by Carla Alvarez | May 18, 2009 | Latest News
Another new web site design that launched in the past couple months was for Events to Treasure, an event and party rental business, located in Kingwood, Texas.
In order to keep costs down for the new business launch, we started with a web page template and modified it to fit the company’s needs. As with most commercial templates, the HTML file included was a mess; however, we started with the design in Photoshop, customized it, and then coded a XHTML/CSS WordPress theme incorporating the design.
The site content utilizes the WordPress page and post system with the main company information as pages and the blog section for latest news. The WordPress platform makes it very easy for the owners to post specials, examples of their latest work, update information, and add products on the fly.
Are you ready to take the next step and move your business web site to a content management system (CMS) or blogging platform? Contact us today!
by Carla Alvarez | May 11, 2009 | Latest News
This week saw the launch of a web site redesign I completed for a Kingwood based industrial marketing firm, Marketects, Inc. We had been waiting on a couple of final details to go live with the site, and it is finally public.
Marketects specializes in marketing and publicity services for businesses in the oil and gas industry. The previous web site was state of the art when launch 10 years ago; however, it was time for a web site with a new look that utilized current web technologies and that facilitated search engine optimization strategies.
Working with the owner, Kerry O’Malley, on the new look was a lot of fun. She was able to provide examples of elements she wanted to incorporate into the new design and had a very definite vision.
As she had several goals for the site, which included a portfolio showcase that she could easily update, incorporating an email newsletter, as well as a project management system to communicate with clients, I developed her new site on Joomla.
Joomla is an awesome content management system, one of my favorites. However, there are several modifications to the base package that should be made to make it a SEM powerhouse for your business. As the Marketects site was developed on the 1.5 version, I had to find replacement solutions for some of my old standby components and plugins.
One of the things that Kerry wanted in the new site was the ability to easily add content on her own. She has already added a new resource article, 10 Ways to Increase Your Online Presence and Build Business, within days of the site going live as well as added new items to her online portfolio.
by Carla Alvarez | Jun 6, 2008 | Latest News, Marketing Tips, Small Business
Sometimes creating a logo can be challenging. Sometimes I don’t have a clear enough vision of what the client wants or the vision and culture of the company. Sometimes the client doesn’t know what they want and it takes awhile for us to figure it out together.
However, that was not the case with the logo for Texas on the Go. This was fun.
Texas on the Go is a new online publication from LACC that focuses on business opportunities in and for the State of Texas.
The owners and I had conversations for several months prior for Joomla consulting, which the site is based on. They had the functionality of the site as they wanted it; however, the look wasn’t quite right.
The existing logo had a square orientation, which when scaled down to fit the site header just didn’t have enough impact.
Choosing a Color Scheme
Since I was familiar with the format of the site, I already had a good sense of the presence they wanted. You can’t have a Texas related identity without red, white, blue, and a star; however, I deepened the colors to make them a little more sophisticated.
Developing the Logo
The main issues was keeping the logo rectangular so that it would fit the ezine layout and still have prominence on the page.
I tried different variations with a more prominent star; however, that took it back to a square orientation that we were trying to get away from.
So I played around with the “on the Go,” incorporated the star with the O and this is the chosen end result.
by Carla Alvarez | May 30, 2008 | Latest News, Small Business
A lot of times when I work with clients, we are starting from scratch to build a business identity. They either have a mish mash of marketing pieces out their with no cohesive theme or they literally have nothing at all.
This was not the case with McCarty Lawn Care.
When I asked Jerry, the owner, if he had a flyer or logo he was using, he sent me a flyer that looks like the web site screenshot below.
I loved it and I knew the web site had to match.
There were a few hours between the time I sent him an email asking if he had the flyer in a digital format that I could work off of and his reply. During that time, I cannot even tell you how many stock photography web sites I looked through trying to find the image of the man with the crew cut with no luck.
When he replied, he sent me the original of the flyer and told me that he actually took the picture of his friend and then they Photoshopped it.
Is that not a great visual?
With the flyer file in hand, it was an easy task to convert it to an XHTML and CSS template for the Business Builder web site platform.
Not only does the platform make it easy for the owner to update their information, but it is also search engine friendly and facilitates good keyword ranking (try yard service kingwood.)
An SEO friendly platform isn’t the end to the quest for good search engine rankings. However depending on the competitiveness of the industry, sometimes that it is all it takes.
by Carla Alvarez | May 16, 2008 | Latest News
This week Administaff, a PEO company based in my hometown of Kingwood, released a survey stating that 78 percent of the clients surveyed, small business owners and managers, said that their business was meeting or exceeding their growth expectations.
Forty-four percent of respondents stated that they were hiring full-time employees and 11 percent part time.
In an additional report with a compilation of their customer data, they stated that employee compensation was up 4.9 percent from last year.
I have to wonder if this survey is truly representative of the current plight of small business in today’s economy. The businesses surveyed were just those using Administaff’s services.
At the Career Waymark, all of the recent job search related entries by author Scott Williamson have indicated the complete opposite. His forecast is to expect layoffs, rescinded job offers, and further fallout in the job market from the housing crisis.
Although today on Kiplinger.com, Richard Sammon put a positive spin on the weak dollar by pointing out that it made U.S. exports more attractive abroad. Even in service industries such as advertising, architectural services, and public relations.
So what do you think? Are the doom and gloom forecasts true, exaggerated, or somewhere in the middle?
by Carla Alvarez | May 5, 2008 | Latest News, Special Offers
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
One of our suppliers is running an amazing promotion on brochure printing. To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we are passing that savings on to you and rounding it out with four additional offers for a total of five promotions for five days.
So take advantage of these specials and give your business a springtime boost! Offers are valid through May 10, 2008. Check your marketing kit and stock up.
- Free Business Cards: Receive 1,000 business cards free with a business card design, a $69 value! (Promotion for 1,000 3.5″ x 2″ full color business cards on 14 pt card stock)
- Save 30% on brochure printing: Order 1,000 for only $230, a $100 savings!(Promotion for double sided, full color brochures on 100 lb gloss book with your choice of fold)
- Save 50% on Banner Advertising on the Kingwood Connection: Promote your business to the north Houston area on the Kingwood Connection. Lock in and save! This offer is valid on banner, featured event, and text advertising, save up to $500!
- Save 50% on Banner Ad Designs: Need a banner ad? Get a new online look for as low as $35. Save 50% on all banner ad designs.
- Save 25% on Custom Web Design: Save 25% off of the total quote for a custom web design, blog design, or web site redesign. Limited to the first five respondents.
Code: CINCOWEB08 Contact us for a quote.