I Have Facebook, Why Would I Need a Website?

You have a message to deliver to your tribe, and it is important. Facebook is how you communicate this message. But its time to change source of your message. Communicating purely through Facebook puts you at the mercy of Facebook and their ever-changing terms of service. Mark Zuckerburg writes all the laws for how you communicate your message.

What this means for you is that for somebody to see your message they have to like your page, but even still they might miss your message in the flood of everything else in their newsfeed. Its also critical that people rate your page with stars – for you to appear at the top of user’s news feeds. Still sometimes Facebook doesn’t deliver your message to all your fans – http://john.do/goodbye-facebook-page/

You need to be able to deliver your message to people regardless of if they have Facebook or not. When the laws of “Facebook land” change (or if they ever force business’s to pay for people to see and of their posts at all), you still want to be able to communicate.

This is why you need a website. You decide when where and how to communicate. You can tie in with Facebook and Twitter but your brand won’t live or die based on the decisions they make. This enables you to take advantage of all the good of Facebook but when it comes down to it, you are in charge of your content. When another social media platform emerges on top, you won’t have to build from the ground up again. Do yourself a favor and future-proof your brand’s communications. Facebook alone won’t cut it anymore. You need a website.

Ryland Weaver & His Dream

Today Ryland Weaver’s website went public! Head over to downtownSBYpark.com and check him out! This website design was heavily influenced by who Ryland is. The green and blue color scheme was exactly what he wanted, the font is big, and the layout is shapely. Show this website to your kids, hopefully they find the site to be fun and enjoy reading updates about the progress Ryland and those who are supporting this effort.

Today I sat down with him and taught him how to update and use his website. If a seven year old can run a website – so can you!

IMG_20140211_215652

Advocating for a Park Downtown

20140208-184400.jpg

Today I met with Ryland Weaver who has recently been expressing interest in advocating for getting a park installed in Downtown Salisbury. We talked about some of the reasons he would like to see a park in downtown, and he even had stats prepared. Ryland is ready to communicate reasons for the hope he has and he has already mapped out potential locations for this endeavor. I’m excited help give him a platform to voice his hope and update you on his progress as he brings vibrancy downtown.

Look for me to post an update quickly. This project will be made public very soon.

Difficult to Use Websites on Your Phone?

When the iPhone first debuted it created a whole new platform (previous to the iPhone, phones had browsers but they were meager excuses for a web browser) for people to begin accessing the web. Mobile Safari was introduced to the world by loading up the New York Times and Mr. Jobs displayed for the world his wonderful pinch to zoom technology (and double tap). The NY Times website took more than 10 seconds to render completely over wifi and there was quite a bit of pinching, double tapping, and panning left/right included in the demo.

We’ve grown beyond that and we expect much more from the web browsers on our phones. If you load nytimes.com on a modern smartphone you won’t be pinching in and out. Websites that don’t load in 5 seconds lose our attention and we move on to some other article, tweet or Facebook post. Website design has progressed as well to meet the demand as more people access the internet from a phone or tablet than a desktop now. Often websites no longer require you to pinch and zoom and pan left and right. They are optimized to fit the screen size of the device you are using. With the leap in design some folks might have difficulties catching up to how website designers want you to use their websites. These changes are often inferred rather than explained.

threelines  – The Hamburger Icon

Website navigation has been re-imagined on many mobile websites, so that it can be hidden away this way you can get to the actual content of the page that you are on quicker. Much less scrolling is involved this way. The “hamburger” as it is sometimes called is what often triggers the menu in this new design scheme. When you press this button it will expand or a menu will slide over from the edge of the screen. To make it go away most times you can press the “hamburger” again.

Tabs are also used often in mobile websites. If you aren’t aware of this change then you might be missing some key information on websites you visit from your phone. Be on the lookout for these.

Hopefully if you’ve had any difficulty at all making you way around websites on your phone this article can help explain things a bit.

Excellent Genesis Framework Resources

Just a few months ago I started building websites on the Genesis Framework for WordPress. I took a journey with Genesis from skeptic to believer. As well as being a believer I also have to say I am a student of the framework. As i began the process of trying to understand how child themes work and continuing to learn more and more about WordPress best practices – I felt as if I couldn’t find any good resources.

Maybe this can help you get started learning quicker than I did.

Resource Links

Make the Genesis navigation collapsible – Brad Potter // Genesis Responsive Nav

Tutorials for Genesis and Thesis – Bill Erickson

There is a thriving community of designers and developers using Genesis and they swap insight on The Forums, there is also the official Studiopress resources.

Have you found any invaluable tutorials or ways to get help with Genesis? This student would appreciate any learning materials you can share!