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Ohio Web Pro News

Category: Overview

Website Promotion

Filed under: News — by Eric Griffiths October 1, 2013

SEO - Open for businessAs I tell my clients, and I may have mentioned here in the past, traditional SEO is dead. If you are still paying for someone to build links and articles for your site, you may be doing more harm than good. Unfortunately, SEO companies are still selling this even though almost 2 years ago Google themselves warned about this publicly. Why do they still sell this? Because business owners have heard of SEO and want a good deal… and traditional SEO is cheap when outsourced overseas. I know what it really costs, I have been involved in it in the past.

This is why I want to introduce you to my new online web promotion program. While it still has elements of SEO that are safe AND future proof, it focuses on results… traceable results with our software, not just links to your sites that only a search engine will ever find. It builds content… quality content and creates a following for that content and a “buzz” in the online community for what your site offers. This is done by a professional team of writers and online marketing specialists, and you can track the work flow from start to finish using our online software. You will also have access to all work, images, videos and blog entries along with their locations, all on quality websites. This is a great program, and as many of you know me personally, it takes a lot to get me excited about marketing with me being a programmer! Please email me if you wish to discuss.

Client Hosting/Website Help

Filed under: News — by Eric Griffiths December 4, 2012

A little while back we started a section to help clients with issues or questions they may have with their website, hosting or email, located here. If you have any questions or suggestions for additional topics to cover, please let us know here.

Thank you,
Eric

The Monster Behind the Tech

Filed under: News — by Eric Griffiths September 19, 2012

Technology is great, but when it gets in the way it can be a pain. When I see technology that is there to “just be there” or its retrofitted into something it wasn’t originally meant for it makes me wonder. The tech we use must not turn into a monster and destroy usability.

For example, the other day I saw a TV commercial for a car. This commercial went on to tell me that my automobile has too many buttons, and that I would be better off having a car with a tablet style interface. At first I thought it was a neat idea, but then I considered it some more. Do I really want to navigate a menu system on a touch screen interface to crank the tunes, instead of simply hitting the “volume up” button? In a familiar car, buttons can usually be accessed without taking your eyes off the road. Is it too far to say this is a crazy idea without even first trying it? I miss my cell phone that had buttons that I could dial without even looking at it.

Companies that pioneer these new ideas tend to sell the technology, and not the “why” and “how.” A good example of this is the bank that offers check depositing by taking a picture of it. The commercial they air shows a woman snapping a picture and smiling.  It’s a great idea and service, but they neglect to depict or mention the fact that you have to take two pictures, one of the front and back, and then send the check to them. It doesn’t sound like too much extra, but over simplifying a new product is common. A new technology should be thoroughly researched before adopting.

The technology behind web development is in constant motion. While it is important to keep up with new tech, it is equally important to keep focus on usability and the user experience. If you find yourself working extra to use a new piece of tech, there is a chance it will turn into a monster as well.

Textbox placeholder text/default text

Filed under: Scripts — by Eric Griffiths April 30, 2012

Demo

One of the trends that you see with log on forms is placeholder text in the text boxes that disappears when you start typing. This is commonly used in small areas where labeling the inputs conventionally can not be done. The HTML5 specification has an attribute called placeholder where we could do something like this:

<input type="password" name="password" placeholder="Enter Password" />

However, this is not well supported among browsers yet. Another option is to use a bunch of extra HTML, CSS and JavaScript or Jquery to create an extra text box and hide or show it. The problem is, you cannot change the input type of the text box back and forth from password to text. So any default text in the password box shows as bullets. The jquery and JavaScript to do this properly is complex for the simple effect that it is. For that, I recommend a different way to go about it.

Lets use background images in the text boxes, then use just a few lines of Jquery to finish the effect… very simple!

CSS:

#user {
 background-image: url('username.png');
 background-repeat: no-repeat;
 }
 #password {
 background-image: url('password.png');
 background-repeat: no-repeat;
 }

The Form:

<form id="login">
<fieldset><legend>Log in</legend>
<p><input type="text" name="user" id="user"  /></p>
<p><input type="password" name="password" id="password" /></p>
</fieldset>
<input type="submit" />
</form>

And the Jquery:

<script>
$(window).load(function() {
    $('.textbx').focus(function(){
        $(this).css({'background-image' : 'none'});
    });
    $('#user').blur(function(){
       var tval = $(this).val();
       if (!tval) {
          $(this).css({'background-image': 'url("username.png")'});
       }
    });        

    $('#password').blur(function(){
       var tval = $(this).val();
       if (!tval) {
          $(this).css({'background-image': 'url("password.png")'});
       }
   });
});
</script>

This method is very simple to use and implement. The only other thing you have to do is create the background images with the text on them. It is usually not a good idea to substitute text with images, but given the simple nature of this effect, this is a small negative. The only other reason that I can see not using this is if you absolutely need to use a background image in the text box for another purpose.

Demo: http://ohiowebpro.com/test/default_text.html

New website launch for OhioWebPro.com

Filed under: News — by Eric Griffiths April 5, 2012

“Following standards and writing valid code is important in that it pulls us ahead as a society of coders/designers…HOWEVER… you should not let that stand in the way a creativity when the project allows for it. At one time, it was standard that all ships have sails. It is creative thinking that blends new technologies and sets new standards.”

How does this relate to my new site launch? By the technologies used in the ways I did, even though most developers will say… “Can’t be done,”  “it’s a disaster waiting to happen,” or “your site will be lost from search engines.”

Let me explain the site first. When you go from page to page on my site, the “page” never really reloads. Clicking a button prompts the site to get that page’s information and load it, without leaving the home page, reloading or seeing a “flash.” What is the benefit? It is more elegant, easier on the server, and most important, other elements on the page are not disturbed. For example, if you go to the site controls, and play the background movie, you can still surf the site without disturbing the movie.

Don’t get me wrong, this has been done before… but usually only in certain environments. This is very common in web applications where visitor or search engines do not have access. There are a lot of concerns that I had to overcome, such as fallbacks, search engine spidering, bookmarking, using the back button, possible errors and it goes on from there. In other words, for a little noticed function, it is a lot of work and testing, but it is sometimes the small things that sets us apart from out competition.

More about the technology used: The site uses Jquery, so if you have JavaScript turned off, you won’t experience it. Jquery listens for a link to be requested, parses the requested url and retrieves the data from that page. If there is an error retrieving the data, JavaScript then redirects the user to that page naturally. Once Jquery has the data, it fades out and slides shut the content area, replaces the data with the new, then slides open and fades in the content area. Fading and sliding normalizes the page so it does not “jump” with the new data. Because Jquery “listens” for actual links to be requested, search engines and spiders see the site and links as normal, and crawls the site. They do not care about the Jquery code. For incoming links and bookmarks, a hashtaging system is used to get the visitor to the right content. The hashtag also solves the problem of the back button not working, so it is twofold. Lastly, the htaccess file prevents the possibility of duplicate content, such as two pages of the same content (such as ohiowebpro.com and ohiowebpro.com/index.php.) If you have any questions, please contact me here.

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