We Love Dribble.

What is a dribble?

Dribble is a community of designers answering that question each day. Web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers, logo designers, and other creative types share small screenshots (shots) that show their work, process, and current projects.

Why we LOVE dribble?

In this day and age of so much technology, apps, websites, advertising, and more we find dribble to be a good pool to swim in. Most of the work is either conceptual design, User interface, app ideas, and user experience snippets. As designers & marketers we love to watch trends and pull ideas from other like-minded professionals in the world of digital. With the ability to like and save dribble shots as a member of the community I can refer back to ideas and even jump in the game and post mine. The community is mostly kind and constructive with feedback so it also serves as a free market input areana.

Web Technology Essentials That Many Miss

You probably know that web technology is constantly changing.

Most businesses have a website. Most businesses want their website to be an effective tool for generating leads, sales, or reinforcing their brand.

Most businesses fail. There are a few winners. Those winners enjoy most of the benefits of web marketing.

So what do the winners know that most don’t?
1. Technology matters
2. Branding matters
3. Story matters
4. Plan Matters
5. Measurement Matters

Technology matters
You need to select your technology tools – your tech stack. Tools like WordPress for your CMS (Content Management System) and Infusionsoft for your CRM/Email marketing system.

You need web pages to load quickly, so how you build your web pages matters. Page markup matters. The WordPress theme you use matters. Where you host matters. First bit server response matters. You need SSL, SPF, DKIM, DMARC and more.

You need a technology partner that can help make decisions and implement these decisions on selecting your web tech and hooking it all up.

Branding Matters
You need to select your brand and it’s message. If you want to be a distinctive higher-end brand, that means a great logo and custom font. If you are an everyday value brand, clipart, and standard fonts will work just fine. Keep in mind, the colors you use matter.

You need a branding partner that can help you make decisions on brand and execute on the vision.

Story Matters
People think in stories. Stories that grab your attention. Stories that share hard-won insights. Stories that stir the soul of what is possible.

Most websites should be a story that unfolds before you and engages your attention. People should feel emotions and think thoughts. Emotions sell.

You need a partner that can help you bring your story to your people.

Plan Matters
Web marketing is hard to do. Most businesses do it poorly. Why? They have a bad plan or no plan – then they execute it poorly. They don’t measure their successes and failures. They don’t know how to learn to do better.

You need a partner that can analyze your customers and their needs, look at your competitors and then create a plan that can win.

Measurement Matters
Almost no one wins out of the box. To be successful at web marketing, you need measurement to figure out what is working and what isn’t working. Then you adapt your way into success.
In our long experience with digital marketing, many businesses hook up analytics (shame of the few who don’t even hook up Google Analytics), but very few look at their analytics account reports to see what is working and what isn’t.

You need a partner that can measure web activity, understand what is working and what needs to change, and can implement these improvements. Meet your partner today

Website Need Some Love?

It shouldn’t surprise you that the average website isn’t an effective tool for it’s business.

It might have branding problems. The image and impression that you give of your business might not resonate with your ideal customers.

Even if you don’t send most of your leads to your website or sell on it, in today’s world, people will visit your website and check you out. If there is a disconnect between your website experience, and the experience of your other sales and marketing touch points, it could be a show stopper.

Follow these 4 steps to audit your website and find out if your site is a star or a show stopper:

1) How long are people on your website? 2 minutes? 3 minutes? The longer, the better. 15 seconds on your website means your site is a show stopper. You can see this in Google Analytics.
2) How many pages are people viewing? 2-5? Fine. 10? Great. 1 page? Show stopper.
3) What is the story someone understands about your business after 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 2 minutes? Is the information and the way that it’s expressed coherent with what you say face to face?
4) What are you discussing on your website? What topics? What emotionality are you using?

We can help you uncover quick fixes to improving your brand and making your website a star that speaks to your ideal customer. Get expert advice today.

You don’t want average…you want extraordinary.

 

If Google gave you business advice, you’d listen right?

It’s your lucky day! We’re here to celebrate the end of summer by sharing that advice, sharing a taco and sharing a beer.

Join Ninthlink, a creative team of marketers, entrepreneurs and creative strategists for a live Workshop on “Mobile First Marketing”. Our innovative leaders Craig Jacobson and Jeromy Stallings will be showing off the mobile tactics that are getting customers over 300% improvements in both leads and sales.  Come hang out, learn some secrets and grow your business.

Learn More and RESERVE YOUR SPOT today!

Mobile First Marketing Workshop
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT)
3861 Front St. San Diego, CA 92103

4:00pm to 6:00pm: Craft Beer and Tacos (Complimentary)
6:00pm to 7:00pm: The Secrets of Mobile Marketing
7:00pm to 7:30pm: Q&A
7:30pm to 8:30pm: Social Hour

Something to ponder….What’s one thing that you loved that was replaced by your iPhone?

Why I Made a Custom Yeoman Generator

Generator-ninthlink is a Yeoman generator used to scaffold static web applications. By running the command “yo ninthlink” in the terminal, we can generate a project’s directory structure, configuration files, boilerplate markup, and a great number of tools for speeding up the development process and ensuring the final product is lightweight.

I initially set out to build this tool from scratch, but then realized that an excellent generator already existed. This generator, created by the Yeoman team, had many of the features I was looking for: minification (css, js, and image assets), BrowserSync, Sass compilation, etc . . . and it appeared to be maintained regularly.

Originally, my intention was simply to get UnCSS working with Yeoman. UnCSS is a clever invention: it detects which CSS rules have no corresponding declaration in the markup, and then strips these out. When my initial tests of this integration proved successful, I assumed there to be no reason to make further changes. This assumption turned out to be false for a few reasons:

  1. Things need to be maintained.
  2. Things can always be better.
  3. Alex has a lot of ideas.

I’ve accepted the fact that this project will be ongoing. We’ve used this generator quite a bit recently, so I’m not bothered at all by this unforeseen increase in complexity. It’s not perfect yet, and something will definitely break in the future. But that’s all fine and well because even if we eventually discard ALL of this work, we will have learned something. At this point in time, however, the project paradigm exemplified by Yeoman (scaffolding tool + build tool + package management) seems to be quite powerful.

For the record, here is a list of modifications I’ve made to the original generator:

  • UnCSS (and custom configuration to eliminate conflicts with Bootstrap)
  • re-integration with Travis-CI (for automated testing)
  • the ability to choose between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics
  • Bootstrap linting
  • the addition of a pre-configured .htaccess file
  • added variables for easier maintainability
  • custom Gulp configuration all-around, according to our needs at Ninthlink

Before signing off, I need to emphasize that Alex, the senior developer here at Ninthlink, has played a big role in shaping the direction of this project. He’s allowed me to break a great number of websites, and then allowed me to spend time fixing almost as many. Also, please do yourself a favor and check out out the Yeoman project, its contributors, and related open-source dependencies. A huge variety of Yeoman generators exist, so you might want to perform a quick search here to see if  they have something you need.

Thanks for reading.