Written: November 7, 2011
We all love flexibility with our web sites, especially the ability to login and change prices. I have a web client that needed to change hundreds of prices in a quick and efficient manner. At first I thought of presenting a single page with all of the price names and values, but when I tried that it was too much scrolling up and down to find what I was looking for.
The approach that I ended up with was to use the familiar Tab metaphor with the major category names across the top:
We used WordPress on this project to allow the client to login and make their updates using just a web browser. This is the back-end to the web site that I blogged about most recently, see what the front-end looks like.jQuery UI, Tabs, WordPress
TCT West is a telecom company in Montana and Wyoming that wanted to offer a way for customers to visit their site and choose services like:
The challenge was that TCT West serves 61 cities, and the pricing, packaging and options change for each city. Furthermore, each service has optional add-ons. In summary, there are literally millions of choices possible, so how do you make that intuitive to the customer trying to order a single service, multiple services, or even a pre-packaged bundle of services?
We started out the design by making it very simple with a single choice: Residential or Business
Once you choose by clicking, then a new choice appears dynamically prompting for your City location:
Clicking in this field brings up a City picker:
Based upon what you just clicked in the City Picker, you next see only the packages and services designed for your specific city:
As you choose an Internet service then the add-ons appear dynamically:
As you choose each service then the shopping cart populates instantly and shows if you have any discount:
Clicking the Checkout button brings you to a summary page where you see all the details of your order:
There you have it, this is how we simplified the process of having millions of choices by offering dynamic content based upon customer choices, one step at a time.
This project was developed in WordPress, see what the back-end looks like in another blog.
For the technically inclined reader, this project used the powerful jQuery library.Tags: jQuery, WordPress
The largest annual festival in Tualatin is coming up this summer on August 9th and 10th, called the Tualatin Crawfish Festival. It’s organized by the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce and the CEO, Linda Moholt wanted a fresh, new look for the web site this year. Valia Eskandari of Edge Graphics Company provided the graphical design, then I developed the site in WordPress so that the Chamber office can make their updates using a web browser.
Here’s the new look for 2013:
I’ve teamed up with Valia before, we combined freelance skills and created the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce web site as well.
I look forward to another fun year at the Tualatin Crawfish Festival, eating food on Friday night, walking in the parade on Saturday morning, and working the dunk tank as a fund raiser for the Veterans of Foreign War, Men’s Auxiliary.Tags: Edge Graphics Company, Tualatin Chamber, WordPress
I enjoy blogging on a regular basis with my customized WordPress web site, however I don’t much like it when spammers clog up my blog by submitting comments. The first step in slowing this bad behavior is to install and activate the Akismet plugin:
Clever spammers will always find a way around Akismet and so I recently starting receiving bogus comments from this guy:
I did a Google search and quickly found out that WordPress has a built-in feature to stop spam comments being sent from a specific IP address. Find this at: Settings> Discussion
I typed in the IP address of 184.108.40.206 to stop this guy from sending me any more bogus comments. Thank you WordPress for being so flexible to use, and now more secure at stopping spam comments. The only downside now is that legitimate comments from that IP address will now also be blocked, but I can live with that.Tags: blog, WordPress
Kara Tobey is a Portland-based career coach that first contacted me in July 2011 and asked about getting her web site developed. I kept in contact with her, asked questions to better learn her business, wrote a proposal, then created mock-ups for review. Today we just launched:
I knew that Kara wanted to update her own web pages and do some blogging, so we used WordPress, the number one web-based Content Management System.
When Kara writes a new blog post on her web site that same post will automatically publish on both her Facebook Page and LinkedIn status, reaching a wider audience with less manual effort.
It’s very rewarding for me to help another small business owner create a web presence and pursue their dream to help others.
“Daniel, I cannot thank you enough for my website design and additional services. What a beautiful outcome and you could not have made it any easier! You showed me how simple it is to reach out and offer helpful information to those who will benefit. I highly recommend Tualatin Web to anyone who needs an online presence! Happy Holidays and hope to cross paths with you in the coming year!”
Kara TobeyTags: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, WordPress
There are so many ways that a client or prospect will discover your business, become aware, get interested, then finally decided to take action and phone or email you. If you communicate with a web site, blog and Facebook, then consider integrating all three to maximize your marketing impact.
Let’s take a look at what Nancy Emerson did with her surfing business. Her web site is www.surfclinics.com and at the top we added icons and links to both Twitter and Facebook:
Next, we actually embed a Facebook badge on the Home page, so that web visitors can see what’s being shared on Facebook:
Finally, on the Home page we embed her top four blog Posts:
We built Nancy’s web site with WordPress which has excellent support for blogging, so there’s a menu called Blog where you can read the most recent blog posts or search for words in any blog.
In Facebook you can install a free app that will automatically publish your Blog post on your Facebook page, this allows you two write the blog once then have it appear both on your web site and on Facebook. There are many Facebook apps that do this: RSS Graffiti, Social RSS.
You can even have your blog posts automatically Tweet using a free site called TwitterFeed.
I do the same thing on my web site, where I can write one blog post then have it show up on my:
The more ways that a client or prospect can read about your business, the better it is for your business.Tags: blog, Facebook, RSS, Twitter, WordPress
Every week I receive an offer from multiple telecom companies trying to sell me bundles for: TV, Internet and Phone. One local telecom company called Hood Canal Communications wanted to offer these bundled services to business and residential customers in their geography using the web.
View the following YouTube video to see how we built a bundle builder for HCC that works easily and quickly for consumers to decide if they want to go with a bundled package or just ala carte services instead:
This bundle builder capability was designed to work inside of WordPress, the most popular Content Management System in the world.
The dynamic technology used makes the pricing effects show up instantly as you click on any service, instead of having to wait and then be surprised about pricing changes.Tags: Bundle Builder, WordPress
WordPress is wonderful to create blogs or web sites, but what if you need to add a PDF document?
Here’s a quick video that shows how you can add a PDF document link to any page or post in WordPress:
Tags: PDF, video, WordPress, YouTube
Microsoft Word is very popular in businesses so you may want to upload a Word document to your WordPress site then link to it so that visitors can view it.
An alternative is to save your Word Document as a PDF file which will be more popular for your visitor to read from, because they use the free Adobe Acrobat reader already installed on their web browser and don’t have to buy Word from Microsoft. If your version of Microsoft Word doesn’t have a PDF print option then download this free program called Cute PDF, I use it all of the time.Tags: link, Microsoft Word, upload, WordPress, YouTube
I like to keep my WordPress sites up to date with the latest release of software so when I finally upgraded this site to WordPress v3.2.1 I noticed something quite odd. The site would load and operate OK however when I tried to login I saw the familiar login screen:
Clicking Log In brought me to a blank screen. Hmm. After several hours of Google search and trying several dead ends I finally read about the functions.php file and looked for empty spaces after:
Sure enough, in the middle of my functions.php file I had some blank spaces. Removing those blank spaces brought my WordPress login back to life.Tags: blank space, functions.php, PHP, WordPress