their 500+ products and then create a PDF catalog of the products that were selected. Previously, the customer could only download their full catalog. But what if they were only interested in bowls or glassware or silverware?
That’s where we came in. At Altera Web, we love nothing more than a challenge and if I don’t say so myself, we absolutely nailed it.
Step 1: Customer comes to site and using multiple filters we set up, selects the products and categories they are interested in.
Step 2: Customer adds desired products to catalog.
Step 3: Customer reviews the catalog items before printing.
Step 4: Customer adds their company name and creates the catalog. A PDF is created. Everyone lives happily ever after.
Click here to view an example of the customized PDF catalog.
This is a win-win for everybody. The customer has a beautiful catalog and the client hopefully has happy customer and increased sales.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact us.
So here’s the story. About a month ago, Altera Web was hired by a professional pianist to create a website where the user can sign up for online piano lessons. We knew we wanted to build the site in WordPress but we also knew that we needed a reliable, awesome WordPress membership plugin.
After what we thought was a lot of due diligence, we decided on WishList Member, which cost $97.
I’m a big believer that for most “free” items, you get what you pay for, so I am more than happy to pony up some dough, with the assumption that you get a rocking product in return, along with great customer service.
Now the site was pretty basic (not dull mind you…but not too complex): three membership levels and the only payment option we’d be offering would be PayPal.
I cannot begin to tell you how complex WishList Member was to implement. Way too many settings, many of which seemed to both repeat and contradict themselves at the same time. And their support consisted of videos (in no order whatsoever), PDFs (sketchy in detail and based on an old version of PayPal), and a Support Forum.
But after two day…TWO DAYS…we finally completed the implementation. We ran it thru testing. It connected to PayPal. It processed the payment. But the redirect back to our website would not work.
I looked up the issue online and it seems it’s been a problem for a LONG TIME. I reached out to customer service who had me do a few things, all to no avail.
If Apple has taught us one thing, it’s this: simple is better. It’s all about making your product easy to use. I should have known once I started playing with the plugin that it wouldn’t go well. It was just too complex.
To their credit, they refunded my money but the project is now a few days behind schedule as we try to implement a new solution.
Believe it or not, we found a free plugin. Yes, I know what I said above. But this came very highly reviewed. It’s call S2Member.
It was a piece of cake to implement.
Will it work like it’s supposed to?
I’ll let you know in a few days when we go live.
Congratulations to Testa Advertising for the launch of their new WordPress website and WordPress blog.
They desired a stylish, mostly black-and-white website to showcase their skills and their creativity.
Altera Web delivered, creating the new site is less than two weeks.
Check it out.
More people are accessing the internet on their mobile devices than ever before. Whether you have a website or a WordPress blog (or both), it is absolutely vital in this day and age that your site looks consistent (and fantastic) on all devices.
Responsive Design is a relatively new concept that refers to building a website so it provides the most optimal user experience on various screen sizes, devices and orientations.
Think about how important this is. You have no idea where your next potential customer is going to be viewing your site. Will he be in his office on a 21 inch monitor? Will she be laying in bed with her 10 inch tablet? Or will he be on the road with his cell phone?
No matter where they are or what device they are looking at, your site must come across consistently, professional and easy to use.
Still not clear about responsive design? View our site and all devices and you’ll get it.
Is your site optimized for all devices? If not, just give us a shout and we’ll be glad to help.
No…this is not going to be another post comparing the features of WordPress, Joomla and Drupal with fancy charts and graphs, as we spew our expertise on all things CMS.
The web is already littered with those posts.
But I will say this. At Altera Web, a New Jersey web design company, we’ve worked with all three content management systems. And from a development point of view, the learning curve is much, much steeper with Joomla and Drupal.
Which would be fine if the benefits far outweighed those of WordPress. But for 95% of our clients, WordPress is more than sufficient.
It is not only more than sufficient, it rocks!
It has come a far way in the past few years, from a blogging only platform to a full-fledged CMS.
Are there things that can be improved with WordPress?
The WordPress editor could be much better.
You should easily be allowed to use whatever widget you want on whatever page you want without digging too deep into the PHP code.
But all in all, it delivers what we need without the unnecessary complexity of other CMS’.
And this simplicity is passed along to our customers.
Everybody wins. Isn’t that nice?
You’re young. You’re recently out of college. Your job prospects look bleak. You’re getting frustrated.
And then one day, you say “I think I’ll be a web designer“.
Hey…it can happen. My path is somewhat similar.
So my question to you is: What makes you think you can be a great web designer?
And if you’re not going to be great, don’t bother entering the field. It’s too competitive and already saturated with top talent.
But if you think you can indeed be great, here are the skills I would focus on:
- Design: I know that sounds obvious. But you need to have a phenomenal sense of what works and what doesn’t. Especially when it comes to web design. Do I think you need a four year degree from a top design school? No. But you better be able to recognize and produce exceptional designs.
- HTML: At the end of the day, browsers display HTML code. It may start as PHP or .NET or some other server side language. But you better know HTML really, really well.
- CSS: This keeps the design separate from the content and is where you can get very creative.
- PHP: I would focus on PHP over .NET to start. It’s more commonly used. You do not need to be an expert coder, but you should be able to recognize what the code is doing.
- Photoshop: You and Photoshop will be best friends as you spend your days together. Learn it.
- WordPress: Clients these days want the ability to update their own sites. WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market today.
- Customer Service: This is how you can stand apart from your competition. You better service the heck out of your clients or they will go some place else.
So…do you still want to be a web designer?
I know what you’re thinking…
“It’s 2012. Why do I need a website for my business? I’ve got Facebook. I’ve got Twitter. I’ve got Pinterest. I’ve got Tumblr. I’ve got YouTube. There are tons of ways to promote my business without absorbing the time and the cost of building a website.”
Well, not to get all Chandler Bing-ish, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
- Your website is “your” store front. YOU own it. You can’t say that about any of the other sites. I know you can’t imagine it, but one day Facebook may turn into MySpace. And then what happens? Your traffic plummets on your Facebook page. There is no law that says any of these other sites need to stay popular forever. You need something that is 100% in your control.
- How can you show your unique voice when your social networking pages look pretty much like everyone else’s? You need something that represents you…whatever that may be.
- You set the rules on your own site. Those other sites? They can take you down whenever they please and all of your data goes with it. Why?
- Because they own your data. That’s right. Everything you or your “friends” put on your social networking sites is owned by those sites.
- You want to get in the search engines? Of course you do. While some of those other sites may have some search-ability, you are very limited in what you can optimize for.
- You want a forum on your site? A blog? E-commerce? You need your own site.
- It’s expected of you to have your own site. Period. Not having a website means you will not be taken seriously.
This list just scratches the surface. But you get the point.
Oh, and by the same token, the days of having ONLY a website are also coming to an end. You need Facebook. You need Twitter. It’s a constant cycle of build and promote.
And those that do it right are the ones that will thrive in this ungodly competitive marketplace.