Getting a quick Shopify or Wordpress site done well

Posted on Wed, August 07, 2013 in Web Design, Business Operations, eCommerce, Shopify by Alum

At GRAYBOX we will often get requests for a simpler site with the need for a quick turnaround. Here is what that process looks like. The kind of site we see come through with these needs are Informational and eCommerce. Pretty much any kind of website that you might need. This is how we do it.

  1. Clear Communication from start to finish
  2. Themes (Wordpress for informational sites and Shopify for eCommerce)
  3. One Site Review before testing (content edits and minor structural changes)
  4. Deadline Integrity

Clear Communication

This is all about expectations and deliverables. We like to get all of...

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Tips for Designing Successful Landing Pages

Posted on Fri, August 02, 2013 in Digital Marketing by Paul Weinert

Great landing pages are critical for effective inbound marketing campaigns — they distill your message down to one key action, thus simplifying it and boosting engagement. But reduction in design is hard — how do we get down to the essential elements to make the sale more effectively? Our marketing team can help you boost your conversion rates and make your landing pages perform better.
To start, let’s give you a few tips.
1. Start with a theory, test and measure that theory, and repeat — A/B (also called Multi-variant) testing is the key here. Start with a baseline control and...

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Interview with Gary Vaynerchuk on Social Media

Posted on Wed, July 31, 2013 in Digital Marketing, Business Operations by Alum

Earlier this year, part of our GRAYBOX team had an opportunity to take Gary Vanerchuk up on an offer he made to his almost one million twitter followers that he was doing an interview a day.

At GRAYBOX, we’ve enjoyed learning from Gary for over a year now through his website, tweets, instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google + and his books Crush It and The Thank You Economy. We got to ask him a few questions that we’re working through as we try to utilize social media better.

Q: We’ve heard you downplay the obsession with Return on Investment (ROI) when it comes to marketing. Is...

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IE Background Images

Posted on Tue, July 30, 2013 in Web Design by Kevin Carpenter

Introduction

A very handy CSS property is the “background-size” property. For background images, and images we need to cover an entire div we can simply apply “background-size: cover;” or “background-size: 100% 100%;”. Doing so stretches the background image to the entire width and height of it’s containing div. But that’s not it. I wish that was the case, according to W3c the background-size property is only supported in the following browsers: IE9+, Firefox 4+, Opera, Chrome, and Safari 5+.  Although our hate for IE as developers grows with every project we complete, it’s...

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Vertical Accordion Menu

Posted on Wed, June 05, 2013 in Greatest Hits, Web Design, User Experience by Kevin Carpenter

Vertical menu’s have recently become the newest rave in the Web industry. They are responsive, save space, and look great on any device.

Let’s get things started by putting in place our HTML and add the underlying structure to the menu:

Vertical Navigation Menu: CSS3 Coded

<div id="wrapper"> <ul class="menu"> <li class="item1"><a href="#">Friends <span>340</span></a></li>
<
li class="item2"><a href="#">Videos <span>147</span></a></li>
<
li class="item3"><a href="#">Galleries <span>340</span></a></li>
<
li class="item4"><a href="#">Podcasts <span>222</span></a></li>
<
li class="item5"><...

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Hover Animations

Posted on Fri, May 31, 2013 in Web Design by Kevin Carpenter

With the addition of CSS3 transitions and keyframe animations it can be easy to overdo animations on your website. However, adding certain effects to main content areas can greatly enhance the experience your visitors receive.

A popular trend on the web these days are “content boxes”. These were first found on a lot of sports and news sites mainly, but have since made their way to every category of web pages. Plain, generic content boxes are effective in dividing areas of content, but can be boring if there is nothing present to visually please the user.

So lets spice those generic...

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Getting Value with Google AdWords with a tight Budget

Posted on Fri, May 31, 2013 in Digital Marketing by Alum

You may think you need a huge marketing budget to start benefitting from paid advertising online. There are a lot of factors  at play when assessing that, and most of the time there is a very real benefit to starting even if you start small.

Do you have a niche business?

If so, it may take only $200 a month or less to see your ads show up for low competition keywords that are specific to your niche business. Usually you will have the ability to try this for a month and see how it goes. Also, Google is pretty good about giving you $50 to start out so that you can see how valuable running...

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Getting started with Google Products for Shopify

Posted on Wed, May 15, 2013 in Web Design, eCommerce, Shopify by Alum

Getting your product feeds accepted on any platform can be a nightmare. Some recent work we’ve done on a Shopify website inspired us to share a bit of that process to be a help to those doing the same kind of work. The fact is there are quite a few hoops to jump through and a lot of information to have just right.  Here are some quick helps to get you on your way with Google Products.

Get your Shopify site setup in a Google Friendly way

For starters, make sure you setup your Shopify account well. Once you import all of your products, make sure that the titles and product descriptions...

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Email Inputs

Posted on Fri, May 10, 2013 in Web Design, User Experience by Kevin Carpenter

When we apply a type of “email” to form inputs, we can instruct the browser to only allow strings that conform to a valid email address structure. This makes us that much closer to built-in form validation and we don't have to write JavaScript validators. We can’t 100% rely on this just yet, for browser support reasons. In older browsers that do not comply with the “email” type, they’ll simply fall back to a regular textbox. Please note that all current browsers are a bit picky when it comes to which elements and attributes they do and do not support. For example, Opera supports...

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Using The < nav > Element in HTML5

Posted on Wed, May 08, 2013 in Web Design, User Experience by Kevin Carpenter

With the addition of the nav element in HTML5 there is much confusion as to when to use it. The HTML5 specification definition is the following:

"The nav element represents a section of a page that links to other pages or to parts within the page: a section with navigation links. Not all groups of links on a page need to be in a nav element only sections that consist of major navigation blocks are appropriate for the nav element. In particular, it is common for footers to have a list of links to various key parts of a site, but the footer element is more appropriate in such cases, and no nav...

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