Pixel Works Is Getting SaaSy [UPDATE]

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Diagram of a SaaS model

UPDATE 8/4/14: The change to a SaaS model has taken a bit more finicking than I initially thought it would. I've had to recode how the system themes work while still allowing for single installs of the system. My next hurdle is to figure out how to set up the DNS to allow for top level domains (domain.ext) to be used without making any changes to email that is so important for so many people. Finally. I've taken the time to make improvements all over the entire system and modules with my main focus being the store which some people are waiting on.

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Now Offering Pay By Color Website Design Options [April Fools]

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When you look at a website on your phone, tablet, television or other internet connected device you may notice if you look very closely the screen is made up of red green and blue dots which are called pixels. To produce images on the screen a signal is sent to show either the corresponding color or a variation to make colors like yellow and purple. To create black no colors are turned on while it takes all three colors to make white. This happens hundreds of times a second to fill in the image and to produce the illusion of motion....

SEO Scams and How to Avoid Them

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Last week Expedia was hit with a 25% drop in search results for some of their most prominent keywords on Google. This was because of what Google deemed unnatural links. Similar to what happened to Rap Genius in December of 2013.

Unnatural links are artificial links such as purchased links or links in a bad neighborhood of the internet that point to your site. Examples of bad neighborhood sites include scraper sites (sites that copy all of its content from other websites), link farms (a group of sites that all link to one another) , sites with large amounts of spam, malware or illegal or pornographic material.

I noticed this event being reported in my news feed just as I finished a conversation with a client that said he was contacted by Google about his search results. Wait – what?...

A Simple Responsive Skeleton

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When I first started to dabble with responsive design I looked at a lot of CSS frameworks. I was looking for something basic, lightweight, and easy to use in my CMS. I found that a lot of them required JavaScript or a CSS compiler to make the site work well on smaller devices and I wanted something that was mostly pure CSS....

Your Website Isn't Doing Its Job. Now What?

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A good portion of the time when I'm contacted to look at a website that's performing poorly the owner will have a tendency to want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and start from scratch.

There are a lot sites that come across my screen with their fair share of issues; code that doesn’t follow web standards, JavaScript drop-down menus, unorganized content and more but I rarely, if ever throw everything away. Even with the worst search rankings, unless you're not listed at all, it's easier to lift up poor performing pages than it is to rank new ones without some help from existing content....

The Fold Does Not Exist...Not Really

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When I create a website home page I use it as a mapping tool. It should have just enough information to tell you what the page is about with links to other pages of the site for more information.

With so many pages indexed by search engines it stands to reason that any page can become the landing page and my projects are designed with that in mind. So to a degree the home page, while still important, caries much less weight alone than all the other pages as a whole.

Occasionally when I submit a home page design a client will approve it based on their idea that the visitor will see all the information fit within their screen. It's not until it becomes a web page that they realize this isn't necessarily the case and we have to have a conversation about the fold....

What Makes A Good Website

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When people find out I am a web developer, one of the first things website owners will ask me is if I have some time to  look at their site and see if it's any good. My follow up question to them is usually, "What do you mean?".

Most of the time when someone asks me to look at their site it's because it's not performing as well as they had hoped, for one reason or another and are trying to find a solution.

Looks comes up a lot. But the way a site looks really has nothing to do with how it performs. I have seen some rather poorly designed and unsavory sites do great things for their owners. I have also seen some really well designed sites perform very poorly.

There are some factors that determine whether a website is "good" or not. Let's go over them....

Social Media Strategy For Beginners

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I recently had a conversation several different clients that felt that social media was a mysterious complicated thing that they were not prepared for. While it does take a bit of time along with all the other things busy website and business owners have to deal with daily it's not rocket science and there's no magic involved. You can start using social media today by following a few basic steps....

What's Wrong With Windows 8

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In October I downloaded my update from Windows 7 to Windows 8. For forty dollars it seemed like a good deal. I had read about how Internet Explorer 10 was not going to be available immediately for Windows 7 and I had made up my mind that I needed it to test websites. I was silently applauding Microsoft for going away with the expensive upgrades on minimal OS (Operating System) improvements. I should have known better....