In developing with WordPress for a few years now, I have found that there is a shortlist of plugins that I find useful on almost every site I work on. These plugins cover the range from things every good site should have – help with SEO, contact forms, analytics, automatically generated XML sitemaps, database backups – to other aspects that might also be desired – image galleries, A/B testing, eCommerce… and now, you (and I) can have this list available as a Dashboard Widget inside the WordPress admin area, with links to easily install these great helpers from one easy reference. Just download Alex’s Recommended Plugins plugin and install it to your own site. The list of plugins is after the jump. Are there other plugins you just could not live without? Let us know!READ MORE
Mondays early morning design research & inspiration brought me to an article from Creative Review, a London based design / visual communication magazine and blog, about logos and the top 15 chosen by their readers. I thought I’d take the time to discuss a little of what I learned, my opinion (which doesn’t necessarily mean anything), and what logos mean for a company.
Like most people, I like to keep my Fridays as chill as possible. Unfortunately, this does NOT appear to be one of those Fridays for me, with a bunch of stuff to get to by the end of the day. On the bright side, I’ll be jamming to some amazing tunes all day, so it could be a lot worse. One of my all time favorite websites, which also happens to be an amazing resource for finding new artists and songs, is The Hype Machine.
“To put it simply, The Hype Machine keeps track of what music bloggers write about. We handpick a set of kickass music blogs and then present what they discuss for easy analysis, consumption and discovery. This way, your odds of stumbling into awesome music or awesome blogs are high” – The Hype Machine
As part of my weekly grind, I like to take some time and read about design, design standards and just see what’s going out there in the web design world as to sharpen my skillz for future clients, and just to sharpen skillz in general. In reading I came across an article about best practices for designing restaurant websites. Any article that mentions “best practices” always catches my eye, and I was interested to see what it had to say about this niche online industry, so I read it, and was pleasantly pleased as I think it brought some insight that was helpful for our future restaurant owners looking to improve their online presence… READ MORE
Just about every web design and web development professional is familiar with the work done by world renowned web usability expert Jakob Nielsen. For those who are unfamiliar: he has invented several usability methods, published a number of books and countless articles on his research findings; in addition to holding 79 US patents, many of which outline ways of making the web easier to use. While doing some research of my own, I came across a republished article of his titled 10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities, which offers 10 suggestions to help increase online sales and customer loyalty.
MailChimp is a rad, free, email marketing & email list management website. We have had the pleasure of using their email marketing solutions to meet (and exceed) the needs of some of our clients – like when the first email blast for Pencils.com brought in some 300+% ROI in sales the first day after it was sent out. Besides their UI designs, I have been really impressed with how easy it is to tie their product (add a Subscribe to List form) in to Facebook and WordPress. Now, one of the things I dig about WordPress is how easy it is to give back to the OpenSource community, and while a job well done is its own reward, its always nice to get a little recognition:
Fixed bug affecting display of the settings page on subdirectory installs from the setup notice link. This should also improve the plugin for multisite installations. Thank you to alex chousmith for bringing this to my attention.
Yesterday, Ian sent an email out to the staff here at Ninthink about LivingSocial’s (a group buying/daily deal site) deal for the day, which happened to be a $20 amazon.com gift card for the price of $10. A great deal for sure, but nothing too out of the ordinary considering just about every deal offered will typically get you at least 50% regular price.
What made this deal newsworthy (and worth blogging about), is that fact that this particular offer ended up being the most successful online coupon campaign in history, in regards to gross revenue. By the time the deal had expired, more than 1.3 million coupons had been sold, amassing $13 million collectively for Amazon and LivingSocial in a mere 24hrs.
Companies have increasingly turned to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to help connect with customers and more importantly to encourage brand loyalty. This is often accomplished by offering exclusive deals and promotions to ‘fans’ or ‘followers’ of the brand.