At Last: Square Integration With WooCommerce

At Last: Square Integration with WooCommerce

It's always puzzled/annoyed me that it was so difficult to integrate Square with WooCommerce. Now, at last, that situation seems to have been rectified with a new extension from WooThemes that promises to do exactly that. If you've ever swiped (or chipped) your card at a food truck, craft fair, farmers' market, small retail store, or any number of other small businesses, you've probably used Square, the dominant player in this super-useful niche. They're the company that makes those ingenious white plastic squares (get it?) that plug into phones and tablets to allow quick and painless credit card payments. There are…

Read More
Is It Worth Securing Your Entire Site?

Is It Worth Securing Your Entire Site?

As an afterthought to my recent post about improving search results with minimal effort, I thought I'd add a few thoughts about another low-effort way to use Google's algorithm to your advantage: encrypting an entire website instead of just shopping carts, logins, and other traditionally "secure" areas that transfer sensitive data. In 2014 the Goog started giving a small page rank bump to sites that are entirely encrypted via SSL. This means the entire website is "secure" and is accessed via  a URL that begins with https:// instead of the more familiar http:// string. This move was, at least on its face, one…

Read More
Better Search Results With Minimal Effort

Better Search Results with Minimal Effort

Sounds too good to be true, right? It's not, but it's not a magic bullet that will have an enormous effect either. Here's what you need to know. Because search engine algorithms are so smart now, the two best ways to improve your ranking are: post interesting, relevant, carefully-written, keyword-related content to your site on a regular basis cultivate online relationships (often built on strong content, as above) so influential sites will link to you Both of those things are time-consuming and have to be done regularly and carefully. The idea below won't let you skip those steps if you want strong SEO,…

Read More
Wright Architectural Millwork

Wright Architectural Millwork

Maybe the most telling detail from this client's website appears on their People page: "The average employee tenure at our company is currently ten years and rising." I've made websites for clients who do world-class work in a number of different fields, but the dedication this small business shows to both its clients and its employees is really special. True story: I first worked with Wright Architectural Millwork in 2004, and the site we built then featured profiles of four different employees. They described how WAM is like a second family, how the company always gives them what they need to thrive, and so forth. When…

Read More
Crooked Stick Pops

Crooked Stick Pops

Full disclosure: the Popmaster of Crooked Stick Pops is my amazing wife, Julie Tuman, and I have an ongoing role with the company as "Chief Pop Taster for Life." It's fun to work for a company that makes everybody feel good, and it's even more fun when there's so much high-quality material to work with: interesting pop flavors that lend themselves so well to graphical treatments, stunning photographs by the talented Paul Specht, and a client who appreciates (indeed, demands) a playful color scheme. All the basics are here for a restaurant or food service business: an event calendar, an online form so…

Read More
Mark Shaw Photographic Archive

Mark Shaw Photographic Archive

Since creating the original post, MSPA asked me to give their site a cosmetic refresh. I didn't change much—just inverted the site from a black background to white, then made some typography adjustments and refined a few graphic elements to balance the color change. This let the site retain its classic 60s photography flavor but made it feel lighter and more contemporary. Best of all, since the underlying WordPress architecture is so flexible, we made all desired changes on a shoestring. Even after doing this kind of thing for years, I was surprised at how much we could revolutionize the appearance of the site…

Read More
OXO

OXO

When people talk about companies that offer really great value, a few familiar brands come up again and again: Southwest Airlines Trader Joe's Honda Target The United States Postal Service (as opposed to the popular music concern The Postal Service, which was also good but for a different reason) People tend to have a certain affection for these companies, and rightly so. They offer stuff that's better than most of the crap out there, and at a cost that's noticeably lower than their inferior competition. The word value sometimes gets a bad rap these days, because advertising makes us associate it with cheap gross stuff: McDonald's, Walmart—anything…

Read More
Vote Lisi

Vote Lisi

Rebecca Lisi has been a strong voice for progressive politics in Holyoke for some ten years now, and it has been a privilege to support her campaign efforts through website design. I built Councilor Lisi's first campaign website in Blogger, which was in some ways the "value platform" of its day. That old site used a mixture of static HTML pages and blog entries to allow her to maintain some of her own content, but it also required tedious busy-work on the part of her designer (!) each election cycle when the site needed updating. Its worst flaw was that it wasn't…

Read More