Blog Archives

Webkit Bug Fix: Slider Causes Font Weights To Change On Page

By John Locke | July 17th, 2016 in Web Design
Jul 17, 2016

Safari Big: Slider Causes Font Weight Change Elsewhere on Page

Every browser has it’s own idiosyncrasies.

One bug I encountered recently in Safari is related to pages with a slider located on the page.

Specifically, when the slides animate, font weights of various HTML elements somewhere else on the page change when the slides animate. Weird, right?

It turns out this is a bug in Webkit browsers like Chrome and Safari. There are some technical aspects to this involving how browsers render a page, and I won’t bore you with those details.

The best way to describe what triggers this bug is: when CSS animation is in effect, anything that might appear on top of the animated element can be affected, if that element’s top or left properties are changed during the animation, if the element follows the animated element.

This sounds complex, but there’s a fairly simple solution to this bug in Chrome and Safari.

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Businesses Should Own Their WordPress Plugin Licenses

By John Locke | July 12th, 2016 in WordPress
Jul 12, 2016

Mountain scenery

Today we’re discussing one specific scenario that that hurts business websites. This is when WordPress website owners don’t own the plugin licenses for their site.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, many CMS like WordPress have “plugins” that extend the core site functionality. Some plugins are free, and some are paid. Other content management systems like Drupal or Expression Engine have the same sort of thing, they just call them different names.

On the WordPress repository, there are free plugins. But there’s also a ton of premium (paid) plugins in the overall ecosystem. These usually have an annual license for support and updates.

Many third-party companies, like WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, or WordImpress, for example, sell these plugins for a set price each year. The premium plugin licenses are good for one year. The licenses have a unique key which allows the site owner to update their WordPress plugins when they are available, or get ticketed support from the plugin vendor.

Bear in mind, your website is like any other piece of software. When software updates are available, they need to be applied. This helps keep everything functioning correctly, and keep your site safe and secure. Most websites today are not simple static brochure sites. E-commerce websites in particular are full-fledged web applications with a database and complex functionality.

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Why AdWords Shouldn’t Be Your Long Term Strategy

By John Locke | June 26th, 2016 in SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Jun 26, 2016

A bunch of $100 bills, a small fraction of what you're already spending on AdWords per year

I regularly run into small businesses that are grossing seven figures or more. Which is great. But they’re driving all of their traffic through AdWords, or they’re paying a third party like Yelp or HometownLocal for marketing leads.

Most of these businesses are spending at least $10k a year on leads, because if they stop paying, their marketing funnel will dry up.

But many of these same businesses are hesitant to invest in their website.

Nine times out of ten, these businesses have spent the bare minimum on their website. Most often, the selection process involves grabbing a local eighteen-year old, a relative, a low-cost developer, or self-anointed “business coach” to build their site.

Shockingly, (maybe this is you), the resulting website gains zero ground in search results, or even loses ground.

Considering this scenario, it makes sense (kind of) why they would drop $10k or more a year on AdWords.

But AdWords is a short-term fix. And if you never address the underlying problem (your website doesn’t help you generate qualified leads), you will never be able to quit shoveling money into AdWords.

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Building A Strong Brand For Local Success

By John Locke | June 12th, 2016 in Business and Entrepreneurship
Jun 12, 2016

The Petraonas Towers at sunset

I’m a firm believer that when you’re busiest is when you need to step on the gas the hardest.

When you’re getting more and more business through the door, it’s a sign you’re doing something right.

In 2016 and beyond, SEO is all about building a strong brand. Don’t believe that? Look at the sites that rank well for any industry in your city. I’d wager 90% of the top results are all strong brands.

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Web Design Discovery Helps Solve Business Problems

By John Locke | June 5th, 2016 in Web Design
Jun 5, 2016

Discovery in Web Design Helps Solve Problems

The biggest opportunity for most web developers is actually assessing the business problem that needs to be solved.

A scenario I keep observing in the web industry is focusing too much on the technology and not enough on the business problem.

This scenario plays out in different ways, but usually with newer developers, or fledgling web studios.

This isn’t a new problem. It’s something that’s existed as long as the web has existed.

My friend Christopher — who runs a successful software and web design consultancy in Visalia, CA — wrote about this way back in 2004.

I am always surprised at the number of professionals who, by word or deed, express that they are not concerned with business problems, only with technology problems. I’ve worked with people who will gladly stay up all night long trying to figure out why IIS isn’t delegating security credentials from one machine to another, but are absolutely uninterested in figuring out whether or why the business needs a web application in the first place.‚

You are not an artiste. You are not even in the software business. You are in the problem-solving business. More to the point, you are in the business-problem-solving business. The technology problems you solve should always be in the context of solving a business problem. If the solution to a particular business problem offers less benefit than the effort required to solve it, you should be working to solve a different problem.

Christopher Hawkins, from “Repeat After Me: I Am Not In The Software Business.”, 2004

While it’s necessary to always keep learning when you work in technology and software, clients aren’t paying you for the latest technology stack. They are paying you with the expectation that their business problems will be solved.

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