Development Diary: From Concept to Execution

Development Diary: From Concept to Execution

This is the first in a new series of monthly blogs which will focus on a single project. The goal isn't to bore you with technical jargon and geeky details. Let's face it, you would get bored. Quickly. My goal is to provide you with insight into what happens when someone has an idea for a new digital platform and what goes into making it a reality.

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3 Questions Clingy Customers Still Want Answered

3 Questions Clingy Customers Still Want Answered

It's been nearly two years since I first posted my blog "3 Questions Clingy Customers Want Answered", but it still holds true. You might be wondering why I didn't just recycle the blog. If you weren't, well ... I'll tell you anyway - it wouldn't help with my goal to get new content every week this year. I also wouldn't be able to tell you about a recent interaction I had related to answering those questions.

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Transitioning to a New Web Team

Transitioning to a New Web Team

Most small businesses rely on an outsourced Web designer to manage their Web site. With the economy improving, not all of those resources are sticking around. They are instead heading back to work for other companies themselves and they all handle the transition differently. Some are great - providing their client with well-documented processes and information about their site. Many simply fade away. If you're outsourcing your Web design and development to a freelancer or independent firm, here's a few tips on making sure you're ready if you're forced into a transition.

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A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

For the last few months, I've been pushing myself to be more active. Since moving last Fall, it's been harder to get out and do the fun activities I love because trails aren't as close and riding along the valley canals is boring. I've had different people try to push me to try different things, like CrossFit (or some kind of functional mobility exercise), but it wasn't the same to me. I love to engage my mind in everything and if the activity isn't stimulating for whatever reason, the motivation to keep doing it doesn't follow. How did I get around this?

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Failure is Part of Every Great Plan

Failure is Part of Every Great Plan

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

We've all heard the old adage, but with software, failure should be part of any plan. This isn't because we want or even know that failure will occur. We certainly don't want the application to fail, but disaster happens. It could be a fire at the data center where the application is housed, infiltration by a malicious hacker, or any number of things that cause an application to fail. What's important, though, is that you have a plan in place to get back up.

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Make Your Web Site Do the Work

Make Your Web Site Do the Work

When it comes to email marketing, people often tell me its a chore to produce quality content for both your Web site and an email newsletter. Which is true and also the reason you make sure that content is in sync. That said, you don't have to duplicate your efforts; you only have to produce the content for your Web site and automate sending the latest blog to your email marketing list. Keep reading to find out how surprisingly easy it is.

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Making Sure Everyone Gets a Timeout

Making Sure Everyone Gets a Timeout

Over that past few years supporting applications, I've received multiple requests to not timeout (either at all or less frequently). From a user's perspective, it's frustrating. You get up for a cup of coffee between work and get distracted by a quick conversation or the ding of email. You come back to the application, click, and you're required to log in again. There's a number of standards for the length of login timeouts, but everyone has their own opinion and each industry has different specific requirements.

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Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

We wish you all the best time with your family and friends. Grab some BBQ, light some fireworks, and enjoy the long holiday weekend. For those of you that don't see this until the 5th, we hope it was relaxing and you spent quality time with friends and family. Our regularly scheduled blogs will be back next week with more great content. Cheers!

2 Ways to Keep Your Project on Track

2 Ways to Keep Your Project on Track

A great many projects are hatched by business owners everywhere, but they don't all become a reality. Just like not all businesses survive the first 5 years, not every project is executed in a way it can be successful. I recently gave a presentation to a group of small business owners about how Web apps are like houses. If you're scratching your head, then keep reading and I'll explain.

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Setting Up Your Automated Marketing For Success

Setting Up Your Automated Marketing For Success

Marketing automation is a term being tossed around by digital marketers. While you certainly want to have a qualified professional supercharge your marketing, there are some things you can do to get things rolling and streamline the process to make it easier to hit the ground running.

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Help Feed Arizona This Summer

Help Feed Arizona This Summer

If you didn't catch it last week, my editorial calendar is a bit out of order this month. I did that on purpose because I wanted to time this blog differently. Each summer, United Food Bank kicks off a food drive event called Christmas in July. Here's three reasons you should get involved.

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Crafting a Platform with Built-In Security

Crafting a Platform with Built-In Security

Building a platform with security built-in from the beginning isn't a common occurrence. Many freelance developers or small development teams consider security late, if at all, which results in what we call "bolted-on" security (versus "built-in" security). Bolted on security, while still security, tends to poke a lot of holes in an application. Here are three things to discuss with your Web team about before you start the next project or enhancement.

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2 Ways to Make Blogging Less of a Chore

2 Ways to Make Blogging Less of a Chore

This is one of those odd 5th Mondays where I don't need to follow a specific editorial calendar. Since this week (almost) marks halfway through the year, I decided to reflect a bit on how I've stuck with my plan to get one blog out every week so far this year and what you can do with your own site to help.

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3 Tips to Design for Everybody

3 Tips to Design for Everybody

Everyone wants their Web site to reach their audience and provide a great experience for their customers and potential customers. Most people believe that the colors matching perfectly or the placement of your best-selling service front-and-center is most important. It is ... visually. What about people that are color blind? Visually-impaired people use the Internet with special software and browser plugins to consume content. Has your ideal design considered them as well?

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Marketing Week: SEO Tips & Tricks

Marketing Week: SEO Tips & Tricks

Last month, I talked about advantages of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and how each may fit into your marketing plan. I'm going to focus a bit more this month on some things you can do yourself to help with SEO. We all have budgets and professional digital marketing agencies, while expensive, are well worth their fees.

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3 Reasons We Challenge Clients On Web Site Security

3 Reasons We Challenge Clients On Web Site Security

Recently, a class-action lawsuit was filed against 21st Century Oncology. In it, the medical provider is accused of storing patient data in Joomla. Since we primarily use Joomla as a content management system, this story was interesting, particularly when you look at the lawsuit attorney's comments.

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Ask Yourself 'Why?'

Ask Yourself 'Why?'

When it comes time to crafting a solution, clients always come with an idea and grandiose plans, but every project has to start somewhere. When potential clients approach me about mobile apps, they often start with "I need a mobile app." My immediate response is, "sure, why do you need a mobile app?" That tends to shock them a bit, but also starts a more important discussion.

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Do-it-Yourself Web Site Advice

Do-it-Yourself Web Site Advice

When it comes to any kind of app or Web site, it just needs to work. I was recently approached by someone in my network checking to make sure a connection would be a good referral. The organization has a sizeable Web site which includes event calendars and ecommerce (primarily in the form of registration payments for events), but for a recently designed site I'm left feeling like I time warped back to the 90s.

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