Directory of Real Estate Agents

A Source For Advice on Buying and Selling Your Home

cover

0001

0002

0003

0004

0005

0006

0007

0008

0009

0010

0011

0012

bubble

Jukebox the Ghost is an awesome new band that everyone should check out! I also had a great time shooting the Barenaked Ladies who I’ve been watching live for about 13 years now! They played Tarrytown Music Hall! I LOVE shooting live music! I hope that all of you bride, grooms, and wedding enthusiasts don’t mind a break from the wedding stuff today!

jukebox

bnl

OM WEDHELLO

OM WED1A

OM WED1B

OM WED1C

OM WED1D

OM WED2A

OM WED2B

OM WED2F

OM WED2G

OM WED3B

OM WED3C

OM WED3D

OM WED3E

OM WED3G

OM WED3F

OM WED3I

OM WED3K

OM WED3L

OM WED3M

OM WED3N

OM WED4A

OM WED4B

OM WED4C

OM WED4D

OM WED4E

OM WED4F

OM WED4G

OM WED4H

autumn

If you’ve done business with inConcert, you know that we have a solid process in place to create our new website projects. We inform every prospective client about our process and why we have one in place (basically…it’s saves us time and saves you money). Our process is made up of 75 steps to ensure we don’t miss anything, however, we have broken down this process into a more generalized list to easier explain what needs to be done when creating your new site. These five general steps are: The Defining Phase, Design Phase, Coding and Buildout Phase, Testing and Deployment Phase, and Maintenance and Marketing Phase. (To view detailed descriptions of each phase, please click here). Each phase is just as important as the one before and the one after, yet clients often don’t understand the reasoning behind the separation between design and coding.

After 8 years of being in the website business, we’ve learned that the best and most efficient way of developing a custom website is by following this process. If  you haven’t read our past article about the design brief, please read it now. The design brief is completed during the Defining Phase which leads into the Design Phase. During the Design Phase, the graphic designer will review your design brief document and create a custom design for your site. This design is saved as a simple jpg (called a mockup) and is then emailed to the client for review and approval. Again…the design is saved as a simple jpg…it doesn’t function, it doesn’t have pages, and it just might have some “lorem ipsum” placeholder text that tends to confuse people (lorem ipsum is randomly generated dummy text who’s sole purpose is to be a placeholder for text that might not be readily available at the time of design). Now, this can be frustrating to some people because they cannot visualize how it will work by simply looking at a static design with placeholder text (this is understandable, especially if you are requesting a lot of functionality). However, it is important to understand two things: 1. The design is developed according to your functionality requests and visual preferences (keep in mind this does not happen within an hour).  Designers go through their own experimental processes before coming to the right solutions. We often have to figure out what doesn’t work before we can determine what does. 2. Populating and making a website function is not as easy as “copy/paste”. Hours of coding go into the development of a functioning website and depending on what applications you’ve purchased, fitting those applications into the site design can take a lot of time and sometimes require some trial and error.

When a design is approved, it goes to our coding department. Our web developers take the approved design and literally slice it up into pieces, optimize those pieces to make them the smallest file size possible without losing quality and then put those pieces back together through code. For example, inConcert’s design template requires 125 sliced out images that actually make up the entire design.

inConcert Images

125 Images Make up inConcert's Design Template

Tom Giannattasio uses the perfect analogy in his “In Defense of Photoshop” article; if you are an architect assigned the task of designing a skyscraper, you are going to sketch out the design, mock it up on the computer and possibly create a small-scale model. This gives the client a good idea of what it will look like yet giving them the freedom to make changes and tweaks before actually building the “real deal”. “Construction begins only once everything has been designed.” In the long run, this saves the client a lot of money. Now let’s say this architect is building a house, if the architect can mockup a home to scale, the homeowner can determine if they like the pitch of the roof without actually seeing it built. Assume the architect never creates a mockup, the contractors get all the rafters secure, the homeowner arrives at the building site and wants the pitch of the roof to be a bit steeper. Now, the contractors have to spend the time and frustration of dismantling all of the rafters, re-measure, re-cut, etc. and put all of the rafters back up according to the new specifications. This is very inefficient. As would be coding the website as it gets designed instead of creating a static mockup beforehand.

Again, we can’t stress enough that this process has been put into place not only for our benefit but also for our client’s benefit. The less time we need to spend on the project, the lower we can keep our costs which means the less the client has to pay. Hopefully by reading this article you’ve come to a better understanding as to how the process works and why we do the things the way we do. For more on our process, visit our process page.

Some thoughts and ideas were adopted from Tom Giannattasio’s article, “In Defense of Photoshop“.

Browser Statistics

Browser Statistics – November 2010

The web browser statistics have been released through November 2010. The stats are published monthly at W3CSchools.com.

Below are the web browser stats for November 2010.

2010 IE9 IE8 IE7 IE6
November .4% 17.6% 6.5% 4.1%
October .4% 17.3% 7.2% 4.8%
September .2% 17.3% 8.0% 5.6%
August 16.2% 7.8% 6.7%
July 15.6% 7.1% 7.2%
June 15.7% 8.1% 7.2%
May 16.0% 9.1% 7.1%
April 16.2% 9.3% 7.9%
March 15.3% 10.7% 8.9%
February 14.7% 11.0% 9.6%
January 14.3% 11.7% 10.2%
2010 Firefox Chrome Safari Opera
November 44% 20.5% 4% 2.3%
October 44.1% 19.2% 3.9% 2.2%
September 45.1% 17.3% 3.7% 2.2%
August 45.8% 17% 3.5% 2.3%
July 46.4% 16.7% 3.4% 2.3%
June 46.6% 15.9% 3.6% 2.1%
May 46.9% 14.5% 3.5% 2.2%
April 46.4% 13.6% 3.7% 2.2%
March 46.2% 12.3% 3.7% 2.2%
February 46.5% 11.6% 3.8% 2.1%
January 46.3% 10.8% 3.7% 2.2%

In summary, IE9 hasn’t made a big impact quite yet, but as you can see by the numbers of previous versions of IE, Explorer users are slowing making their way up to the latest version. Firefox, Safari and Opera are holding steady at their user percentages, but Google Chrome is steadily rising in popularity.

The U.S. Library of Congress

The U.S. Library of Congress Website

Back in February 2010, inConcert released a website for its first client of political status, Citizens for John Olver for Congress. The website was warmly received by Congressman Olver and his representatives that worked with us to produce it. From that website project, we were able to provide their campaign team with designs for other promotional campaign materials such as palm cards and t-shirts. Recently, Congressman Olver’s Chief of Staff, Hunter Ridgway, whom we worked closely with to complete the site, notified us that the website has been selected by The United States Library of Congress to be included in the historic collection of Internet materials related to the 2010 U. S. National Election.

The Library of Congress acquires, catalogs, preserves and offers a collection of United States artifacts to the Congress and the American people. This now includes digital materials such as websites. The Library will be archiving various portions of the site and will be making the collection of archives available to researchers and other scholarly individuals. In addition, they will make it more broadly available by hosting the archive collection on its public access website.

Technology is improving at a rapid pace and digital materials such as websites may never be printed out for historic record, which is why the Web Archives at The United States Library of Congress are so important going forward. This allows the accurate documentation of historic events and records that might never be put into print. We are proud to say that we have one of our pieces in these Web Archives and we thank the Citizens for John Olver for Congress, Congressman Olver and his representatives for the opportunity to work with them on this project.

Browser Statistics

Browser Statistics – August 2010

The web browser statistics have been released through September 2010. The stats are published monthly at W3CSchools.com.

Below are the web browser stats for September 2010.

2010 IE9 IE8 IE7 IE6
September .2% 17.3% 8.0% 5.6%
August   16.2% 7.8% 6.7%
July   15.6% 7.1% 7.2%
June   15.7% 8.1% 7.2%
May   16.0% 9.1% 7.1%
April   16.2% 9.3% 7.9%
March   15.3% 10.7% 8.9%
February   14.7% 11.0% 9.6%
January   14.3% 11.7% 10.2%

 

2010 Firefox Chrome Safari Opera
September 45.1% 17.3% 3.7% 2.2%
August 45.8% 17% 3.5% 2.3%
July 46.4% 16.7% 3.4% 2.3%
June 46.6% 15.9% 3.6% 2.1%
May 46.9% 14.5% 3.5% 2.2%
April 46.4% 13.6% 3.7% 2.2%
March 46.2% 12.3% 3.7% 2.2%
February 46.5% 11.6% 3.8% 2.1%
January 46.3% 10.8% 3.7% 2.2%

In summary, it seems as though people have started to upgrade from the lower versions of Internet Explorer and are driving up the popularity of IE8. The IE9 public beta version was introduced on 9/15, so we will surely be seeing numbers for this browser begin to rise in the upcoming months. IE6 is starting to steadily decrease by almost 1% per month (thank you!). Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera seem to be holding steady at their usage rates.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an Important Tool to Analyze the Effectiveness of Your Website

Google Analytics is fairly well known software created by Google. Analytics, as it is sometimes called, provides website statistics and tracking for an overall understanding of how effective your website is.  We recommend installing Google Analytics onto every website that we create.  Here are a number of reasons why:

  • It’s free to use and to access
  • There are books that have been written about it, so resources exists to learn more
  • There continues to be more and more development and new features coming resulting in an overall better product.
  • It’s made, supported, and developed by an industry giant, Google!
  • It is hands down the best website tracking software on the market, especially for free!

Now that you know why you should get Google Analytics Installed on to your site, here are a few tips to ensure you are using it to its maximum potential:

  • Make sure that the tracking code is on every single page or it won’t track all the pages
  • Exclude your IP Address from the settings so that Analytics is not tracking the clicks from your office
  • Setup multiple goals and funnels, it’s the only way to track what is meaningful.
  • Setup the reporting to email you the pdf each month, this way you don’t have to go looking for it
  • Add any additional users that you want to have access to the reporting

Ok…so you are all setup and configured and you have waited about 30 days and you see all these statistics….but what do they mean?  How do you know if you are doing well or not?

  • It’s too difficult to tell you what a good traffic number is, because each business and each industry is different.  However what I can tell you is that if you are doing the work on your website monthly, then your Unique Visitors should be trending UP.
  • Bounce rate should be between 40% and 60%.  The lower the number the better.
  • Note that bounce rate is determined by looking at what visitors entered on that particular page and failed to go to any other page before leaving the website.
  • Goal numbers should be trending up
  • Time on site should be trending up
  • Trending……..one final note on trending.  It’s not odd to see a drop from one month to another, but when we talk about trending we are talking about 6-12-18 months at a glance.  If you look back over that time, are you trending up.  If you are not, then you need to consider getting some help to fix that.

Happy Analyzing.